A few weeks ago, Mike wrote a post about how we may or may not be at peak 'cross, and what that may or may not mean for anything else. In related news, it feels a lot like fall is the new summer.
From a personally close to home perspective, 'cross is here since we started running the Friday morning practice last week. And 'cross must be fairly healthy because I got shut out of registration for my favorite 'cross event, which would be Gloucester. Full disclosure, I wasn't really urgent with the trigger finger, but it still filled up fairly quickly.
So any rumors of the demise of 'cross would surely be premature, but it's also impossible not to note a profound enthusiasm for just general riding in the fall. There are events up the wazoo - apart from a full 'cross calendar, there are more gran fondos and centuries, on surfaces from a to z, than you can shake a stick at. And that's to say nothing of the general nice and pleasant riding you can do just on your own or with a group of friends. It's not so nasty hot, the mayhem of vacations and all that stuff has died down, and it's just plain really beautiful in a lot of the country for the next 8 or 10 weeks or whatever. Plus since the spring was a nasty rainy cold mess in so much of the country, a lot of people seem to be a long way from mentally done with their riding season.
Normally August is a month that tails off fairly rapidly for us, but this year that hasn't happened. The ramp that didn't happen as quickly in May is now the ramp that didn't go down nearly as quickly in August. In fact the last half of the month has been more active than the first.
Broadening the them, there's a burgeoning sense that just as people reconnect with a beautiful riding season, there's more of a sense of riding what's fun - I have both terrain/surface and also products in there. Some people have a lot of fun going fast on aero stuff, but there was a product launch this morning in that arena that just felt like about the flattest thing ever - another bike that can claim the "-est" of the week (in this case, aero-est). I honestly can't remember the last time I had a conversation with a customer on that axis. A large part of that is a self-fulfilling prophesy thanks to that our lack of overlap with the pointy end of the "aero is everything" set, but it seems that the whole thing has wound up being an awareness that fits in a priority structure rather than a dogged and single-minded pursuit. More "if it doesn't take away from the fun, sure, why not?" and less "aero is everything."
Now if we could just figure out how to shift the daylight so that the long days were getting longer instead of shorter right now, we'd really be cooking with gas.