Terminology Folly

"Waltzing around the cycle blogosphere it seems odd that so much terminology has spawned regarding what is, in fact, a simple pursuit.

Is it a result of the decades old tendency in North America and other non-bike culture countries to nerdify cycling because it has primarily been viewed as a sport or a hobby for closed groups of “enthusiasts” - and not a reasonable and basic form of transport? Perhaps.

Let’s straighten things out, shall we? What you see in the photo above, taken in Copenhagen, is something we call a “cyclist”.

Not a “bicycle commuter”, nor a “utility cyclist”. Certainly not a “lightweight, open air, self-powered traffic vehicle user”. It’s a cyclist.

The Copenhagener above is not “commuting” - or at least she doesn’t call it that. She’s not going for a “bike ride” or “making a bold statement about her personal convictions regarding reduction of Co2 levels and sustainable transport methods in urban centers”.

She’s just going to work. On her bike."

Fuckin cyclists. Using a collective term would imply some sense of solidarity wouldnt it? It’s like ‘fellow drivers’, ‘fellow humans’ or ‘fellow Australians’. Doesnt mean shit. Don’t even start me on commuters.

I’m a rider.

“If it has a puncture, she’ll walk it down to the local bike shop to get it repaired and then take the bus or train to work. Picking it up in the afternoon.”

She’s a lazy bike rider with no mechanical skills.

My girlfriend asked me to show her how to fix a flat properly the other night, just in case she ever needs to fix one. It made me happy, although I’m the one that keeps getting punctures.

You don’t get it. She’s not a bike rider, she’s a person who happens to use a bike to get to work. Do you repair the tyres on your car when you get a flat?

Also, her bike (didn’t click to see the photo) likely has a hubgear, chaincase, fenders, rack, bolt on wheel etc, so it’s harder to fix a flat on the side of the road whilst you’re wearing your work clothes.

(Not defending the lack of skills, but it’s a different mindset.)

Yeah, I guess. If i go to ride to work and I have a flat, I either a) ride my other bike, or b) catch the train and fix it when I get home.

I’m just blown away by people (usually “cyclists”) that are unable to change tires or fix flats on their own bike and employ a bike store to do it.

But I can’t wait to go to Copenhagen in six weeks and see how different it is to here.

i have to agree, i rode through the netherlands for three and a half weeks top to bottom and the only cyclists i saw were tourists, the natives just rode bikes, thats all, no lycra, no fixies, no vesties, no superduper commuters, no roadie scum, just a way of getting from point A to point B.
and a rear puncture is a fucking hassle on dutch/danish bike 100%

Exactly. Different people use bicycles for different reasons and go about their cycling with different methods. Personally, I liked the article. It reminds me that cycling is way way bigger than a alittle fixed-gear subculture.


And on BSNYC today, a mention of a British mag and velo-couture:

This journal is nicely ecumenical in its approach to cycling, but one theme that came up and made me think was that of looking good on the bike. Not looking good in the sense of looking like a Euro-pro, but rather looking good in the sense of being able to wear street clothes comfortably while riding. In particular, in “Velocouture,” Patrick Barber points out that up until now in the US cycling style has been driven by sport rather than practicality, since riding here is traditionally seen as a recreational pastime and not as a means of transportation. “In a way,” he writes, "thinking about cycling in street clothes requires that you shift your thinking about why you are on your bike. Instead of being in workout mode, you are in going-somewhere-but-want-to-look-good mode: to work, on a date, to the coffee shop." Ultimately, his point is that by being a normal well-dressed person on a bike instead of a peloton refugee in lycra you inspire other people to do the same and to integrate riding into their everyday lives.

Haha… I said that to someone last week who called me a ‘cyclist’.

This character’s an ongoing storyline at http://www.yehudamoon.com , an engineer who ditches the car and budgets a new bike on the cost of a year’s worth of petrol … and gets a heavy box bike for shoppin’ and child transportation. Metal \m/ :evil:\m/

Please spud, do share…

Isn’t this a bit like writing an article to H.A.M radio operators explaining how everybody else listensing to the radio dosnt care how it works, they just listen to the pop music…?

Pretty sure the girl in the photo represents about ninety eight percent of “cyclists” in melbourne too.
Im fairly certian most of the cyclists i pass on my way to work never venture on to cycle blogsphere either.

That does not mean that the pleasure i get out of riding, commuting, fixies, crossbikes, spoke tension metres etc etc (so much good stuff) is any less valid.

still its easy to forget that not everybody is aware of thier psi. especially when you spend a bit of time on forums like this.

copenhagen has a long established cycle friendly lifestyle, my ninety something grandma (famor) still visits her friend on hers.

austalian cycling is young and thats heaps of fun. but we will never have such a casual connection with the bike unless a few “enthusiasts” make it happen.

If I get a flat I keep riding until I get to my destination, I can fix it later, yer thats right Im one hardcore mofo :evil:

HaHa, I’ve done that. I once rode from Richmond to Elwood down Chapel st one night REALLY pissed with two(!) flat tyres just to get home. All good, ya just gotta take it easy round corners so the tyre doesn’t roll off the rim. Would have been a piece of piss with tubulars.

I don’t use tyres.

Really Hardcore.

You must pull some awesome skids :mrgreen:

Hardcore to the MAX!!! but with girly writing.

i beat the shit out of my tyres until they fill with its tears

tough love

mine are full of spinifex ey bro!