Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Track 4

There's this discussion going on in many circles about what is the best bike for bike commuting. Some folks are adamant that it is the mountain bike. Some, the road bike.

Each side weighs out the pros and cons of each bike and depending on the author's proclivities, the lists line out exactly as the author thought they would.

In some ways this discussion speaks to my number one issue with the cycling community. Really, my issue with any specialized activity's community, really.

I don't know who said it, but someone said that we loathe most in others what we perceive most in ourselves. Or something like that, anyway.

What I loathe in so many of the bike community is the seeming need for something better, faster, lighter, newer, shinier. And I lust the same way. I hate it.

Why do we even feel the need to go to the interwebs to ask what is the best bike for bike commuting when the answer is obvious - the bike that you have.

Why do we feel that everything has to be specialized? What happened to the days of the generalist? When you had one tool to do myriad jobs rather than myriad tools that each do one job?

Could this be the fault of our technological age? Our insistence on capitalism as the saving grace of the world? Or is it just evidence of our susceptibility to marketing of both the clever and not so clever kinds?

I am the first to admit that I lust over bikes and bike parts. And if I didn't have a rational wife or a limited budget, I would likely have a new bike for every day of the week. As it is, I feel like I already spend way too much on my bike and upgrading my bike.

That said, I am generally a person who only changes something out when the previous one has died. I've moaned about this before. Forgive me.

I just have a really hard time with the idea of consumption for consumption's sake.

If you get some time, check out this thread over at MTBR. Some interesting arguments. Conspicuous consumption afoot. I'll just keep riding the best bike for commuting - the one that I've got.

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