“Stupid question but…”
It seems like that’s how most of my chat messages to Gerow start out. In addition to being an incredibly creative and talented writer and photographer, he easily knows more about working on bikes than the rest of the Singletracks staff combined. Whenever anyone has a question about how something is supposed to work, or why it just doesn’t seem to fit together, Gerow has the answer. It’s just one of the many things we’ll miss about having him around.
Despite knowing so much about bikes, Gerow is incredibly curious to learn even more. In fact he recently told me his favorite stories over the past few years writing for Singletracks have been deep dives into how stuff works, from how disc brake pads retract to how tires grip and what’s going on inside our forks and shocks. His articles and interviews scratched a personal itch to learn more, and as readers we got to tag along for the ride and came out knowing much more than when we all started.
Of course nerding out about tech can get a little dry if the writer isn’t careful, and that’s especially true of product reviews where the goal is to clearly and succinctly lay out a list of pros and cons. Still, Gerow always found a creative way to keep readers on their toes thanks to some truly artful intros. Try to guess what this product review is about, based on the first two sentences:
“Some fruit falls from its towering parent with a supple ripeness, bruising and splitting asunder on its way to the forest floor. The luckiest woodland creatures feast on fermented flesh for an autumnal euphoria.”
Answer: a Teravail tire review, of course. Here’s a slightly easier one:
“How many crowns does one princess need?”
The clue is the word crowns; it’s a review of an Öhilins fork.
This intro from a review of the steel Cotic Jeht is among my personal favorites:
“Beyond the smooth and forgiving ride feel, and the fork-stanchion-sized tubes, there’s something special about steel bikes. Like well-roasted coffee or a balanced bottle of wine, they can catch your fancy in a way that other materials don’t.”
Beyond tech and product reviews, some of Gerow’s best work, and the work he’s most proud of, involves sharing other mountain bikers’ stories. He tells me he’s especially proud of this interview with Blake Hansen and more recently, his interview with Brooke Goudy.
Gerow shared some pretty great stories of his own as well, including this one about a ride that could have ended up much worse than it thankfully did. And the closing paragraph in this story about memories of a favorite trail while living far, far away is incredibly insightful and deep.
In addition to being an excellent writer, Gerow also managed to take rolls of beautiful photographs for Singletracks, from product stills to racy action shots. At the 2021 World Champs in Val di Sole he wasn’t able to snag a photo vest which meant shooting outside the tape for the entire event. Betcha can’t even tell.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when Gerow started working for Singletracks. I was a lone staff writer when he came on full-time. He was from the States, living in Italy, and seemed to see almost everything in a different lens than I did.
But it was kind of like gaining a work sibling; someone to commiserate with when we were in the trenches of press releases, gear reviews, and interviews. Not only did I learn from his well-rounded shop knowledge, but also his toss-out-the-rules approach to news and the world at large.
I appreciate Gerow’s commitment to social justice, creativity, and making the bike industry more approachable. It will be odd to miss someone that I haven’t met in person, but I’ll miss you!Matt
Today is Gerow’s last day before he moves into a marketing role at Evil Bikes in Bellingham and he’ll truly be missed among our staff, freelancer writers, and readers alike. Best of luck Gerow, we can’t wait to see all the weird and wonderful things you’ll create next!