Friday, December 19, 2008

Heroes in knickers; villains in lycra

Sourced already excerpted from alternet, this piece looks at the new urban cycling culture and contrasts it (look near the bottom of page 3) with those lycra-clad, suburban sellouts on pricey lightweight bikes. Those vermin; why they're often seen on bikes with multiple gears. 

I agree with many of the points the writer makes, but why must such accepting, no-one-needs-to-win men and women nevertheless point accusing fingers at the traditional standard-bearers of cycling? Roadies WERE cycling - for 60 years. Buying an old bike part? Some roadie owned it first. Love cycling? Two years ago, when you couldn't spell COG, roadies kept cycling alive.

Reachin' out for inspiration to old Bakersfield roadie Merle Haggard:

If you're runnin' down road cyclists, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

Pretty easy, I'd say, to find fault with folks with a different approach to the symbols you've chosen to represent you as you ride through life - opposite traffic on one-way streets. It's especially easy if you have no historical perspective, no long view, and no interest in acquiring it. Having limited knowledge facilitates feeling cocksure of your and your buddies' prejudices. Works for crackers...


philcycles said...

Welcome to rebellion 2008 style. Since you need to be against something to rebel they're against "traditional" lycra clad road bikers. And you thought we were the rebels. More fool you. And me.
Phil Brown

Dan Brekke said...

Oh, well. They'll get it. Someday.

(A couple of months ago, I happened upon a BIG crowd of cyclists one evening who had converged on the Victoria Theatre in S.F.'s Mission District. I was in work attire, on my way to BART. I did note that virtually every one of the hundreds of bikes on view on the block were fixies. I saw a young man and woman taking pictures. I asked what was going on, and they seemed to regard me with a little suspicion until they realized I was actually interested what the crowd was out there for (answer: to see a new documentary on urban fixed-gear riding, and way, way more people had shown up than could possibly fit in the theater). Why the initial coolness? This could be my own thought bubble, not theirs, but it seemed like they were expecting some codgerly disapproval; and at the point they realized I was genuinely curious about the whole proceeding, they warmed up.

More than enough said.

Khal said...

The Alternet author himself seems to believe in the white vs. black "neo-Christian" view of the world as he casts negative aspersions onto roadies as well as their capitalist fellow-travelers. Be saved, my bretheren: ride a beater fixie.

Well, maybe. Seems a rehash of the sixties counter-culture movement. That's fine, I suppose. To each his own politics.

We have one of those counter culture spots in Santa Fe: The Chainbreaker Collective. I like it, support it, and make a point to scavenge anything I can find, from spare parts to rescued bicycles, and toss it all in the back of my death-dealing Detroit gasoline machine to take down to their storefront.

Apocalyptic future? I sense a time when we are either going to have to get off our asses and develop post-fossil fuel economies or face a disastrous socioeconomic downturn, as in Collapse by Jared Diamond. This will occur when the keystone, i.e., cheap fossil energy, gets pulled out of the edifice and we are not prepared to replace it.

Maybe I'm not as pessimistic about technology as these folks, though.

Khal "a covert operator of the capitalistic conspiracy" Spencer

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