Along with a massive boom in new cyclists here in Greece, mostly due to the economy, is the latest in cycling trends... Posers! Even though there really is a serious financial situation which has left 50% of the young people without work, the latest emerging trend is people spending ridiculous amounts of money on cycling gear, dressing up like Lance and joyriding on promenade sidewalks for a couple of miles each weekend!
A week ago, a younger couple living across the street were loading up two spanking new Specialized road bikes (carbon of course!) onto their BMW X5 suv. Both were dressed in spandex tights with local team logos and looked to be in fit shape, so I thought that they were probably semi-pro or pro riders heading out to practice. Trying to be a polite neighbor, I nodded at them, and received a indifferent look from the guy who went on looking over my bike with a sarcastic expression.
Not giving any other thought, I headed out for work which takes me through a small marina 2 kilometers from home, where I thought I saw the X5 parked. Again this morning the same thing, both were loading their bikes on the car, in full race gear, and again my route was through the marina's parking and there they were again, unloading their bikes!
I couldn't resist, and went up to the woman and said hello, and that I was their neighbor, and we started a conversation and she went ahead and told me that this was their ritual every weekend or holiday (it's Good Friday here in Greece, a partial holiday) where they would load up their bikes and drive a full 2km! to unload them and ride around for 30 minutes in the marina and the promenade sidewalk!!!
Looking around the parking lot, I counted over 30% of the cars having bike racks, and were probably living within 5 kilometers of the marina itself! This along with paying some close attention to the cyclists around me which were mostly riding expensive bikes, around and around at jogging speeds, stopping often to gulp up some energy drink they had just purchased in the marina's kiosk opened my eyes to this new emerging trend!
The only thing I look forward to, is the availability of good quality used bikes when all these posers get tired of the load/drive/unload ritual and start selling their equipment for peanuts. Other than that, it really is saddening to see cyclist who really do cycle daily to work and can't afford a descent bike because of the economy.
P.S. Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to get it out of my system!
P.S.S. I'll snap of few photos of some of these posers for your amusement!