This immediately made me think of what happened w ith snow skiing to recruit "the masses" or as you say "attract new riders". That sport had stagnated because of the macho competition between the best & strongest recreational skiers to show off their skills to each other on ever longer (and more "exotic") boards. I don't know who but someone decide d to bring new blood into the sport by introducing the concept of SHORT SKI S! OMG, blasphemy when we 1st heard of the idea and then to see these loser newbies actually on them was too much - we all snickered & winked. But you know what? They WERE easier to learn on and it worked and it was called GL M (graduated length method of) learning. And then it was a victim of it's o wn success - too many people on the mountain that didn't belong there: weak skills, no consideration, no more yodeling! So - is this what we all want for cycling? A ton of newbies swerving & dodging in front of us on the edge of a busy boulevard? Isn't it hard enough just to make it to your destination in the morning without getting T-boned by a car? I don't know about you all but I love the fact that I'm the only one in town racing down the hill for the t rain in the morning. But I do agree that with ever more frame builders taki ng up the torch we need to make lugged steel more attractive to the masses. Personally, I think we are just ahead of the curve right now. As oil reser ves deplete and we rediscover our own health as a priority cycling will bec ome more popular again. Low price points will help. Marketing does work. Mo re expensive hand built custom bikes will become status symbols - just as i n France after the war...
windy San Ca
net" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Sent: W ednesday, February 13, 2008 2:04:17 PM Subject: [CR]NAHBS â Is it really about the bike ?
So I think it is wonderful that thereâ s so much innovative thinking and fresh talent devoting time and atten tion to the craft of the bicycle. While there were a couple dozen old sch ool builders at the show (Gordon, Sachs, Baylis, Nobilette, to name a few ) the proliferation of new names and new designs tells me the market is r ipe for new products and novel approaches to old ones.
Or is there ? And even if there is, maybe that isnât the place where are spor t needs to go. Weâre into vintage bikes here, but bear with me for a moment.
My opinion is that the bike and the industry have so muc h to contribute to things like reducing congestion, good health, environm ental benefits, dependence on foreign oil etc etc and my comment on the N AHBS is that, while an interesting exercise in metal sculpture, most of w hatâs on view there has little to do with addressing any of those market opportunities.
I think the fundamental challenge facing the b icycle industry is to attract more riders new to the sport, getting them on bikes for an exciting and not too strenuous ride, so that they too â get the bugâ and start riding to work, school, or for fun.
Unfortunately the industry in general seems to be focused on the ques t for ever lighter carbon fiber components with a âracing uber al lesâ approach, and (along with the stuff on view at NAHBS) contin uing along this path will in my view just make the industry more irreleva nt to the needs of the marketplace. A $7000 city bike with laser-cut dropouts is an exercise in metal sculpture â it is not the thing that will bring new riders and customers into the sport.
Bainbridge Island, Wa US of A