This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hoorah to the spandex hamster

     I get a little flak now and then from people who think I do nothing but throw mud at the spandex and carbon fiber crowd.  I don't mean to, they are no more crazy than the V&C people who stress over the proper location of tire labels relative to valve stems relative to quick release levers and having all that in proper symmetrical balance to the crank angle for some self-ingratiating photo op.

More people are riding and it's all good.
     Racing has helped locate new enthusiasts, but the preoccupation people have with competition in this country blinds them to the other facets of the sport.  In fact many don't even consider other areas to be sport.  Club rides are really make believe races, charity rides arrange for chip timing to make sure you can prove you beat somebody.  God forbid you got any satisfaction from raising money for a children's hospital.   Recently I was talking to a Sheriff's deputy about cycling and during our conversation he asked me what team I was with.  When I told him I didn't race, he looked genuinely confused.  Can't blame him.  Nearly every cyclist he sees is dressed like a superhero riding like they are attacking the Alps of Suez or something.  For me the fun of slipping through the city streets to go to work, or the meditative process of traveling all day through a new area of countryside for a weekend at the beach are the real joys.
  The ocean liner is slowly turning and you see more people traveling and commuting by bike.  

This morning as I had my first cup of coffee, I sat on the balcony of my apartment and counted 6 bikers fully geared up with lights and bags riding past in the bike lanes.  Not bad for one cup of coffee.  I have counted as many as 20 bike references during a 1/2 hour of network television, few racing, most were urban transportation scenes.  The bike companies are gearing up for more hybrid/commuter sales but I think it will be a slow turn to get where they are going.

The spandex hamsters will be the first converts.  They will start riding more for general transportation long before people abandon their cars cold turkey.  Right now only 5% of the people in this country ride bikes for transportation.  If the number increased by 1% a year over the next few years, I would be surprised, but that would also mean 300 new bikers on the road also 300 cars removed each year.  It would be quite a boom.
    If drivers see neat looking bikes with normal looking people riding them

they may begin to consider it themselves.  The bike has become bling.  It needs to move from the rack on top of the Mercedes to support the butt of the commuter.

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