So read a No Fear T-shirt I had once. I had a few along the lines of “Second place is first loser”, “If you aren’t living on the edge, then you’re taking up too much space” and “Fear: Just do without it”. What happened to T-shirts like that? Did they go out of fashion? According to Eric Saxon in the Stanford Chapparel, the No Fear T-shirt phenomenon is:
“…an example of consumer fetishism at its most extreme. Here, the messages gradually degenerate from their competitive beast origins to reveal the true insecurities and fears of the human beings behind the coverings. The last words of Know Fear suggest that only through acknowledgement of fears and insecurities, which are natural, is the danger of fear ameliorated. Repression and denial of fear by projection of strength elevates fearâ€™s presence in the subconcious. Mostly, however, itâ€™s a convenient play on words.”
That motocross attitude certainly had a lot of appeal in the 90s and propelled the brand on to the high street, where (perhaps inevitably) it lost a lot of the credibility with ‘the kids’ that it had built up. It’s decline was from the roots. Brands like Xtreme and Fox never seemed to be quite so boistrous and seem to be much more focused on their core target markets. These days you can even get a No Fear Pickup – they’ve changed a lot from their early days and the new logo is crap compared to the old one.
Back to bikes. The Trans-Rockies is over and as I write the Trans-Wales is in full swing with Benji and Coogle flying the flag for the mag. Then there’s the Trans-Himalayas and the original Trans-Alp. That’s a whole lot of races with descriptive, but not particularly adveturous names. I mean Wilderness 101. That’s an ace name for a race. Even the Leadville 100 sounds cool even if the name isn’t that exciting, so how about the Welsh Death March or the Rocky Mountains Killer?
Talking of such things you can read all about a little ride across Wales in the latest issue of Singletrack (Issue 30). It’s the write up of our May lasagne and Welsh beer sampling mission.