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Commute by bike and pro cycling

by Richard Masoner

Just some random and unorganized notes and links about utilitarian cycling and the Tour de France and racing and controversy.

  • Bike Hugger says he expects Interbike 2007 will focus on “comfort bikes, SUBs, cargo bikes, and the like” instead of racing bikes.
  • Great article from Grist on Bicycle Shame
    To be a successful adult, apparently, you have to drive. Cycling is for children; cycling is for losers. In this view, it’s fitting that the pinnacle of the sport of cycling is the Tour de France. (Implied snicker about France as a symbol — unfair, of course — of all that’s cowardly, effeminate, and weak.)

    Call this Bicycle Shame. But… Biking is the least exclusive form of vehicular transportation there is. Biking isn’t just cheap for bikers, it’s cheap for the communities in which people bike. Biking is also cheap for nations: they don’t have to import as much oil or defend their access to that oil. Cycling — like walking — is democratic: it’s equally available to all. Is cycling for children, for losers, for intellectuals? Yes. It’s for them, because it’s for everyone.

    More also at Spinopsys.

  • Donna @ Unbreakable: “Get out and ride your bike. Get out and tour your neighborhood. What do you see? Let us know. Share your neighborhood adventure with us all. Let’s get out and see what’s around us, as we see it on our bikes, not from the car, not what we see on the television with the chaos in France, but in our own neighborhoods.”
  • Bicycle Design: You don’t have to dope to ride this bike. Which reminded me of this post…
  • Bicycles are the new SUV. “Bicycles are poised for a quantum leap in popularity.”
  • Even bike-happy Holland is experiencing a bike boom of sorts.
  • I’m seeing spy photos of commuter bikes from bike builders who have traditionally only sold into the high-end bike market. You can expect to see lots of interesting bike and gear for the commuter at Interbike this year.

I suspect many (most?) of those who read Commute By Bike probably don’t follow the Tour de France closely. Will the controversy and problems that have swirled around several athletes have any impact on the growing popularity of bicycle commuting? What do you think?

 
Burley nomad 229

8 Responses to “Commute by bike and pro cycling”

  1. Ghost Rider says:

    I really don’t think there will be a backlash on the growing popularity of bicycling in the U.S. because of the ProTour doping problems. I am convinced that people understand that racing and bike commuting are two wildly different lifestyles with wildly different equipment needs.

    The only real motivator for the surge in bike popularity is that gas prices are steadily climbing — people vote with their wallets! If gas prices suddenly went down and stayed down, the current bike boom would cool off pretty fast…and I sure don’t see that happening!

    That being said, sometimes I sure wish for some EPO or testosterone after a long day and a stiff headwind!!! Ha ha!

  2. Mike in Florida says:

    The racing bike isn’t what 99% of the cyclists out there actually need, we know that. I like the Breezer, Amsterdam, and all the rest—but they’re not what a lot of commuters need, either. A road bike with clearance for 700×28 or 700×32, with fenders and a rack, will work excellently for most people. Designers are realizing that people need to get the bars up–as evidenced by the success of the Specialized Roubaix and Trek Pilot lines.

  3. Alberto says:

    I don’t think doping in professional cycling will have any ill effects on the current bike boom. It really never has. Cycling is becoming more and more popular not because gas prices have risen, I think, (they’ve always been at least three times higher here in Europe than in the US), though that’s a nice incentive as well, but rather because more and more people are realizing again how much fun cycling really is, how practical and how beneficial it is on a personal (physical and psychological) and social way. I mean this is fun stuff folks!

    New bikes specific to touring or just fun riding will surely be coming out. That sells bikes, though clearly from a practical stand point I’m willing to bet that we already have plenty of nice candidates for commuting / touring. Any improvements will be welcomed, of course, though I am a half-traditionalist on the issue. (I’m still a die-hard fan of drop bars and cannot understand why people find them less comfortable than, say, straight bars. Yet I also think that carbon racers make great commuter / tourers.) But any bike is good if it is ridden and if cycling grows.

  4. Mindy says:

    I’m so far removed from bike racers that I might as well be a different species, so any misbehavior by Tour de Francers holds no interest for me. I ride my Townie almost everywhere I go in town, and I do it for the health of my planet, my body, and the family’s finances, in that order. That riding is so fun is just an added bonus.

    Mindy in Tucson

  5. Ghost Rider says:

    Alberto has an excellent point (and one that I neglected to think about when I first posted) — riding a bike is FUN! This fact certainly influences more and more people to recapture their youth and try it instead of sitting in a motorized box every day.

  6. tom says:

    I work with a herd of construction troglodytes whose vehicles of choice are either monster pick-ups (with never a load) or big, loud motorcycles. The outdoor life they purport to love is restricted to weekends in the bass boat or at deer camp. The rest of the time they’re behind a dash with the AC blowing on them.
    Riding a bike everywhere I go, I never pass up an opportunity to point out to these sissies that real machos ride bikes, every day, all year around. Since I’m in much better shape than any of them, they don’t put up much of an argument.

  7. Clint Gordon-Carroll says:

    Anybody need proof? I sold my 4Runner and bought a bicycle. That simple. I wanted to loose some extra weight and save the gas money. Both equally important reasons for me. I’ve put six hundred miles on bike already, and now my wife is biking. Best decision of my life!

    Little leaguers are still playing baseball; cycling will continue the boom!

  8. Jimmy says:

    We ride 2 Dahon Fouldup Boardwalk 7 speed Bicycles We are in are 60s, We ride around 3 times a week 4 miles oneway to town to Wal-Mart To Post office Grocegies store,We have fouldup Baskets on the back, We love are Dahon Bicycles The Dahon Bicycles was well worth the money You can put it on the Bus Are a Train, NO OIL NO GAS Why do you need a Car A Bicycles is a car Be Nice More Citys put in Bicycles Lanes Have Fun Riding

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