Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Fount of All Wisdom

Yep, that is me all over...a 'wise fount'. I am not sure what a fount is...maybe a fountain with less letters or an Old English way of spelling font. Perhaps I am a wise type set. I dunno.

But in any case, the whole thing is related to my 'duty', if you will, of riding, evaluating, and writing in a hopefully lucid way about new bikes and products that come my way. It seems that I am expected to be a savant of sorts; I ride, I see visions, I dream dreams, I type on a key board and all can make important, monetary decisions based on my chicken scratchings.

Oh my.

So, you may say, "Poor baby, having to ride all this new stuff and all he is expected to do is write some pithy words taken from the Reviewers Book of Phrases": "Light, yet stiff", "stiff, yet compliant", "feels fast", "feels solid", "has a delicate bouquet with a slight oakey aftertaste"...wait...wrong book.

And, it is really neat to ride stuff that I cannot afford, then give it back and move on to the next wunderbike. But there are downsides, too. Often you have to make do with a short test period...maybe even one ride in unfamiliar terrain. The bike set up may be vastly different then what you would do for your bike, the parts like saddles, etc, may suck (or pinch or bite or all three) and even if you have it for longer, you may be bouncing back between two or more bikes, keeping you from really getting used to the ride.

Then, you need to say something intelligent and insightful and you may live or die by those words. The hopes and dreams of some bike builder is hanging there a bit as well, not that my thoughts will make or break, but still, it is something to remember. I may get it wrong. I may fail in front of the internet. I may suck across the vast cloud of the innerweb and THAT is a lot of sucking.

So whaddaya' do? Well, you hope that your 25 years of mountain bike riding is working for you. You know that you ride well enough to see how a bike does what, although Steve Peat is not worried, you have ridden a fairly broad range of bikes/tires/parts and you know what works well for you here and there and finally, you feel pretty good about your ability to put that into words in a diplomatic and honest way so that readers can divine from the electronic tea leaves as to what 'da heck you mean by "would make a good lightweight trailbike for bi-polar riders living above the 40th parallel."

So, dear readers, have pity on this Wise old Fount. I am walking a tightrope of expectations, trying to balance myself with a 29" wheel in each hand while not looking down.

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