|This was the fob for the room key I had in Deer Valley during the Fisher MTB Press Camp|
Me......a bike mechanic from Iowa.
I'd been blogging about 29"ers and other nonsense for just barely over 4 years. before that, no one knew who I was. By this time, yes, I was running Trans Iowa, and I was running the 29"er website called, "Twenty Nine Inches", but really...... I was hanging with other mtb journos, real journalists, and top flight athletes, and luminaries of the MTB world like Gary Fisher. Yeah......does the phrase "a duck out of water" mean anything to you? That's exactly how I felt.
Oh! I had fun alright. How could you not, being wined and dined, treated to your own personal test bikes with your name stickered on the top tube as if you were someone important. I had a mechanic at my disposal, and food and drink? Yeah..... I was well taken care of. My room was more like a flat you'd find in a big European city. Three freakin' rooms! The bathroom was bigger than my current bedroom where I live to this day. It was.....outlandish.
The whole deal kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I just had such a hard time balancing this opulence and frivolous spending with what I saw going down in the local shop scene. No offense to those who were so gracious to me, but I just could not justify the experience. Am I worth that? Yeah, perhaps, but that isn't the point either. The whole thing seemed over the top and out of sync with the realities of the cycling world as I knew it. Anyway.....
It was the last press camp I ever attended. After that, I deferred to those who were helping me. Grannygear, or CG, or now MG, and I don't know that I'd ever go to another one of those deals. Maybe I would, if the situation was right.
The cycling industry seems a bit bent on sending journos all over the World to far flung places to test new stuff in situations that are beyond the means of most folks, or at least of most bicycle mechanics......or most anybody, really. Is that wrong? Is that okay?
I still have a hard time justifying this all today.