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^BThe Sh*tbike's claim to fame
WHEN CONSIDERING A NOMINEE FOR the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, certain questions have to be asked. Did the nominee achieve widespread fame or notoriety? Did the nominee have an impact or influence on the Zeitgeist of mountain bike culture during its time of prominence? Was the nominee a positive enhancement to the sport of mountain biking as a whole-namely, did it leave mountain biking a better place than it was before it showed up?
As we consider the nomination of Bike magazine's Sh*tbike, the answer to the above questions can only be a resounding "yes!" The ratty old Softride beam bike, widely loathed and ridiculed during its original life a decade and a half ago, had anguished forgotten in a garage before being brought brightly back into the public eye in the pages of Bike in 2008.
In the hands of everyday riders, it was ridden in many events that could be considered iconic moments in the mountain bike tapestry of the time-multi-day endurance races, the Keyesville Classic, the Singlespeed World Championships-and, in each instance, the rider aboard the Sh*tbike discovered new boundaries to what he thought possible on a bike.
With legendary freerider Wade Simmons at the controls, the Sh*tbike graced the cover of Bike in a contemporary action shot that most would immediately dismiss as impossible on such outdated equipment. And, in a moment of crowning glory, slopestyle impresario Cam McCaul backflipped the Sh*tbike, proving once and for all that it ain't the meat, it's the motion.
The Sh*tbike stands as a testament that riding is about much, much more than having the latest shiny toys. The Shlbike reminds us all not to take ourselves too seriously. The Sh*tbike proves that magazines can actually thrive by having a sense of humor and trust in their readership. Did it achieve widespread fame or notoriety? Hell yes. Did it have an impact? Damn straight. Did it leave mountain biking a better place? Yes, and it's not done yet.
Though woefully under-funded and often criticized for a selection process that rewards industry backslapping while ignoring significant athletic achievements (Can we please get Nico Vouilloz admitted? Soon? We know space is tight, but he's not that tall. He'll fit. We swear.), the Hall of Fame remains a memorial to the icons and artifacts or mountain biking's rich, and often awkward, adolescence.
Is the Sh*tbike worthy? Yes, and maybe more than many of the pioneers, promoters and inventors who the Hall already counts as members.
Induct the Sh*tbike into the Hall of Fame. -The Editors
Bike (JSSN 1072-4869] September/October 2009. Volume 16. Issue 6. Published eight issues yearly in the months of March. May. June. July. August. September/October. November and December. Copyright © 2009 by SOURCE INTERLINK MAGAZINES. LLC,. All rights reserved. 261 Madison Avenue. 5th Floor. New York. NY 10016. Periodicals Postage Paid at New York. NY and additional mailing offices. Canada Publication Mail Sales Agreement No. 40612608. Canada returns to be sent to Bleuchip International. P.O.Box 25542. London. ON N6C 6B2 Canada. Subscription rates for one year Ceight issues) U.S.. APO. FPO and U.S. Possessions $19.97. Canada. $32.97 U.S. funds. CPnce includes surface postage to Canada and GST-reg. no. 87209 3125 RT0001.) Foreign orders add $15.00 in U.S. funds. For a change of address, six weeks notice is required. Send old as well as new address to Bike. P.O. Box 420235. Palm Coast FL 32142-0235. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bike. P.O. Box 420235. Palm Coast FL 32142-0235.
114 bikemag.com photo: morgan meredith
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