Friday, May 05, 2023

Friday News And Views

Chris Skogen as seen at a recent gravel event in Kansas.
Skogen 'Pulls Plug' On Event Promotions: 

In a March 4th post here I reported on a social media post by Chris Skogen that indicated that he was going to put on a series of events in a few different states in the USA. 

Now in another social media post, Skogen has informed the followers of his account that he no longer wants to produce those cycling events. 

Following is a quote from the May 2nd post seen on Instagram where he describes his feelings after announcing his intentions to put on these gravel events.

"Time passed and I realized I was chasing my old self. My ego took over. At the same time all of the stress trauma from the first time I did all of this event stuff came rushing back. It was ugly. I was ugly…so I pulled the plug on the event and let everyone that had signed up know that it wouldn’t be happening.

Relief set in."

 Comments: There was a lot of his post that rang true with me. Especially the parts about "stress trauma". I am intimately familiar with a lot of things regarding putting on events like Mr. Skogen has in the past, and, in my opinion anyway, I think I understand him in a way that maybe few others can. 

I'm not saying that to brag. There just is a set of experiences that I feel only a subset of people in the gravel scene have a deep understanding of and that some other people maybe would not fully grasp. To those who are still in the trenches, doing all the things they have to do to produce a gravel event to the best of their ability, I tip my cap to you. I am pretty sure that those people understand this statement of Mr. Skogen's also. 

Is this "retirement" for Mr. Skogen in terms of doing anything on gravel for cyclists to enjoy? In my interpretation of his full statement, I would say the answer is "yes". 

GCHoF 2023 Trip:

As of last Tuesday I have all the details nailed down for another trip to Emporia, Kansas to attend the 2nd induction of people into the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame. 

My trip will land me in Emporia on Tuesday, then on Wednesday there is a ride of 20 miles which is to feature the Hall of Fame members. That is slated for 11:00am and then there will be the induction ceremony and after-party. The following day I will be hanging out for a little bit, then heading back home. 

Besides the GCHoF stuff I should be getting a bit of audio for the podcast from interviews or short conversations with individuals there. I may have a meeting with another individual which might result in a review opportunity. We'll see, but the point is, I am trying to muti-task this trip to make it a bit more valuable for me to be gone for that time and spend the money to do it. 

Of course, I am happy to attend and especially so because this is the class that will include Joel Dyke posthumously. Joel lost his life in a tragic home accident several years ago now. But for me, personally speaking, Joel was a behind-the-scenes supporter of mine. He seemed to be able to send me a message of support via email just when I needed it, and his sign-off of "Big Grin", and his calling me, as he did many others he cared about, "sexy pants", meant something really special. I cherished every interaction I had with him, and to see him get this honor will be a very special moment for many of us in attendance. 

Podcast Updates:

Since I've taken over the reins in terms of podcast production and editing, the "Guitar Ted Podcast" has been steadily growing. So, if you are one of our listeners, I thank you. I think the timely and steady releases of new episodes has been working in our favor. 

We (N.Y. Roll and I) have been blown away by the responses and by the growth in the audience from all over the world. As of last count, we have had people listening in from over 30 different nations. That's amazing to me. We even have had great sponsor support and we will be announcing a new sponsor partner this Summer which we are excited about.

As mentioned above, I hope to grab some interviews at the GCHoF gathering and we have plans to try to interview more folks from the gravel scene, past and present. Plus our usual general banter. The latest episode (art work for it is shown here) can be heard at THIS LINK or wherever you get your podcast from. 

Future plans are to record and publish episodes up until this late Fall or early Winter. Then we will call an end to "Season 1" and take a break for a bit. In the meantime, give it a listen if you care to. Episodes typically are about an hour in length.  Thanks!

Racks full of bikes - Not many people are buying.

Over-Supply - Underwhelming Sales Plague Industry in 2023:

 The whiplash effect of massive sales, which wiped out supply, and the resulting over-ordering, which has flooded retail shelves, is in full force now. 

Stock levels are at near-record levels in many areas, but surprisingly, a few high-end segments are still in short supply. That said, the sales and "deals" have been coming left and right lately.

The trouble is that consumers seem to be mostly unimpressed by all of this. Furthermore, there is an undercurrent of opinions that represent resentment on the part of consumers. A resentment which says that prices were too high before and now that these companies are suffering overstocks that they can just pound sand. 


Consumer sentiments don't seem to be very positive and with prices still higher than they were pre-pandemic, it would seem that the only way the glut of stock gets moved down the pipeline is that even deeper discounts will need to be employed to finally entice consumers into parting with their digitized dollars. That will likely come at the expense of a few companies and several jobs that won't be sustainable through these difficulties. And if what I am reading from several consumers is true, there will be rejoicing in the streets over it all. 

Thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions! Have a great weekend!


wp said...

Coming out of the pandemic I've got a new appreciation for the stuff that I already have. Compared to where I was 3 years ago I'm now better at doing my own repairs, understanding my bikes and how they work, and understanding what works for me. I get way more excited by well designed parts that are designed to be easily serviced than by the latest $4k bike (forget $10k e-bikes!). I feel like the major players in the industry are escalating the price and tech in a death spin and I'm frankly happy that I jumped off that train. I feel terrible for the good folks working in the industry that will find the next few years rough but it's hard not to see the writing on the wall.

DT said...

the podcast is way better now than it was in the old days, from a production and posting standpoint
ben is a good dude, but he was holding you back!
(along with JRA, the path etc...)

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - Thank you!

NY Roll said...

No Gravel Christmas Special? What if we need a heart warming gravel miracle?