Sunday, June 1, 2008

Weird attitudes

Some of the attitudes I get from fellow cyclists are weirder than the ones I get from people who don't own bikes.

A woman at work who is a triathlete (which I guess is almost like a cyclist) generally drives to work. I asked her last week where her bike was, as a way of saying she should ride to work, and the response was "In my garage, where it belongs!"

She didn't think it made sense when I told her the bike should be inside the air-conditioned portion of her house at the very least...though mine was locked up out front at the time.

Friday she rode to work (I did not, as I had a mountain bike group ride half an hour after work), and some bike stuff was discussed.

I had my Chrome Ranchero on the floor next to my desk, and she commented that that was more than she could ever conceive of wanting to carry on a bike. I had it with me so I could change into my biking clothes after work. I don't think it represents an unreasonable amount of stuff, though.

I mentioned biking to the grocery store with the Burley trailer...and her comments led one to believe that people who would own a bike trailer are mentally defective.

I mentioned that the fenders on my touring bike are nice when it rains, and she rolled her eyes and made a similar comment regarding fenders... Maybe I should have brought up my barend shifters next, eh?

I understand the desire to want to go fast and use bikes as a fitness tool, but they are so much more than that. Having the lightest parts or the newest tech doesn't do you a bit of good if it breaks while you're on the way to work.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge nerd...I love the idea of new and better stuff. I just don't like the idea of new and flimsier stuff. I have a Garmin GPS on my handlebars. I ride clipless pedals instead of toe straps. But I ride a leather Brooks saddle. I have a rear rack. I have lights all over the bike, including one with a 3 pound battery. I wear baggy shorts. I prefer wool. Oh yes, the bike is steel.

I guess I just think it's weird that "real" cyclists seem to frown on utility cycling, as if it's somehow below them. To me, that would really be the ultimate goal of cycling...screw racing, bikes should be about usefulness. It seems like the industry finally stopped being dominated entirely by racing in the past couple years. Now we have cargo bikes, commuting bikes are making an appearance...these are all good things. One can even spot the change in mountain bikes...long travel "all mountain" rigs are the biggest sellers, but those aren't generally used in racing.

Somehow I won't be surprised if in a very few years I am spotted riding a recumbent trike around town while wearing a big bushy beard (those are required for proper recumbent riding, I believe).

Here are my two on-road bikes, guess which one gets the most mileage?

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