Show #550 – April 10, 2021

Guests: Tim Jackson; Max Pratt

This week’s show started out a lot differently from the way it has ended up.

We do have a fabulous conversation with Max Pratt, a young and very talented frame designer/builder from Providence, RI. And, I think you’ll find his perspective about frame building and the other projects he supports refreshing and somewhat unusual.

By chance, I was looking at the list of exhibitors from the N.E. Builder’s Ball from 2020. Of course, the event had to be postponed due to the pandemic, but I decided to check into a few of the builders who were new to me and saw Pratt Frameworks.

Of course, I clicked on the link and really liked what I saw. Of course the bikes are lovely, but it’s the other things that Max Pratt, who calls himself a frame designer rather than a frame builder, is not only saying but what he is doing that made it so compelling.

And, there was another very interesting and pertinent topic I was ready to offer up and went ahead with a great conversation about that too. It’s all about climate and carbon emissions and what business and industry is doing along those fronts.

But, I’ve bumped that piece until next week, and here’s why.

Much more urgent news has made headlines – specifically Arkansas and the laws that are and will continue to affect transgender athletes as well as young people who are, as Molly Cameron put in her piece in Bicycling Magazine this week, ” navigating identity and just trying to be themselves in a state that clearly does not care about them.”

To discuss all the ramifications of what is happening in Arkansas, especially as it pertains to the UCI and USAC, the World Championship CX races, and the threats of boycotts, we talk with Tim Jackson whose editorial in Bicycle Retailer, The Industry Has An Arkansas Problem, tried to make the case for pulling the USAC and UCI World CX Championships out of Fayetteville in 2022.

We know that the Walton Family and the Visit Bentonville, Arkansas organizations have invested heavily in making Arkansas a welcoming place for bicycling with a deep and honest commitment to mountain biking.

But, in the wake of new laws targeting the LBGTQ+ community and especially transgender youth, Visit Bentonville’s president Kalene Griffith was only willing to offer a one-line comment about the controversy of the new laws stating: “”We’re committed to inclusive trail and visitor experiences in our city and welcome everyone to Visit Bentonville.”

The Walton Foundation’s Tom Walton, issued a written statement on April 6th that begins: “We are alarmed by the string of policy targeting LGBTQ people in Arkansas. This trend is harmful and sends the wrong message to those willing to invest in or visit our state.

But, do the Walton Foundation and the Chambers of Commerce have any clout that might move the legislature toward rescinding these draconian laws?
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