Trending thoughts (part 1)

I have spent quite a bit of time unplugged from the bike world over the past couple months. It has been good to come back with new perspective and observe everything that is going on in our little inbred world. One thing I have noticed is just how many trends we are currently in the middle of.

I have seen a lot of trends come and go in the short two decades I have been a bike geek. Everything from purple anodized parts, to 50 pound downhill bikes hucking to flat, to single speeds rising in popularity. But I have never seen so many powerful trends happening at the same time. Everything goes in a cycle and most trends just fade away like purple anodizing in the sun. But some, like single speeds, have stuck around to be a permanent sub culture of our sport. Single speeds boomed a few years ago and reached their peak when race promoters started adding SS classes to their events. Did acknowledging our existence for a few years send us back to our seats at the back of the bus where we belong? Maybe it is because there are just so many other “hot” trends happening now that it is getting diluted out? I think it may have been a combination of both.

The first big trend that comes to mind is cyclocross. There is no doubt that cyclocross is one of the hottest thing around these days. What was once a ragtag group of Euro-phile mountain bikers looking to extend their season has now turned into a dedicated discipline that people are bat-shit crazy for. Please, don’t get me wrong, that is a good thing. But it is pretty obvious that CX has lost a lot of its counter culture edge. I will use this facebook page as an example. You see, some people want to ban certain types of course design because they think it is dangerous. We aren’t talking about pits of alligators or walls of fire here. They want to ban things that make you turn too much:

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Personally, I think they make for some really hilarious videos.

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This is a sure sign that CX is in the process of jumping the shark and going full mainstream. A sport that time and time again has prided itself on beer handups and harden the fuck ups now has to deal with handups being a crime.

This is a call to all of you seedy dirt bags to not let CX turn into the next roadie club race filled with a bunch of yuppies fueled by testosterone replacement therapy. You are already behind the 8-ball by riding in circles on grass, while wearing a leotard and glorifying 15 inch bunnyhops. You have to keep cross tough and keep it edgy. Make courses that are really hard and require bike handling skills and heckle until you lose your voice. Don’t let it fade into just another cycling trend.

Just when I think all hope might be lost, I find something like this little soulful video from our amigos at Breadwinner Cycles.

Or this party on wheels:

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I have been thinking about making the trip back east for SingleSpeed CX World Championships next month. Something tells me that those Philly kids will do it right. There will be nothing like the Rapha incident and I am confident that every blade of grass will be hurt.

Just remember: Sharks are not barriers. Don’t jump them!

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single malt, and single women. Tempe, Arizona, USA

15 thoughts on “Trending thoughts (part 1)

  1. Cross is as useful as a poopy flavoured lollipop. What, you’re doing it for base miles? I’m sure that 40 mins at race pace in November is really going to help next year. Because it is fun? Sure, like a lung searing heart attack at 30 degrees surrounded by hacks who couldn’t crack the top 30 at your local crit trying to ease their egos with that top 20 in their local cross race while the rest of us recover from a long season. I’ll be at the next cross race with a warm coat on, beer in hand, watching the monkey’s dance and enjoying my off-season… dance monkey’s dance.

  2. Hey, uh, barrel of monkeys- lighten up. You idea of fun or worthwhile is not the only game in town. Especially if you are trying to legitimize it by citing crit racing. Talk about joyless.

  3. barrel of monkeys…you sound like a barrel of piss and vinegar.

    Most people I know aren’t using cx as prep for the upcoming road season, they do it because it is a lot of fun, arguably much more fun than your typical crit.
    If you don’t like pain, then don’t race cx. Or crits.. or bikes for that matter.

    As far as the hacks on the podium…they are usually the local/regional hacks who are also on the road/mtn podiums from what I have seen.
    And the vibe, while definitely getting more competitive is still far from that of the road scenes. Thankfully.

    Have you tried cx? I thought it looked uninteresting for years, tried it and loved it. But hey, to each their own. If your world revolves around the road good on you. take that break and enjoy it. but no need to take piss on the rest of us.

    Glad you are at least attending the races. Hand one of those beers up next time, probably be appreciated. especially if it is at an azcross race. There will be a racing in Tucson next weekend, and I for one will be thirsty…

  4. Tried the cross thing. Too crowded, and the “yuppies fueled by testosterone” movement has pretty much eclipsed the scene in Chi-town, if you as me. Got the same vibe from the race crowd as I did when I tried road racing…only everyone seems to be TRYING way too hard to have fun.

    Given the choice of driving 2 hours roundtrip to ride for 45 minutes and trying make my heart explode vs. taking the aforementioned 3 hours or so and riding my mountain bike…well…that’s an easy decision for me. YMMV.

  5. Barrel of monkeys is the reason why I don’t race road. Oh, and I do see some of these roadie types racing CX….if it’s below 60, they have like 10 jackets on and are still freezing their ass off. They would only take a hand up of if it were a bottle of Chemay.

    If you don’t like the sport, than leave it to the real men (and women), and get back to your off-season shopping for skinny jeans.

  6. Dan, totally agree with you about road racers and their pussified, prima donna ways. And yes, Barrel of monkeys is a complete douche waffle. Just got back from the Cincy3 CX races, and had a blast, even with the Charles/Berden situation. Much more fun than anything that happened during road nationals this year.

    But come on, if you’ve paid any attention at all to the everyday attire of roadies vs. CXers, it’s the CX crowd that overwhelmingly sport the skinny jeans…

  7. Just did my 2nd CX race…..pretty damn fun and good way to “pay to ride your bike”. Pinwheels…whatever, looks fun to me.