Skimming through the November 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer, I saw a picture of the Specialized entourage riding to Interbike from their corporate headquarters. The caption said that, as a statement about global warming and cycling, they decided to travel that way, taking five days.
Not one bike had panniers. All their gear was carried in an SUV driving sag behind them.
When I pointed this out to a friend of mine, he said, "all those guys wouldn't have fit in that one SUV, so they saved something."
True, but they also took five days to make a trip that by commercial carriers would have taken a matter of hours.
Cycling isn't the most practical mode for most long hauls. Yet people trying to "make a statement" make their play for attention by taking long trips. The act draws publicity, but the excuse not to emulate it is built into it by its own grandiose nature. Most people can't break away for five days to ride a trip that would take hours by commonly accessible means. And most people don't have a vehicle and driver available to carry all their crap for them.
"Sorry," says the observing public. "Keep up the good work, but cycling just won't work for me."
No big deal. Just another meaningless gesture. But at least they got a ride out of it.