In the latest edition of Mountain Bike, the staff issues a six-paragraph apology in a sidebar titled “All Apologies: Good Reviews for Terrible Products? Yeah, It Happens.” Here’s what I think:
Dear Mountain Bike.
I realize your apology is tongue-in-cheek. But seriously, there isn’t a magazine out there that hasn’t done the same. We now have the luxury of looking back at the Biopace chainring, the hydraulic rim brake, the Manitou EFC and the Pro-Flex bikes and smugly, sagely saying they suck.
But they didn’t back then.
Tell me, how much fun did we all have on these products that “suck”? A whole boatload, yeah? So, then, did they really suck?
Nope. They were the absolute best of what we had. They took us incredible places. They -in their anodized purple glory- let us express ourselves. And they spawned innovation after innovation.
So don’t apologize, even in jest. The only thing you should possibly apologize for is a line in the last paragraph: “The products on these pages are guaranteed to make you ride better, and will surely stand the test of time.”
Haven’t you learned anything, Mountain Bike? At some point, those words are going to come back to make a monkey of you.