When I was a kid, one of my favorite cartoons, at least, for as long as it ran in 1972, was Sealab 2020. I was a futuristic view of our world, optimistic as only the 1970s could be. It was a future I welcomed, one in which technology triumphed and ecology guided an underwater society. The oceanauts, as they were called, trained dolphins to help divers and demonstrated how mining could be lower impact.
Well, 2020 is here and my life isn’t that of a scientist living in an underwater city. Damn. Or maybe not. My life certainly isn’t what I thought it would be in 1972 or 2012, but it’s good, unqualifyingly good. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve arrived at the future and it’s not the one I anticipated.
On the cycling side of the equation, if you’d asked me 10 years ago, six months into RKP what the cycling world looked like, there are a great many things I did not see coming nor would I have guessed would even be possible. Off the top of my head, I’ll lead with gravel bikes, the fall of Lance Armstrong, wireless shifting systems and disc brakes for road bikes, the dismissal of 23mm tires as the unimpeachable choice for road riders and that there’s such a thing as a long-travel 29er.
It’s a new decade in a new world. Everywhere we look, things are probably not the way many of us guessed they would be. What is it in cycling that surprised you? What’s better than you thought? What isn’t measuring up?