Sunday, December 30, 2007

As you'll note...

I just received a comment by Geoffrey to my Be My Guest post. As I've said before, I'm proud of the comments my posts generate. For years in print magazines, I would provoke readers to write to editors only when I failed to show proper respect for iconic items or brands.

I got mail if I had the gall to urinate in print on a sacred cow, Harley-Davidson, Campagnolo or anything from the '70s, serviceable or useless. Bicycle guys were worse about this than motorcycle guys. I never heard from women readers about gear, only true-believer guys.

It was as if I were Salman Rushdie and my readers were devout Muslims. If I wrote that any cheap Euro bicycle part from the bellbottom era was less than Leica-like, I got death threats.

It was as if none of my readers understood that reasonable folks can disagree.

No one believed that after having been riding then and observing the Golden Age, the 1970s, I might have developed opinions on bikes and parts and cultures, opinions that editors pay me to express in 1,000-word chunks, monthly for twenty-odd years.

Ah, but when I write about bicycles or motorcycles in traffic, I get amazing, literate letters from thoughtful men and women. Even when I walk where the "we're all in this traffic thing together" ice is cracking around my feet, no one calls me crazy or misguided. I get great mail.

I believe that many of the readers of my blog (certainly those who care more about our place on the transportation food chain than the tensile strength of their drive chains) actually ride their bikes, both motorcycles and bicycles.

I thank them for that and for the wonderful comments. Especially, this morning, Geoffrey.

1 comment:

Dwight said...

Just in case you feel that you're shouting into the wind like a Who down in Who-ville:
I've been riding a bicycle to work fairly regularly (198 days this year) for nearly twenty years - pretty much ever since I got the message that the cyclists making a difference are those who are riding instead of driving; the others are just going around in circles. That message came in a column at the back page of VeloNews, written by Maynard Hershon.
Maynard, Thank You for making a Difference