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Grant Petersen on NPR

Old 05-18-12, 05:55 AM
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Grant Petersen on NPR

Did anyone else catch his interview on 'Morning Edition' today?

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Old 05-18-12, 06:00 AM
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Yes, I heard it. I thought he talked pure sense. Really, I couldn't disagree with him on a single point. He didn't go into much by way of specifics, other than to recommend you wear regular clothes for biking, and that your bike should be able to carry some cargo.

I don't know how I feel about 'bike to work day' today. I somehow feel completely left out, since I bike to work every day! But I did see more bikes than usual, so that's a good thing.
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Old 05-18-12, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Yes, I heard it. I thought he talked pure sense. Really, I couldn't disagree with him on a single point. He didn't go into much by way of specifics, other than to recommend you wear regular clothes for biking, and that your bike should be able to carry some cargo.

I don't know how I feel about 'bike to work day' today. I somehow feel completely left out, since I bike to work every day! But I did see more bikes than usual, so that's a good thing.
He mostly sounded fine.

We are clogged with bicycles around here during the commute.

A goodly share of folks are riding bicycles that may be more suitable for a road race, but I couldn't care less.

They are riding versus driving and that's good enough for me.

Personally, I hate riding in work clothes.

I feel like a sweat bomb the whole day.
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Old 05-18-12, 06:21 AM
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Heard the interview and thought he came across as very well spoken and sensible. We need more people like him speaking on national media to promote bicycling. JMHO

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Old 05-18-12, 06:26 AM
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NPR rocks!
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Old 05-18-12, 06:33 AM
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^^^, +1, they are actively promoting the week here at WUWF, our NPR affiliate and where my membership is located.. We also have a local soft jazz station that has been publicizing National Bike week and Bike to Work Day. Good to here some positive things on the air.
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Old 05-18-12, 06:50 AM
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Oh boy! Grant Petersen. A ten-page thread!
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Old 05-18-12, 06:50 AM
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At least he had the sense to recommend carrying the suit to work instead of wearing it.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:00 AM
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"In his book, Petersen recommends that your bike be able to carry a heavy sweater — and a couple of pounds of broccoli, as well"

I don't let my bike's carrying capacity determine whether I ride it or not. My commuter bike doesn't have to be able to carry a couple of pounds of broccoli, etc. I can carry it. I like my bike to feel light. Also, I tend to commute at a brisk pace - not fun in work clothes.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
Personally, I hate riding in work clothes.

I feel like a sweat bomb the whole day.
Amen. I ride to work 10 miles, and I do it at a pretty quick pace. Why would I want to sit around in sweaty clothes for 8 hours?
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Old 05-18-12, 07:07 AM
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I'm new to this guy, just heard the interview. Sounds a bit strange, can someone school me on Mr. Peterson since he is speaking on national radio. Is he a good guy or a "fringe" type person.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:10 AM
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Well, I commute at a pretty brisk pace as well; but bicycling clothes just don't seem to work for me anyway. I ride centuries in regular clothes.

Nor does my commuter bike have luggage capacity, owing to the specific nature of my commute.

Those of us who are already in the habit of biking to work need not listen to him; his purpose today was to offer encouragement to people who would like to ride to work but hesitate because they think they don't have the equipment. That's where I agree with him: you don't need anything special to get started. Once you get comfortable biking to work, you may find you need to change some things. Until then, the priority is getting out there and riding.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:10 AM
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I thought the idea was to get a bike so you could wear spandex on a day to day basis.
Was it just a 3 min interview? Or was there more I missed?
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Old 05-18-12, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Well, I commute at a pretty brisk pace as well; but bicycling clothes just don't seem to work for me anyway. I ride centuries in regular clothes.
I wear spandex for my longer rides, It's just too hot here to wear cotton t shirts or shorts to ride longer distances. I commute in spandex since it dries out much faster.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
I'm new to this guy, just heard the interview. Sounds a bit strange, can someone school me on Mr. Peterson since he is speaking on national radio. Is he a good guy or a "fringe" type person.
heh heh. Boy, is that a loaded question. If you do a search on this forum you'll get all kinds of Grant Petersen hits. Some love him. Some hate him. I personally think he is OK, if a little weird around the "fringes". Check out his website. Rivendell Bike.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:24 AM
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His recommendation, when asked, of spending $300 on a new bike was just a tad disingenuous considering what he sells bikes for on his site. But the spirit of the comment was well-intentioned I think. You don't have to buy a four thousand dollar bike and wear Lycra clothing to ride bicycles.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:31 AM
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Listened to the interview on the 0800 replay and thought he was okay and sensible but thought as you said about the $400.00 bike being fine and what he sells bikes for his self. Some other things seemed two faced to me but not really bad. Meh.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
heh heh. Boy, is that a loaded question. If you do a search on this forum you'll get all kinds of Grant Petersen hits. Some love him. Some hate him. I personally think he is OK, if a little weird around the "fringes". Check out his website. Rivendell Bike.
Basically GP has strong opinions, which he sometimes might...exaggerate. Because of that, people have strong, sometimes exaggerated, opinions about him. A lot of what he writes is common sense and logical; his approach to touring bikes is cool and I like how he emphasizes weekend touring since only the uber wealthy and college kids can ever take 2 months off and do loaded touring. I like having a bike with racks and tire clearance. I think where GP gets into trouble - and where people get pissed - is that he tends to exaggerate attacks on other types of bikes. He REALLY hates CF, to the point of being a little irrational. His dislike of clipless pedals is, in my mind, silly. Larger gear ranges and more sprockets are a good thing and shift more smoothly. There's nothing evil about brifters.

Still - he promotes cycling the way a lot of us like it and he offers some beautiful bikes.

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Old 05-18-12, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for the citation. Now I'll go listen.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:37 AM
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Well said, Aaron!
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Old 05-18-12, 07:39 AM
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His point about bike racing culture is a good one. After all, hundreds of millions of people drive cars, but most of us don't aspire to be NASCAR or Formula One drivers.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
His point about bike racing culture is a good one. After all, hundreds of millions of people drive cars, but most of us don't aspire to be NASCAR or Formula One drivers.
If racing cars were affordable, and if you had a place where you could drive at high speeds, they'd sell plenty and there would be clubs dedicated to amateur auto racing. The difference is that even the most expensive bikes are attainable for the middle class if they REALLY want one.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:50 AM
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Again, very well put. To paraphrase, his advice is highly practical, but he voices it in an extremist tone. I almost don't blame him.

And his bikes are beautiful and well designed.
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Old 05-18-12, 07:58 AM
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if you missed it, listen here:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...grant-petersen
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Old 05-18-12, 08:02 AM
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The comparison between bikes and cars falls down when one considers the engine. If you want a faster car, more money will get you one with a more powerful engine; but money will not get you a more powerful engine for your bike. The only way to get that, alas, is to improve your physical condition. Money will, however, get you a lighter bike. If you want a more comfortable car, money will get you better seats and that kind of thing; similar things are also available for bikes, but they will tend to make the bike heavier and will not necessarily make you more comfortable.

My point is that by spending more money you can definitely improve your driving experience, but spending more money on a bike will not necessarily improve your cycling experience. Sure, a $2000 Rivendell is a nicer bike than the hypothetical $400 bike Grant mentions; but I don't believe the average non-rider would notice any difference at all and might, in fact, prefer the $400 one.
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