(They're asking $28,000,000 so I lowballed them by offering $27,999,999.99.)
However, just as I submitted the offer, I took a closer look at the picture, and that's when I noticed it:
"Fuck me!," I exclaimed. "How am I going to get from my new home to the street?"
Road bike? Nope. I could die!
Cyclocross bike? I don't think so. I'd have to get the landscapers to put course tape along the driveway and set up a pit for my spare bike, which would totally fuck up my topiary.
Mountain bike? In the Hamptons??? Are you crazy!?! I'd be ostracized! They'd banish me to Quogue.
And certainly walking is out of the question, since I'd scuff my $450 Rapha Grand Tour Shoes made from 100% yak scranus:
(Rapha's yak scranus shoes grow inexplicably larger when you ride by attractive female yaks.)
"Well, how do you like that?" I concluded. "Looks like I do need a gravel bike."
So I set about shopping for a gravel bike to ride from my front door to the curb, at which point I'd switch to my titanium/crabon/953 Serotta, and in so doing I tried to figure out what the difference is between the current crop of "gravel bikes" and the cyclocross frame Nashbar's been selling for like ten years now:
As far as I can tell, the answer is "nothing." If only there were some way to use "tools" to "attach" various hand-picked "parts" to a "frame" like this, it's almost as though you could "curate" some sort of "graveling bike" all by "yourself."
Of course, even if you were to do the unthinkable and customize a bike for the type of riding you do by using widely available frames and components, you'd still need some guidance. Here's an article that endeavors to define the "gravel race bike:"
Basically, it's a bike with a longer wheelbase and slack geometry:
“The Warbird, compared to a typical cross bike, is designed to be ridden for hours, or even days if you consider the Trans-Iowa," Mallen said. "Because of this, we designed the bike around stability and endurance. Meaning it has a longer wheelbase and slightly slacker head tube angles to give you a stable, at home feel. Slightly taller head tubes also help you find the proper fit for riding 100 to 200 miles of gravel roads in a day."
Or it's a bike with a short wheelbase and quick handling:
When asked what his ideal gravel race bike would look like, Hughes had the following list of requirements: “I would want the bike to be light and stiff, have a short wheelbase for fast handling, and the ability to run a fat-ish tire, with clearance for mud on top of that. I don't need rack or fender braze-ons. The bike I rode this year was pretty much the same bike I would've designed from the ground up if I had the chance.”
But most importantly, it's basically just a cyclocross bike:
Which is crazy talk, because everybody knows you're not allowed to use a bike for two things.
That's why I love magazines like "Outside," which dare to answer vital questions like, "How do I know whether or not I need the bike I didn't know existed until four minutes ago--and more importantly which one should I buy?!?"
By the way, the title of the article is rhetorical, and the answer is, "Yes, you need a gravel bike, because if you don't get one and you attempt to ride on gravel you are going to die."
Anyway, at this point I've decided that the primary difference between a gravel bike and a cyclocross bike is that you don't need to shoulder a gravel bike. In fact, I'd recommend buying one of these gravel bikes as soon as possible, because it's only a matter of time before manufacturers start equipping them with razor-sharp top tubes just in case you get any bright ideas about using them for cyclocross.
Think of it as an anti-portaging "lawyer lip."
Oh, also, don't confuse your stable, relaxed, go-anywhere, all-day-comfort gravel bike that is inspired by gravel racing with your stable, relaxed, go-anywhere, all-day-comfort "endurance road bike" that is inspired by the Classics--you know, your Specialized Roubaixes or your Trek Domanes or the like:
See, one's designed for this:
And one's designed for this:
And if you attempt to use a bike designed for cobbles on gravel or vice versa then that will void your warranty and you will die!
And don't even think about using either of them in a cyclocross race, because the razor-sharp anti-portaging lawyer lip will slice your arm off on the first run-up:
(Naughty bicycle consumer attempts to shoulder his gravel bike.)
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Hey, what happened to 'monstercross?' I thought that was the future of go-anywhere bikes:"
Oh, please. What is this, 2007? It's a well-known fact that 95% of the riders who ordered custom monstercross bikes turned them around immediately on eBay upon taking delivery and then used the proceeds to fund purchases of much more au courant bikes like "gravel bikes" and "fat bikes."
Do not attempt to ride your hideously outdated monstercross bike in the conditions shown above or you will die.
As for the more urbane among us, we'll stick to our timeless "aero folders:"
Dual disc wheels can shave precious seconds off your fold, which is why he's totally beating the guy in the turban.
Wonder how it handles on gravel...