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Not to belabor this . . . . the bicycle market has changed remarkably little in some respects since before automobiles were even invented.

By many it is predicted that the bicycle of the future will be a radical departure from the wheel of today. As near perfect as the wheel of today may be, it is not so perfect that improvements cannot be made in it. This has been the invariable rule of mechanics, and the bicycle can hardly prove an exception. Stimulated by the demand of the public for something better, the manufacturers will endeavor to put an article on the market to meet the popular taste. As it seems at present, there is no need for any improvement, yet there are many who are demanding something unique and novel in the line of bicycle construction, and the manufacturers find it a lucrative investment to gratify the whims of this class.

The convoluted syntax was typical of newspapers in 1897, when this was published in the Washington Times -

I’m sure there is a market for gravel bikes, and that’s a good thing. But the root cause of the problem for bicycle manufacturers and sellers is not, I think, that the perfect new bike isn’t yet available for them to buy, but that cycling in general is regarded as a niche activity, so something like a gravel bike is a niche within a niche. We need a float-all-boats (or whatever the bicycle equivalent is) solution for bicycles in this society.

Here in Washington, I sense that the Capital Bikeshare program has had more positive impact on cycling support generally than anything. After the introduction and rapid grown of this effort, we started to get dedicated bike lanes and other traffic support, which in turn led to more commuter and other urban riding - and this should support a better market for all kinds of bikes.