Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rapha vs the SUV: two sides, same coin?

I got this comment from Anonymous to my "biking pants" post:

Better a few folks riding to work in $200+ "biking pants" than using hulking SUV's that burn up $200 worth of hydrocarbons in a week!

My first thought was, Is it the riding pants that got them on those bikes? Is the Rapha buying impulse the same impulse that spirited them to the car store to buy the SUV they've parked, at least temporarily?

Do extraordinarily expensive, stunningly dorky trousers make it hip 'n' happenin' to ride - unlike Lycra or denim?

We remember, many of us, when cycling clothing was dorkier than green service-station attendant jackets with a name patch over one pocket.... We didn't buy that stuff because it was dorky. We bought it despite its utter lack of style.

I'm pleased that these garments are covering the cadaverous white nakedness of these folks as they ride their retro-style velocipedes, but I have to wonder.... Would I like any of them? No, not the velocipides or the garments; I don't care about either. I mean the folks. Do you know any?


Anonymous said...

Who has to like them? Better these jerks burn carbohydrates on their rides to work instead of hydrocarbons! I see two choices a)status quo: American cyclists a tiny minority getting no respect from lawmakers, motorists, etc. b)large numbers of our fellow 'Muricans take up cycling to get to work which could mean more respect, more bike trails/lanes/parking, etc.
As with any activity, double the participants and the "a-hole factor" doesn't double, it goes up by a factor of ten! Which means a lot of those former SUV pilots might just pony up for the $200"biking pants" just as they bought special "Eddie Bauer" Ford Explorers. I'd rather have 'em on bicycles impacting our environment far less -- even if they have to do so in overpriced clothing.

Khal said...

I look at 200 buck Rapha pants the same way I look at 250 buck Assos jerseys--extravagant and unnecessary. But who cares?

My main question is what do these things smell like when you ride five or ten miles to work and then do the desk pilot gig for another eight to ten? Is little Miss Marvelous going to want to bed down with you when your work trousers smell like one of my old pairs of Protogs wool bike shorts (with natural chamois) after a day in the saddle?

Enquiring minds want to know...