Friday, October 28, 2005

Fundamental Issues

gundog99 said...

"Hey, just came across your blog. This post called me to comment. You're right about cycling being deceptively accessible. Except for the elitist snobs, and the consumerist industry culture. It becomes all too easy to buy into the lie of purchasing a new bike every other season. Manufacturers are building disposable bikes and components. And riders seem all too eager to eat it up. Getting the lightest this and the smoothest that. But then if you go against it, you become branded retro, or extremist. I'm not against buying new stuff, but I'm against riders blindfully lusting (and purchasing) new stuff just cause it's "new."

I don't know what my point is with this, other than you seem to be speaking about topics that are similer to thoughts and ideas I, myself am working through."

These points can't be made often enough. As people gradually find this blog, here or on, their comments indicate that cycling extends far beyond the marketed and publicized world of the popular cycling media.

Some people are more obsessed, more religiously fervent about riding than the mainstream media. Others are less obsessed. Both camps seem equally turned off by the force-feed of advertising and promotion that presents itself as the complete view of the activity. I say activity rather than sport, because for many of us it goes far beyond mere sport. I decline to use the term "lifestyle," because that trivializes it as an affectiation.

Cycling can simply be an integral part of an active, happy life. Take it as far as you want to go, in whatever direction. Change directions as you wish. The Industry will try to label and pigeonhole you, because it makes you easier to target for ads. Just keep moving. They can't hit you.

The downside is that when you do come into the shop, what you like may no longer be made, and the item intended to fill that need may not work with the rest of your stuff. That's when you have to decide whether the change reflects true improvement or just an annoying piece of industrial attention deficit disorder.

Just keep riding. The better you get at it, and at a bit of mechanical tinkering, the more you can be sure that, one way or another, you will always have something to ride.

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