When I wrote for the local newspaper in Indianapolis, I covered cultural events, music reviews, and all things cycling. I was writing about cyclocross before it was the equivalent in popularity to the weekly suburban 5K. I dabbled in new bike infrastructure projects, and how the community reacted to them. But the coolest thing I did, was visiting the Zipp factory to sit in on NUVO/Bissell team meetings. Upon entry I had to surrender my phone and agree to not write or speak of any technology witnessed. When the team got new equipment, it was like every kid on Christmas morning. Zipp was the best: the top of the line.
This October I took a job as Content Manager at People For Bikes. I don’t like the term “dream-job,” but this one is, for me. With the job, I’ve been told, comes permission (and help) getting the best bike equipment available. I’ve known a lot of people throughout my life who have spent a lot of money on things they don’t end up using. As a kid I always thought it would be so cool to have a pool in our backyard. We moved around a lot, and a few times my parents considered buying houses with pools. My mother would always say, “You think you’ll swim every day, but you won’t.” And I always thought, “No, I actually would.” I think I’ve maintained that state of mind. If I invest in something, I will use the hell out of it. So I ordered Zipp wheels. Next year, I’ll be riding the 141-mile version of the new Steamboat Springs Gravel Race. It’s already technically sold out, but I hear they’re trying to talk some more women into it. Two weeks later, I’ll be riding Rebecca’s Private Idaho, which is trying for 50% women this year. Needless to say, I’ll be using my Zipp 202 NSWs on my gravel bike.
After 4 or 5 rides, including some sand, a lot of gravel, dirt, snow, and steep roads, I’m super pleased with the wheels. Five miles in and I wasn’t convinced that they were sensationally different from any other carbon wheels I’ve ever been on, but when I was climbing dirt, it was insane. They stick to the ground and offer such light stability. I’m running tubeless, and even on pavement they feel great. I’ve also ridden them in some pretty serious wind, and unlike most carbon wheels, they aren’t terrifying. It’s like they defuse the wind. I can’t wait to see what these bad boys can really do. One thing is for sure, I will get my money’s worth.