Acknowledging Adventure

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Words by Jeff Lockwood. Photo by Pat Engleman.

First published in Grit.cx Issue 1: October 2014
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The launch of grit.cx is a wonderful adventure for many reasons. Acknowledging the rapid growth of cyclocross, gravel riding and other adventurous forms of cycling, we recognized a distinct lack of a cohesive voice in the community for these disciplines. We started this thing because we’re participants and huge fans of all of it, and we want to learn more about the scenes, the people, the gear and the passion that’s so damned interesting and exciting. We also want to share with you the stories, ideas and trends as they develop. If we want to get completely idealistic, we would also like to help influence all of this, and help the community evolve.

It’s always exciting to start a new adventure in life. Endeavors like getting married, starting a new job, traveling around the world, entering a race, walking on the moon or starting a new bicycling publication tend to enhance our relationship with the world around us, and get our blood pumping. The promise of exploring the unknown, meeting new friends and becoming familiar with unfamiliar things fills us with hope, knowledge and a deeper appreciation of everything around us.

Despite its blemished recent past, cycling, in all its disciplines, is growing more popular than ever, and its borders are rapidly expanding. The Tour de France crowned two consecutive champions from the United Kingdom; the UCI Cyclocross World Championships were held outside Europe for the first time ever in 2013 when the United States played host; and riding drop-bar bicycles on unpaved roads and trails is one of the hot new trends in the bicycle world these days. We’re also seeing lots more people getting bikes, throwing on some racks and bags, and heading out into unfamiliar territory for days at a time. More bicycles are being sold, more people are racing cyclocross, commuting in bike lanes and pointing their bicycles away from the smooth pavement.

While grit.cx will be based in the United Kingdom, we will be relying on contributors from Belgium, the United States and all around the world to provide a truly international perspective and voice. While the grit.cx website will be updated daily with news, product reviews, stories and all sorts of other great content, this digital magazine will be published every six weeks between October and February. Since it will be read on tablets and other mobile devices, we’re going to be able to add a lot of cool features that are not physically possible with the print medium. However, all of us at grit.cx are fans of print, so at the end of the season, we’ll pull all of the best content from the web site and digital magazine and put it together in a nice printed edition of grit.cx.

As with all adventures, it helps to have a plan. It’s also a good idea to remain sincerely flexible and adapt to changes as they are presented. As such, the whole concept of grit.cx will expand and evolve. Market changes, technology advances, and other trends will all impact how we proceed with this particular adventure. This all dictates that we are committed to bringing you the best content in the most efficient, entertaining and informative manner.

The motto we’ve been using to guide us at this early stage of grit.cx is: “Beyond the barriers. Above the gravel. Through the mud.” We’ve even printed it on our business cards. It’s an important statement because we want to make sure our little adventure doesn’t focus too intently on one aspect of one cycling discipline. Instead we want to reach past the obvious. We want to explore what else is out there. We want to learn more, and we want to you to join us on the entire adventure.

 

Jeff Lockwood. Editor, grit.cx

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