Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4th and all's well...

I breezed through a little medical procedure yesterday, a routine preventative exam, but the preparation for it absorbed my attention for a day or so. Thus no new posts. Ah, but today...

Sunday before last, at our group ride breakfast, the owner of the organizing shop told a story about selling a fixed-gear bicycle to a new rider. The young woman had sold her car and decided to live on two wheels. She told him she already owned a bicycle helmet. She did not buy bicycle lights as he suggested. Scott feared that she was not interested in the use of either.

He feels there's a good chance that she'll take the brakes off the bike and ride brakeless and helmetless. She'll probably roll through stop signs and lights and brush by peds on sidewalks.

It's the style, after all.

He felt that if he did not sell her the bike she wanted, she'd simply go elsewhere and buy it. He also remembers her from the 'hood, having seen her several times entering or exiting a local bar.

I wrote a short piece about his experience and sent it to the bicycle trade paper, where it seems no one so much as read it. Certainly no one indicated that they'd read it.

I sent it to VeloNews. After a week, the editor asked me if I'd like to participate via that story in a point-counterpoint confrontation for VN's new Soapbox section (I think that's what they'll call it). I agreed and rewrote the piece slightly to position it so VN's editor has something to counter.

I think the topic will be something like "Are Urban Fixie Riders Good for Cycling?" Will they bring more motorist hostility down on us? Will they eventually become mainstream cyclists? Or are they only here to set a bad example?

It's exciting that VeloNews, a fine racing publication that has ignored utility cycling forever, is sticking an editorial toe in the water. Maybe more racers and racing fans are thinking about using bikes for transportation. Whatever their motivation, it's a super development.

If you recall, I told you that I was through with writing for cycling magazines. I'm reminded of the line that goes something like: Just when I think I've got out, they keep pulling me back.

I think that'll be cliches enough for today.

Thanks for your patience. More soon, very probably.

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