My sole mode of personal transportation is my bicycle. I've never driven a car and I'm quite proud of it.
This blog is my place to rant and rave about cycling issues as I see them.
This is not a place for critics of integrated cycling - that conversation is over - segregation has no future - studies show it is not a safe or useful strategy, nor is it a healthy philosophy.
Makes sense to me. Actually, it helps explain why some of the folks that piss you off also piss me off.
PS. Great blog. I just discovered you via a comment at http://isocrates.us/bike/
What unsettles me, aside from the continued efforts to divide bicycling along political lines, is that I suspect you are right about that top picture--these guys, statistically speaking, probably drive the SUV to work (if they were Yanks) and save the fancy trappings of lycra and carbon fiber for weekend playtime, thus ensuring those bicycles functionally emit as much CO2 as any car since they probably ride on top of one. I'd be less unsettled if they were sitting around that table in fancy kit on the bike to work day that we are planning at my employer. But I digress. Perhaps we are reading our own political demons into these photos.Back in graduate school, none of us had much money, some had their own car, but those of us who biked as more than simple transportation somehow found the means to scrape together enough shekels for one decent road bike and a couple sets of togs, which were wool back in the day. We rode for fun, not to show off our social status. I am sure that is true today for many riders (perhaps the guy in the second photo) and frankly, I wish there was a more powerful alternate universe to the Buycycling mentality aimed at those who just like to ride their bikes rather than aimed at marketing the latest and greatest meaningless gadget. Thanks for making us think, Mr. Cooper. I too found you from Andy Cline's blog.
I'm told that these folks are "bike shop mechanics, framebuilders, racers who support themselves by working days in coffee shops, teachers, anything really".So maybe there's an interesting disconnect between what the image suggests to me and the reality. Or is there? I am a picture framer by trade, which puts me squarely in the $12/hour or less bracket. Yet that's not the whole story. My wife makes a very good salary in the investment field, and we pool our resources, so I am by no means operating at the level of 'barely meeting a living wage' that my trade might suggest. Do these folks have similar complexities in their lives that sets them outside of the stereotype of the overworked and underpaid bike mechanic? Or are they all scrimping and saving to afford the gear and getting a bum rap from me?Images can be deceptive and there's always layers of complexity in any story that can turn one's view of it around.Still, I can't get over the fact that, even given the assurance that these guys are not the latte-sipping yuppies that I assumed, something about the overwhelming amount of bike gear bothers me. Maybe it's more what I said earlier - about the difficulty of getting past "the thousands of dollars of equipment on display... to the place where I can appreciate the simple freedom and enjoyment that [I think] cycling should encompass."