Friday, March 10, 2006

Don't Get Too Excited!

There is alot of back and forth discussions about whether or not 29"ers are all that and a bag of chips. We all know that they are not........right? Well, I guess some of the folks not committed to 29"ers seem to think the people who are committed to the wheel size do think that way. I mean that 29"er riders know that for them there is no going back to 26 inch wheels. The key here being the phrase,"for them". The folks that would debate the advantages of 29 inch wheels seem to gloss over that sentiment. It's a statement that I read over and over again in posts from new 29"er riders. "I know that for me there is no going back." You see, no one is bending your arm here, trying to make you say uncle, and ride 29"ers. Yet, I see this statement all the time too. Check this one out. This is a quote from Mike Ferrentino, in a Mouth Trap column, written and posted on Bike Magazines webpage.

"After playing around on the things for six years now, I’m still not convinced that they will make me more of a man, or cure cancer..."

He's referencing the so called "zealotry" that 29"er riders exude.......allegedly. Mr. Ferrentino also likens the 29"er crowd to the singlespeeder afficiando by saying......

"Swear to God, they are making single speeders seem almost rational and even-tempered."

Nothing like fomenting dissent between groups of cyclists, huh? Of course, I have to remember that Mr. Ferrentino is paid to entertain, and that writing that, "29"er folks are really passionate about their riding experiences", probably wouldn't sell as well as creating and encouraging more controversy. To be fair, Mr. Ferrentino brings up the Dave Harris experiments, which I will admit, have ruffled more than a few feathers. Also, Mr. Ferrentino says that he feels that 29"ers are suited more to some courses than others. Okay, good. Why did he feel compelled to say the other, well........crap!

That's the thing that lots of the non-committed 29"er folks say. That the folks that love 29"ers, that are passionate about our bikes and the way they ride say things that are irrational. First of all, as if miracles do not happen,(a whole 'nother issue!) and secondly as if we should just calm down, and go away. Look, I cannot speak for every 29"er rider, but I never claimed that it was a "miracle" for you. I don't think 29"ers are for everybody. However, I do know that I ride better than I ever did on a 26 inch wheel bike, and scientific study? I don't need no stinkin' scientific study too tell me that. ( appologies to Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Dave Harris!) I am passionate about the 29"er. I hope that you are passionate about the type of bikes that you ride. If you are, then great! I promise you that I won't feel that you are making claims of miracle cures or enhancements of manhood, or whatever!

Choose your bike based on what works for you. Based on what is fun! Choose your bike for it's color! Whatever. Get passionate about your bike and riding it. Whatever that bike is, don't let anybody put a damper on that passion. Keep on ridin' and smilin'!

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