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August 18, 2007

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Some of us recumbent types actually spend a lot of time thinking about bike lights. Here's my latest post on lights, just written today:

http://www.recumbentblog.com/archives/2007/08/more_on_lights.html

Alan

PS - I enjoy your blog...

I love your blog. Looking forward to part two of your move story.

I agree whole heartedly about the bike light thing. I have encountered the same problem with other trail users not lighting up and not wearing reflective gear.

On the pro cycling kit issue you really need to lighten up. It harms no one for a cyclist to ride in pro kit and fantasize about being in the TdeF. You've got your style - they've got their style - live and let live. The only person who is getting hurt by the pro kit you because of the minutes of your life you waste worrying about what another rider is wearing.

Keep up the great blog...=-)

Vik

Ahh.. the full-kitters. I love them.

No, not really.

What I DO love are the ones who really have "got nothing", and in that case I love blowing past them on my silly hybrid. THOSE are my favorite. Oh, and there is one guy that used to ride sans lights at night all the time around here. I say "used to" because after a thorough chewing from yours truly he must have taken it to heart, and now rides with a HID. Which is almost worse, but I don't ride at night anymore.

Regarding the team kits, I go both ways on them. I've met some fantastic folks who are dripping with wanna-be status. One gent who always used to annoy me by taking up most of the bike path in his Discovery channel kit on his DIscovery channel Madone used to annoy me to no end. I mean, the guy even had the helmet. But he was SLOW.

Finally one day he caught up to me at a light. "I really admire what you are doing, it's simply awesome". I almost began an offended tirade, I don't need some aging, somewhat overweight lance wanna-be lecturing me on how good it is that I'm losing weight.

"I had gastric bypass surgery two years ago" he said, "I lost 100 pounds, and when I did I went and bought the fastest bike I could afford. I'm still very slow, I know that, but I love feeling like I'm fast when I get on this machine. I don't even have a computer (he certainly had no electronics) because I don't want to know how slow I am, I just love riding".

After that I very sheepishly thanked him for his kind words, and now when I see him (again, not on the same path at the same time anymore) I always make it a point to smile and wave.

I still reserve the right to utterly destroy The Jerk on the Cannondale with his Liquigas kit every time I see him, however.

At my old LBS job, I had some dude from the outer burbs come in with his family to test ride a $5000 16lb bike. When I asked what type of riding he was into, he said some stuff about riding the park paths with his wife and young children (somewhat incongruous with the bike he had in mind). Anyway, that shop is in an inner-city neighborhood where lots of people ride bikes out of necessity. The side streets are quiet and easy to ride, but even the busy streets have lots of cycling mixed with the car traffic. When he got out to test the bike, he asked in a semi-panicked voice: "so, am I supposed to just ride on the sidewalks?" It was clear that he was genuinely afraid of riding in the street. Imagine buying a bike like that for riding sidewalks and park paths!

That's what cracks me up the most. The guys with the wonderbikes and full team-kit who ride on the 10 mph bike paths like they're sprinting the last leg in the time-trial of truth.

It's sad that marketing has taken something that can:

- cut down on emissions
- be great exercise
- reduce traffic jams
- bring a little peace and quiet

and convinced Mr. Wannabe that he looks dorky on anything less than $2500 worth of racing bike. He really needs about $600 worth of, let's say, Breezer, but he won't get it for fear of looking dorky. A little more comfort and practicality and a little less concern for appearance would do the bike world a big favor.

On being kitted out: I've been thinking it's pretty damn ironic that we're asked to pay THEM to ride around like a friggin billboard advertising their products - and that goes for any big logo clothes. Now if they want to pay ME to wear their logo, I'm willing to listen... I teach middle school and these kids are so "branded" it's disgusting.

On the other hand, if I'm shopping at the Salvation Army and find a nice longsleeve team jersey in my size for 8 bucks, I'll wear it and not give a rip.

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