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The utility cycling 'image'

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The utility cycling 'image'

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Old 11-22-07, 10:24 PM
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The utility cycling 'image'

It seems to me like the utility cycing crowd don't appear to be too interested in image but are definitely more interested in function - function over form.... but sometimes I get the impression that we seem al little too disinterested in image, in fact I will come right out and say that some seem to cultivate the utility cyclist image and go out of their way to do so, to the point of casting scorn and derision on the non-utilitarians that 'don't get it'. That puts us on par with the lycra clad obsessive compulsive poseur roadies, except we're obsessive compulsive utilitarians, and even worse because of the 'holier than thou' attitude we try to project.

....feel free to discuss. Refute my observation if you like.
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Old 11-22-07, 10:32 PM
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Utility is utility - it is not fashion. Having said that, there are snobs, poseurs, inverse snobs etc. in any group or category of people, so I guess utility cyclists are the same.

As for your observations - were they from bikeforums? Any illustrative threads you could point out?
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Old 11-23-07, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
...some seem to cultivate the utility cyclist image and go out of their way to do so, to the point of casting scorn and derision on the non-utilitarians that 'don't get it'. ...and even worse because of the 'holier than thou' attitude we try to project.
I don't agree with these assertions and not sure what you're basing it off of.

I think your first statement of utility cyclists being in it for the function is correct. I think we do what we think works and leave it at that. Never gotten the picture that any utility cyclist had a "holier than thou" attitude. Depends on if you consider a utlity cyclist also an anti-car individual...
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Old 11-23-07, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
sometimes I get the impression that we seem al little too disinterested in image, in fact I will come right out and say that some seem to cultivate the utility cyclist image and go out of their way to do so, to the point of casting scorn and derision on the non-utilitarians that 'don't get it'. That puts us on par with the lycra clad obsessive compulsive poseur roadies.
When that urge comes over me, I reach into my chest of clothes and pull out a pair of lycra shorts. If I dare go out, I might wear them under my poseur utility duds. Does that count?
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Old 11-24-07, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dwoloz View Post
I don't agree with these assertions and not sure what you're basing it off of.
I think your first statement of utility cyclists being in it for the function is correct. I think we do what we think works and leave it at that. Never gotten the picture that any utility cyclist had a "holier than thou" attitude. Depends on if you consider a utlity cyclist also an anti-car individual...

Originally Posted by cooker View Post
As for your observations - were they from bikeforums? Any illustrative threads you could point out?
Not from bf.net fortunately, just from around the neighborhood. Just some (a very few) cyclists I see around the place, we greet each other in passing, but I've noticed that the more tereotypically 'utility' I look the friendlier the greeting I get, and when I'm on my flashy road bike I get completely snobbed off by them. In fact I don't think they recognise me when I'm on the road bike, which kind of got me wondering - do they see another human being? a neighbor? a local? as I do, or are they caught up in an 'us and them' thing? I'm only basing my original post on the vibe I get, of course I could be completely off target.

I'm just curious to hear the experience of others here, I thought it may be an interesting discussion topic.
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Old 11-24-07, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
Not from bf.net fortunately, just from around the neighborhood. Just some (a very few) cyclists I see around the place, we greet each other in passing, but I've noticed that the more tereotypically 'utility' I look the friendlier the greeting I get, and when I'm on my flashy road bike I get completely snobbed off by them. In fact I don't think they recognise me when I'm on the road bike, which kind of got me wondering - do they see another human being? a neighbor? a local? as I do, or are they caught up in an 'us and them' thing? I'm only basing my original post on the vibe I get, of course I could be completely off target.

I'm just curious to hear the experience of others here, I thought it may be an interesting discussion topic.
My personal experience is that where I live, the roadies have done it to themselves when it comes to how they're treated by other cyclists. Perhaps not all of them, but so many roadies i've seen project that snobbishness about that its not surprising it gets reflected right back at them.
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Old 11-24-07, 01:48 PM
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To me it's like seeing maybe a '57 international with 60's ford lights added to the front, retrofitted with a ferguson hitch, oversized front wheels that come from god knows where, etc. Even if you know nothing about tractors, you can tell that on many levels it's very different from a meticulously kept bone stock '05 Kubota. Ferrari are in another time zone and the very vast majority of "ferrari" around here are **** cars with a body kit, but they're essentially indistinguishable by looks so...

I see a lot of people riding very clean 700c bikes with racks and fenders and all, but it lacks the essence. I rarely ever see their racks used, most don't even have bungee cords or anything either. On the other end, when I see someone riding around who has a bike with all sorts of little details thought out on it, I can tell they've been in it for a long time. But It goes much deeper then the bike: It's like brushing the aura of a cycling god, how could I help but smile?

Brought to you by the things that make you go "Hmm" department.
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Old 11-24-07, 05:28 PM
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This would have been an interesting topic to post over in Living Car Free.

I think this issue comes back to something more basic. It's the old "us and them" mentality that seems to be such a feature of human nature. As someone said earlier, there are snobs in any group of people. I often laugh at the suburbanite snobs who get all excited about which suburb a person lives in. It's all the same thing really -- here on the Gold Coast it seems to be all about which side of Burleigh Heads you live on. Heck, even the touring forum had a discussion about whether or not supported touring was "real" touring recently. A lot of the roadies probably stereotype utility cyclists as being "poor", which just feeds the resentment on the other side.

In the end, I think it's just to keep people entertained as much as anything else. A quote I hear often suggests that it would be a rather dull world if we were all the same. You can extend that to point out that it's a much more entertaining world if you overstate the differences.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
...in fact I will come right out and say that some seem to cultivate the utility cyclist image and go out of their way to do so, to the point of casting scorn and derision on the non-utilitarians that 'don't get it'. That puts us on par with the lycra clad obsessive compulsive poseur roadies, except we're obsessive compulsive utilitarians, and even worse because of the 'holier than thou' attitude we try to project.

....feel free to discuss. Refute my observation if you like.
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
As for your observations - were they from bikeforums? Any illustrative threads you could point out?
See numerous posts on Living Car Free List from some "obsessive compulsive utilitarians" for numerous examples of "holier than thou'" attitude being projected.
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Old 11-25-07, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
See numerous posts on Living Car Free List from some "obsessive compulsive utilitarians" for numerous examples of "holier than thou'" attitude being projected.
Exactly. For a great example, pick out just about any of I-Like-To-Bike's posts and see how much better he is than everyone else.
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Old 11-25-07, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
[color=red]This would have been an interesting topic to post over in Living Car Free.
Chris, I'm happy for you to move it over to LCF if you think it will generate more interest there.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:41 PM
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its the sportscar vs old pickup scenario....look at the jerk in the porsche...lol

my first thought when i see a group of road bikers that look like they're in the tour de bike lane is 'look at the jerk in the porsche'......lmao.....well it was when i was into off-road mtb'n....me and my buddy would make fun of them all the time....not directly TO them, of course they couldnt hear us

its all about stereotypes
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Old 11-25-07, 12:48 PM
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Well, here's an image of me utility cycling yesterday.

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Old 11-25-07, 12:52 PM
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"Utility" cycling and "Utility" cyclist in North America for the last 100 yrs
have been largely the poor and the odd balls due to the vast number of
cars on the roads. In Europe and the rest of the world these same cyclist
are viewed as "ordinary folk's" traveling in a "normal" manner.

The car culture in North America will take a long time to kill but die it must
as the cost to support the infrastructure and fuel issues will make the car
to expensive for the masses. These same masses will need mass transport
in the form of rail and busses with the road infrastructure modified to accomodate
more cyclist than ever before.

There will be pain in this change over but it's North America's fault so grin and
bear it. For now it will be tough to be on the leading edge of this painful change
but it's always that way for folk's on the leading edge of any change.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
Well, here's an image of me utility cycling yesterday.
Do you always travel with a lampshade?
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Old 11-25-07, 01:20 PM
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^^^
Donna is always fully prepared. Besides, it's the cover to her floor stand, rear blinky.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:58 PM
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One should always travel with a lampshade in case a riotous party breaks out...

The utility cyclists I see have looks that range from high tech to low tech and I figure I sit somewhere in the middle of that...

One thing I do see is that there is less snobbery among this group of cyclists as we are all out there doing something we see as being important for ourselves and our own little corners of the world ans appreciate other people who are doing the same.

I see much more snobbery among extreme road bikers and mountain bikers.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Do you always travel with a lampshade?
Only when someone is moving. My load was pretty light in comparison to some others'.







These are the sorts of utility cycling images that rest in my head.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
Only when someone is moving. My load was pretty light in comparison to some others'.
These are the sorts of utility cycling images that rest in my head.

Were you involved in some of those moves? How far did they go? I guess Bailey's trike is not so heavy after all.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:32 PM
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Donna - That is some amazing work and some great pictures.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:35 PM
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That was all one move - and my very first. The Xtreme Bike Move was 12 miles one way, and the longest on Portland record. It was also the largest with 27 people, 26 bikes, and 24 trailers. It was Spokebreaker's move, and I'm hoping he'll start a thread about it once he's somewhat settled into his new place.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
That was all one move - and my very first. The Xtreme Bike Move was 12 miles one way, and the longest on Portland record. It was also the largest with 27 people, 26 bikes, and 24 trailers. It was Spokebreaker's move, and I'm hoping he'll start a thread about it once he's somewhat settled into his new place.
Wow ! Any hills?
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Old 11-25-07, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
Wow ! Any hills?
Yes, although the route was planned to avoid really bad ones.
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Old 11-25-07, 04:58 PM
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thats so awesome to see everyone get together to help......thx for the pics
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Old 11-25-07, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
Yes, although the route was planned to avoid really bad ones.

That is impressive !! BTW good photos.
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