We’d like to think we’re pretty alright at photographing bikes over here at The Radavist. The steeds we choose to document reflect our audience’s preferences and capture distinct trends in bicycle design. Yet, each year as we reflect on all the builds that have rolled through this cyber showroom, we’re always surprised to see what the Top Ten list reveals. This year, we’ve got a good mix of bikes, outfitted with flat and droopy bars, running rubber across the size spectrum, and made of steel, aluminum and yes, even carbon. Let’s get to it!
Wait wait wait? Don’t worry! The Mid South isn’t asking you to come to Stillwater, Oklahoma during a pandemic. We all know that bike racing during a pandemic is problematic. No, instead Bobby and the team at District Bicycles would like you to partake in a socially distanced event with a twist…
“We want you to go ride or run (or both!) outside, just like you had planned, but you don’t have to pack up and travel to Stillwater. We are partnering with several bicycle shops in cities and states where many of you live. We are working with each shop to create comparable 100-mile, 50-mile and 50K routes in that area. Ride With GPS will facilitate a challenge board, which any registered rider or runner can join. We will share the links for each challenge (100, 50, 50K) in March. If you’re registered for The Mid South and have at least a free account with Ride With GPS, you’re good to go. You must have an account with Ride With GPS to participate in the challenges.”
See more at the Mid South!
To begin, it is important to say that I am not a doctor, a data analyst, or an economist. Am I an expert regarding the growing pandemic that is becoming one of the defining events of our lives? No, I am not. I am a bike mechanic who likes to take photos. There are smarter people out there who could (or should) be writing about this, but as it is, you have me. And I find it extremely difficult—even inappropriate—to talk about this year’s Mid South without acknowledging the massive elephant in the room. For some of you, these images or just the thought of a large group gathering may be upsetting. You would be right to feel that way, and I get it. If this were any other year, it would have been a widely celebrated event, filled with love and excitement from the greater cycling community. In a lot of ways, it still was. But given that upside-down is the new normal, here we are.
The history of the Land Run is a sordid one, which you can read all about it our earlier Reportage from the 2018 event. This question comes up a lot these days: if we know better, are we supposed to do better? While local vernacular influences the discussion, the Land Run wasn’t exactly something you want to build a community upon in the modern age. There is a much larger discussion to be had about this and the Land Run founder Bobby Wintle did such a great job on the official announcement, that I’d prefer to let him explain it below.