Tuesday, January 22, 2008

bikes, money, and class

As is well-known, bicycling tends to appeal to a vast array of people. What tends to receive the most attention in the news-media (especially magazines), however, are the upper-middle class weekend warriors who shell out tons of money on their bikes and related gear. I hear stories all the time of people who spend upwards of 4K just for their frames. Damn! So when I encounter strange tensions and statements like the ones I referenced just over a week ago, I wonder how much it has to do with consumption and class.

If someone wants to go faster and be stronger, they probably have a fair amount of money that they are willing to invest in the sport. Racing and training isn't for the weak of mind nor the weak of wallet. And even the people who love their low-riding bicycles spend time and money fixing them up. That's just how it is. And just this weekend, I spent a fair amount of cash on new shoes and pedals. (My wallet didn't exactly cry, but it wasn't happy.) For this reason, this discussion about fixing up used bikes made me exceptionally happy. It's wonderful to see people from within such a consumption happy hobby talking about sustainability an using a bike to its full extent. Hurrah!
And in regards to the larger point about class, I clearly have much more to consider here. I'll post again once I've thought about it some more.

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