I’ve always thought I was a bit of a geek.. well I know i’m a geek. I’m far too excited by waterproof materials and the weights of tents and sleeping bags.
Strangely, I always considered my bicyle geekery as being a slightly less severe form of the illness than some of my more semi-autistic outburts about “R.E.T.” and the demise of “real” Pertex.
I’m wrong. I’ve just spent the last two days at Zyro’s openhouse looking at new kit and I realise that my inner geek’s soul can be just as filled up with bike minutiae as it is with “phase change” fabrics.
The things that really stood out over the last two days (there will be plenty of stories up about it) is how bothered some people are about the small stuff. What seems retentive today will trickle down to all your riding kit over the next couple of years.
It’s easy as a consumer – and even easier as a journalist – to be cycnical about the Next Big Thing or “they’re just trying to sell you something”. But i have to say, hand-on-heart, after spending the last two days talking to people who make and design things for us to use, you couldn’t be more wrong.
There are designers and engineers out there who love sweating the small stuff. Who are constantly dissatisfied with stuff that’s “good enough”. They speak eloquently and with passion about why they’re doing something, how it’s improved and what’s around the corner.
The chance to tell other people about it and share their enthusiasm with how they’ve shaved grams off something – or made the bike more comfortable (or some other way that encourages people to use their bike more) or not produce so much co2 was always entirely genuine. Yep, there’s a bottom line to think about and everyone wants to get paid but I had a strong feeling that many of the people working for larger companies would be working in their sheds tinkering away if they weren’t being paid to do it for a living.
So hail the nerd! Praise the geek! Bikes are better for them and we all owe them our thanks.
Posted on: January 21, 2010 by singletrackmatt