ON CYCLING CULTURE...
Updated: Apr 24, 2018
In the "about rideforyou" section of this blaaaaauuggh I mention how in some ways I reject cycling culture and I thought I should probably elaborate on that because you know…transparency.
"Cycling"……the word alone is obnoxious and incendiary. It makes me think of the Tarantino film Jackie Brown, specifically of the moments shortly before Melanie gets shot in the parking lot by Louis.
“Cyclists” these days are like the new dj’s. More and more people are popping up everywhere on bikes and while I love that there’s more people riding (I myself have only had a serious bike now for about a year and a half), a surge in popularity for anything always has consequences. There’s a cheapening and dilution of authenticity. It becomes more of a challenge to enjoy something. For example, someone could be out hiking and they find this beautiful secluded beach. They could spend an entire day there because it’s beautiful and they’re alone or with a significant other…and they can get lost in the pulchritude of serenity that envelopes them. Maybe a picture gets taken and posted to instagram or pinterest. And suddenly, everyone that’s gone and geotagged the location of that secluded beach has essentially driven that seclusion and serenity into extinction.
Though I suppose on the positive, this surge in popularity will push you (maybe not you…you can’t hang….but ME) to heights others are not willing to climb, or to ride further than others are willing to, away from the comforts of familiarity so that you can find that seclusion that shows you’ve done what others could not. It can push someone to reclaim something pure, kind of like the good dj’s of today that filter through all that mass-produced, formulaic bubblegum garbage to find quality records.
I also talk about people becoming slaves to a culture, which always takes me back to a great line in Fight Club.
This brings us to the kits that some people are wearing. I’m not talking about Mario Cipollini because when you’ve achieved what he has….you kind of earn a pass.
And I suppose it’s kind of expected when you come from the same country that Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Versace come from...what IS IT with Italians and flamboyancy???
Anyway, the people I’m talking about….I’ll call them cyclists since they dress just as obnoxious as the word sounds….well I just have this feeling they’d get a lot more hours on the bike if they didn’t spend so much time looking for the clothes they are wearing. Here are just a few examples:
(ok, from the above, Alex Comier looks like he rides his fucking ass off...no disrespect to that but those clothes...)
I’m not saying don’t wear something that makes you visible. Quite the opposite in fact, and I myself am very prone to the day glow/high visibility colors of green and pink. Safety is number one…because when you’re on a bike, everyone around you is trying to maim or murder you.
I’m talking about the people I see in these stupid combinations of stripes and polkadots that make me feel as though I’m looking at some confusing optical illusion while on acid. Whoever wears that kind of thing isn’t doing it to be seen….they’re doing it to be noticed. This is basically like going to Vegas in order to hang out at at some pool party and post selfies on insta. We get it…you’re spending a lot of money to show your followers how empty you are inside. The people around you are just as absurd and this proves that vapid guppies will always collect at the shallow end of the pool.
In stark contrast, there’s a reason why I respect someone like Sean Sako. That’s a guy who knows what he’s doing. He rides in consistently colored, sleek but low-key clothes that have his own name on them….not someone else’s. That’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now. In the meantime…I’m pretty partial to Bontrager and Trek, anything that’s got Greece on it, and never ever in Rapha.
Quick side note, another shout out to Sako who, maybe a year or two ago, responded to a comment of mine on his instagram and encouraged me to take some time off and ride. Thank you Sean....I'm actually doing it.
Moving on…..I loathe this idea that the stupid ridiculous tan lines "pssssssyclilstsssssssssssssssssssss" have are a badge of honor. No. No, no, no. Quads area badge of honor….lines just inside your hip bones are a badge of honor…flat stomachs when you’re over the age of 32 are a badge of honor.....5 inch inseam shorts are a badge of honor.
Aaaand if you want to see what a flaccid malfunctioning dildo look like...just go ahead and google "cyclist tan lines." I'd include shots here but I don't want to vomit on my keyboard again.
I can tell you this…when I make my own line of clothing….the bibs are going to expose the real badges of honor. And for those of you who think that there’s some science behind the length of the bibs having something to do with protecting the muscle….here’s some photos of olympic runners, both male and female.
I don’t know…but I’ve got this feeling it’s got more to do with gender based “fashion” and what sells on men vs women that it does with anything else.
Lastly….it’s hard to be supportive of cycling culture when so many people at the pro level are cheaters. If you want to understand the depth of the cheating, watch the documentary Icarus. Role models are essential. It’s important to have heroes. But in a sport so dominated by frauds, I think it’s worth being committed to your bike instead of your clothes, and to spend hours riding to picture perfect destinations instead of hours at a computer editing to make a perfect picture.