Have you ever seen the offspring of a goat and a dog? No? What about a chicken and a man? Disgusting right? Nature has built in protections to stop the development of such grotesque and disturbing creatures. Lucky Nature. For bicycles, there is no omniscient overseer, no fail-safe plan, no moral code. If you can conceive it, someone can build it, and often the outcome is no less hideous than a young kid/puppy with its yellow eyes, horns and wagging tail, bleating and barking for tin cans and puppy chow late into the night.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that trying to be all things for all occasions ultimately dilutes the ability to perform anything exceptionally well and at best sires a culture of mediocrity. Just look at AOL/Time/Warner.
So when I read that a particular bicycle is “great for running to the grocery store during the week, and still rugged enough to hit the trails on Saturday” I know this machine is nothing more than a shellacked turd.
So I ask you, gentle readers, is there room for innovation? Think about it, if a rabbit and a cat mated, the offspring might be cute, right? A bunny that jumps in your lap and purrs, chases moths around the room, that sounds pretty sweet right? So are there other possibilities that achieve the same success as a cute kitty/bunny? Like what about converting your 29’er mountain bike into a road machine? What are the unintended consequences of fucking with Nature? The goal of owning one machine that converts to whatever ride conditions are on the daily agenda sounds like an honorable effort, but at what cost?
I refer you to the cautionary tale, Frankenstein, so that we may all consider the consequences of pursuing glory at any cost.
Hey, that’s one sweet, tricked out Big Wheel. I’ve got to have one of those.
What about the mule?
Today there is renewed interest in mules for recreation and competition. In the Southeast mules are used for nighttime raccoon hunting, and the mules’ ability to jump over fallen trees or fences is exploited in jumping competitions. Pulling contests using heavy draft mules have created a new demand for large mules. Particularly popular are large red mules produced by crossing American Mammoth Jackstock with Belgian mares.
But the mule can’t reproduce, so there’ll never be a master race of mules who, inspired by a mule with the gift of speech, will throw off their shackles and subjugate humanity, a la Battle for the Planet of the Skunk-Apes. So we’re safe there. My rule is, if it’s sterile, let Dr. Funkenstein have his fun.
But back to our topic. Juancho, I know you’re just posing the question, but aren’t we being a wee bit picky? After all, a 29er is halfway to roadbikedom as conceived, is it not? The unholy hybrid has already been hatched, so what harm in re-shoeing the mule, as it were?
I had not thought of the 29’er being a hybrid in itself. The wheels aren’t exactly the same as 700c road tires are they? The gearing is true to the mt. bike norm, as is the geometry. I hear you about letting the Doc have his fun, I guess I’m worried but hopeful, as I am about all things in life except for my ability to stomp your asses at Munson.