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No more hippies and explorers

Old 04-12-16, 08:21 AM
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MightyLegnano
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No more hippies and explorers

One of the best reads I ve had this year. Surely, this is going to cause great controversy, but I agree 100%. What do you think?

No more hippies and explorers: a lament for the changed world of cycling | Tom Marriage | Environment | The Guardian
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Old 04-12-16, 08:25 AM
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I guess you see what you're looking for. The writer's view isn't the view I see.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:37 AM
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I hear the author, but don't agree with the "sucking the life out of" bit. I think the authors perspective is very limited, as from my vantage point in the USA where the vast open spaces and roads have cultured MTB, gravel biking, and adventure biking, I'm just not seeing any types of cycling getting squeezed out in favor of Rapha or whomever they want to blame. Except maybe track cycling, but that's due to urban neglect, not Rapha.

Maybe some aspects of cycling culture suck in the UK, but what a tiny place to a) be surprised, and b) extrapolate out to a generalized, golbal condition.

In short, it's not as bad as the author thinks. Or even bad at all...unless you just can't stand spandex clad A-types. There are more of them than ever.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I guess you see what you're looking for. The writer's view isn't the view I see.
Maybe it's a Michigan thing?!
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Old 04-12-16, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I guess you see what you're looking for. The writer's view isn't the view I see.
Well put. I ride for general transportation. I have a custom ti road bike that I ride for sport. I also do loaded touring, which these days is probably my favorite from of riding. I don't see the author's view at all. In particular, my strictly roadie friends don't look down on me. In fact, it's just the opposite. While at this point in my life I don't have the opportunity to take off for extended periods of time (between '99 and '01 I took two years off from the working world and did three extended trips including one of nearly 4 months), many of my roadie friends congratulate me on my week+ tours when I post trip reports to my club's listserve. Some say they wish they could do similar things.

Maybe the author should join Adventure Cycling Association so he can get their magazine. There are people out there doing the things he seems to think people seldom do any more.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:45 AM
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Any reduction in the number of hippies is a net positive for everyone except those who earn their living through the sale of marijuana, patchouli and hacky sacks.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Any reduction in the number of hippies is a net positive for everyone except those who earn their living through the sale of marijuana, patchouli and hacky sacks.
hahaha
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Old 04-12-16, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I hear the author, but don't agree with the "sucking the life out of" bit.
I completely agree with this.

A lot of personal perspective depends on where you live and ride. In the DC area, the quicker groups of club rides are riders with high end bikes, aero wheels, power meters, expensive shoes, etc. People can't wait to get home and look at Strada.

But there are also commuters with $100 beaters, families strolling along with kids on training wheels on the Mt Vernon MUP, Mtn bikers exploring trails in the woods, and even some funny looking bikes called recumbents.

I also travel a good bit and ride wherever. It's pretty much like this everywhere I see - you can find it all.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
I completely agree with this.

A lot of personal perspective depends on where you live and ride. In the DC area, the quicker groups of club rides are riders with high end bikes, aero wheels, power meters, expensive shoes, etc. People can't wait to get home and look at Strada.

But there are also commuters with $100 beaters, families strolling along with kids on training wheels on the Mt Vernon MUP, Mtn bikers exploring trails in the woods, and even some funny looking bikes called recumbents.

I also travel a good bit and ride wherever. It's pretty much like this everywhere I see - you can find it all.
The author basically says that corporations and marketing turn bicycle, the magical adventure machine, into a money sucking ego booster.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:58 AM
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Marriage is overrated... Guardian should be more discriminating...
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Old 04-12-16, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Maybe it's a Michigan thing?!
I have ridden the length of Michigan (various routes) for adventure several times. I start out in Columbus and end up near Mackinac at a little cabin I own. I do get the author's perspective however. On any weekend around Columbus, I see packs of racer wannabes with the latest equipment and kit and a faux air of superiority. To keep it real, I read "Adventure Cyclist."
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Old 04-12-16, 09:23 AM
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There's plenty of evidence here on BF, on the road, and at the LBS, but it's not totally invasive as suggested. Kinda like ants at a picnic.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:26 AM
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Marriage writes, "Third, it’s just another example of something lovely, free and non-corporate being turned into a mega industry. And that makes me sad. Can’t we have some things which don’t get packaged up, branded and marketed?"
Excuse me, but where has this bloke been the past 20 years? And when was cycling free? When his parents bought him a bike?

C'mon...this guy simply laments change; it's nothing to do with cycing specifically. I'd bet he just doesn't feel his life is all that great, and seeks to externalize his frustrations on whatever's at hand, be it bikes, successful people, or popular businesses.

None of which is to say that there aren't legit complaints to be made about social and economic shifts; there absolutely are. But, cycling cannot be cordoned off from greater trends and blamed for what he thinks it has become. Even were Marriage's perspective more comprehensive, it wouldn't be right to consider cycling in a vacuum where Rapha is evil and Brooks saddles only cost £40 for unknown reasons.

Reading to understand the author, the article is characterized by myopia, resentment, nostalgia, and loneliness.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:59 AM
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I do what I want, and don't pay much attention to what others do. I don't feel the need to explain to people who have been riding 40+ years in jean shorts and t-shirts that I like jerseys for the back pockets and moisture wicking materials, and I don't feel the need to explain to kitted out guys who look like they belong to a pro race team that I've never enjoyed spandex shorts with padding, far preferring just black gym or khaki cargo shorts. I'm glad for the old couple at the LBS the other day walking out with $1300 mountain bikes as their first bikes they ever ridden since they were kids, I like my 35# 38 year old Le Tour that cost me $27.

People need to do what makes them happy, and worry less about what others do. Unless, of course, what you enjoy is competing with everyone else's equipment

As to the article, it reads of the emo 20-something complaining that their favorite band got too mainstream and corporate, and how they liked them first before everyone jumped on the bandwagon and ruined it.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:04 AM
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I totally agree with the author. BikeSnobNYC calls them Nu-Freds. Cycling IS the new golf. Unfortunately, that's means an influx of the golf types and their end justifies the means, shi flows downhill, you are what you buy mentality. Fat old guys on CF bikes in Rapha, my favorite victims. Don't they realize what a cliche they've become? I hate Strava, much better to go mano a mano.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:23 AM
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Welcome over to the Touring subforum... I do believe there are a few hippies and explorers hanging out there.... wouldn't surprise me if there were a few over in C&V as well
Peace
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Old 04-12-16, 10:34 AM
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Living in an urban area with a high "hipster" (could this be the current day hippy?) count myself, I can tell you I feel quite the opposite of the author. There are so many people buying vintage or fixed gear bicycles and just cruising on the weekend with them. The "serious" road cyclists who want to go hard are a minority over here.

Personally, I feel like the hipster bikers are posers, because most of them would never commute on their bike, or ride it to the store or something. It's just to show off how cool they are on the weekend to their friends. Mind you I live in a very hilly area, so riding a fixed gear bicycle for a utilitarian purpose over here is ridiculous.

If anything, the "sporty" cyclists are the real "explorers" I guess, because at least they ride the distance and get out of the city, thus "exploring" something.

Besides that, the author seems to have nostalgia for something that didn't ever really exist. I don't think times have changed that much probably. There have always been cyclists in it for the sport, or for leisure.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
As to the article, it reads of the emo 20-something complaining that their favorite band got too mainstream and corporate, and how they liked them first before everyone jumped on the bandwagon and ruined it.
Great comparison.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
The author basically says that corporations and marketing turn bicycle, the magical adventure machine, into a money sucking ego booster.
I saw this happen with motorcycles years ago.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I saw this happen with motorcycles years ago.
'This' has happened to everything. Beer, hamburgers, coffee, bicycles, mustaches, you name it. It is the all-revered 'market' doing its thing.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan View Post
I totally agree with the author. BikeSnobNYC calls them Nu-Freds. Cycling IS the new golf. Unfortunately, that's means an influx of the golf types and their end justifies the means, shi flows downhill, you are what you buy mentality. Fat old guys on CF bikes in Rapha, my favorite victims. Don't they realize what a cliche they've become? I hate Strava, much better to go mano a mano.
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Old 04-12-16, 11:02 AM
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Why this old hippie is on the road less traveled.

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Old 04-12-16, 11:23 AM
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Since when do hippies measure their own fun by what other people are doing? Sounds like a hippie wannabe wrote this, not a real hippie.
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Old 04-12-16, 11:40 AM
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I don't see why there wouldn't be just as many "adventurers" regardless of who else buys bikes. Fact is, a huge influx of former non-riders has made cycling almost mainstream ... but how would that scare off the kind of rugged individualist explorer who rode a bike regardless of what anyone thought, back in the day?

This guy is getting old, is tied down by his own life decisions and lamenting nothing more than the passing of his youth. (Wonder how his kids will feel when he says he hopes having children is only temporary?)

What I think what we have here ... is a writer exercising his craft to meet a deadline. Writers need to pick an idea and develop it into an article, which this guy did. He didn't try to fit in every single related observation, nor try to present a comprehensive picture of modern cycling ... he just took one idea which popped up over pints at the pub (probably shared with his aging "adventurist" buddies) and devloped it into an article.

No big deal, he makes a few points, exaggerates a few points, ignores a few points ... in the service of crafting an article.
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Old 04-12-16, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Well put. I ride for general transportation. I have a custom ti road bike that I ride for sport. I also do loaded touring, which these days is probably my favorite from of riding. I don't see the author's view at all. In particular, my strictly roadie friends don't look down on me. In fact, it's just the opposite. While at this point in my life I don't have the opportunity to take off for extended periods of time (between '99 and '01 I took two years off from the working world and did three extended trips including one of nearly 4 months), many of my roadie friends congratulate me on my week+ tours when I post trip reports to my club's listserve. Some say they wish they could do similar things.

Maybe the author should join Adventure Cycling Association so he can get their magazine. There are people out there doing the things he seems to think people seldom do any more.
+1, just as they always have.

The author in question certainly doesn't have to look to N.A.; if he were to open his eyes and ask some questions he'd easily find precisely what he claims to be missing, and multiple opportunities to engage in it, right at home. Example: Where's the Brew Stop? The off-road cycling touring web site.
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