SXSW 15: MTB Meetup

zilker

Wiley and Johnny

Well that was a crazy lovable mess when we had an impromptu MTB meetup in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, including a river portage. That’s my new best advice for SXSW attendees, spend a few hours away from the convention riding mountain bikes!

More of the MTB Austin story to follow. Later today our annual Mobile Social.

Issue 22 Sounds

hugga

Tires on roads, shifting, excuses, praise, music; the sounds we hear. Issue 22 is available now. It dropped on iTunes and the Web as we arrive in Austin, a city that vibrates with sound, and where we ride every year during SXSW.

Adventure Bikes: a Nostalgic Trend

Trek Adventure

It is said that the early two-wheeled hobby horses were designed to deal with a lack of real horses during the early 19th century, though those contraptions were not much more than a scooter that a rider stood on. A true bicycle, powered by a person through pedals, came about later in the Industrial Age, and then more as a sport and social pastime of the landed gentry and the new urban bourgeois rather than a transportation solution. But soon an era of adventure cycling seized bold Victorians who wanted to explore the wilds beyond the towns or perhaps the furthest reaches of the Empire. They left the roads that were made for them (and back then the roads WERE made for cyclists) to gallivant across the roughness of an older world. Leaping forward about a century, cycling in America experienced a boom in the 1970s, as a solution to petrol prices making the automobile use prohibitive, followed by a period in which sport bicycles were the focal point of design. Perhaps it’s expected that today’s cyclists are finding a wanderlust to explore those routes beyond their daily commute and outside the realms of conventional competition. Noticing this trend, manufacturers are responding with adventure categories and the marketing is way less limiting than calling them “gravel” for grinders (races on gravel roads) and dirt fondos (charity rides on dirt).

These are road bikes with the most room possible for wide tires and mounts for racks. Whether cyclists are riding to compete or camp, we’re welcoming more options and better built frames that’ll handle the terrain. Like the venerable Trek 520 in steel or the 720 outfitted with a companion dry bag system.

This category is an homage to the days when riding your bike across America captured imaginations and cargo containers of bikes were imported in response to the gas crisis. This was before Lemond, “Jock” Boyer, or Phinney taught us about racing in France and what it was like to ride fast.

Nostalgia for the 70s in this instance — excluding pleated polyester pants or sansablets — is about getting out and riding and that’s wherever the road takes you.

Today Trek unveiled a new adventure line and a “Driven by Adventure” contest.

We’re so excited to have the opportunity to send riders out on cycling adventures with these new bikes,” said David Studner, Assistant Product Manager for the City Bikes category. “Each bike was designed with a particular flavor of adventure riding in mind, and it will be really interesting to meet these riders and hear about the adventures and memories they create on them.

Issue 04 of our magazine is all about adventure too, including a 100 miles in Idaho. To read it please subscribe: annual subscriptions are $16; individual issues are $4.

Making it About the Bike

Before SXSW, just chilling for a few days, getting in some miles, and then all the biking in Austin goes down. Here’s a post from the Medium Bicycles Collection about our annual event.

Too Cool for Southby 15?

Apple Watch for Cyclists

Apple Watch

So much cycling imagery in Apple’s event today and we’re wondering if the Apple Watch with fitness apps could replace your bike computer? Wondered about that too with Google Glass (and no it didn’t). Most importantly in all that was mentioned was Glances. That’s what intrigued me the most from my experience with Glass, was the concept of glanceable computing at just what you need, instead of all the distractions. Sure many companies are working on SmartWatches/wearables and consumers don’t seem to care, but haven’t seen the finesse or completeness of what Apple announced today. Last month, Microsoft updated their Band with a bike tile.

We’ll see where this market goes and David Schloss, a long-time contributor, has his watch on order. Also in the event today was the topic of corporate wellness. In light of the UCI’s doping report, I said this on Twitter.

Considering new markets in health and fitness, there’s a huge opportunity for the sport of cycling to distance itself from that win on Sunday, sell on Monday mantra, but that’s all the companies in the market know. And for sure the show must go on with Paris-Nice happening now. Oh and today we learned that Lance is seeking a ban reduction….

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