How the spirit of cycling has changed

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Abu Milhem
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby Abu Milhem » 12 Apr 2016, 9:36pm

Oh, I just got stuck into the Guardian comments with a like mini rant that was focussed on the appearance of the grim faced mamils on the Dunwich Dynamo. I cheer up when they saddle up for the return leg and leave the beach to everyone else. However as I am content on my own on a bike I rarely encounter them. I will give them a cheery wave if I see them which is rarely reciprocated but then such incivility is a bit of a commonplace. I will admit to being a utility cyclist living in the centre of our dear capital during the week with a mere 15 minute commute and a mardy old tourer at weekends in E. Anglia.

pwa
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby pwa » 12 Apr 2016, 10:10pm

I don't even know exacly what Strava is. I've made a point of ignoring any discussion of it. I hate the idea of electronic gadgets polluting the purity of the experience of cycling. We have enough of that rubbish in the rest of our lives. When I cycle I leave that lot behind. I don't even use GPS.

fastpedaller
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby fastpedaller » 12 Apr 2016, 10:21pm

What's GPS?

landsurfer
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby landsurfer » 12 Apr 2016, 10:24pm

Well I'm a MAMIL ..but no smart phone...no STRAVA ...
I stop and look at stuff ..churches, gliders being launched ... streams and rivers...
I ride, I enjoy and I do sportives ....
When we are young its all about the pace, when the pace is not important we are at peace with our cycling.
20 years of time trialling, 5 years of enjoying my cycling , not suffering from it.
Respect to the young guns of all genders.
Been there, done that ....
Paul Kirk Sportive this Sunday past, took a short cut, 43 miles of total pleasure in 3 hours 8 minutes ....
LINCSQUAD ... respect, I believe is the new way ....lol
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever

iainb
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby iainb » 12 Apr 2016, 10:34pm

Certainly less cameraderie than there used to be in NE Essex, in recent years cycling has attracted a different type of person as described in the article - usually on a 5 grand bike and dressed in black around here!! I'm sorry to say I've become tired of acknowledging other riders and being ignored so just do the same now unless someone speaks first. There are a couple of groups around here at the weekend whose behaviour on the road is poor which just antagonises other road users who then tar us all with the same brush! I found it rather depressing a couple of Sundays ago when I stopped to help someone whose chain had come off and got jammed, she was very grateful that I stopped and went on to tell me that several people had ridden past and ignored her. Perhaps it was ever thus and I'm just getting misty eyed about things over 30 years ago when I started. Starting to regret selling those golf clubs now!!

Tangled Metal
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Apr 2016, 11:06pm

I got shocked last year when I heard about the guy in the bike shop owning a 3 grand bike. Think I've never met anyone with a bike much over £1500! Mind you he'd just told me it was nicked from his garage and insurance didn't pay up because his anchor was only silver rated or something like that.

Used to cycle the odd weekday evening in the summer. It was a real mix of ages and genders. Some with a choice of rides with some being nice £1500bikes. Others on £300 or less bikes. Half had bike computers but only to see report back the trip stats to all and to keep track of distance ridden. We didn't want to ride too far out to get back to the pub. Not one strava geek.

TBH there's segments down our way but they just appear on my strava routes. I don't make them but I think it's nice if I've got a pr, second or third on one but it's not my reason for riding. I'm about getting to work or riding with the family. I'm early 40s so should be strava-lout but unlike the image painted by some there's probably not as many of those as you'd think. It's a long way from using strava as a tool to it being the be all and end all of cycling. There's some like that but that's their choice.

Can I just say one thing? There comes across that there's a growing core of curmudgeons on this forum who are only happy complaining. Whether that's about some exaggerated sub-group of strava-louts ranted about in a be-fuddled grandpa type of newspaper comment piece or the CTC name change. I hope I'm that kind of a grandpa too! I'm just a bit too young to get away with it right now.

lingy
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby lingy » 12 Apr 2016, 11:07pm

Hmm...surely we should celebrate the return of the sport of road cycling in the UK. For so many years it was in the doldrums and look where we are now. Doesn't stop me touring or commuting or doing whatever on a bike. Surely each to his own? I've always suspected there was a little group of people who secretly didn't want a resurgence in cycling?preferring the camaraderie of a tiny marginalised minority. Sport, touring, MTB, commuting ... We should all stuck together.


I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my wobbly bog brush using hovercraft full of eels

Tangled Metal
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Apr 2016, 11:13pm

One last point, new technology has allowed for cycling related things that would once have never been considered possible. I wonder how many people from the good old days would have used our new tech in similar ways of it had been available for easy use back then like now. There'd always be groups using it back then I reckon if available. The whole tech thing is still very much in flux. Rapid development is such that society and regulators are playing catch up. Not all tech is quite the finished product and I'd say strava is still not the complete article yet IMHO.

Samuel D
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby Samuel D » 13 Apr 2016, 11:30am


Geoff.D
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby Geoff.D » 13 Apr 2016, 12:34pm

lingy wrote:Hmm...surely we should celebrate the return of the sport of road cycling in the UK........ Sport, touring, MTB, commuting ... We should all stuck together.


I couldn't agree more. Cycling is a broad church - going down to the shops; leisure rides on traffic free routes; load carrying; credit card touring. It's all cycling, with people doing it for their own reasons.

Tangled Metal wrote:One last point, new technology has allowed for cycling related things that would once have never been considered possible. I wonder how many people from the good old days would have used our new tech in similar ways of it had been available for easy use back then like now. There'd always be groups using it back then I reckon if available. The whole tech thing is still very much in flux. Rapid development is such that society and regulators are playing catch up. Not all tech is quite the finished product and I'd say strava is still not the complete article yet IMHO.


Again, I agree. Innovations, developments in design and materials, technological innovations....they've always been with us, in all aspects of our lives. People have taken them on board and used them as they've seen fit. Always. For good or bad. But, last year's innovation is usually this year's old hat (I exaggerate, of course). But, as an example, the rise and rise of personal computers/smart phones has changed our lives beyond recognition is such a small space of time. So much so that many people have had no experience of life without, and most of us just don't know the extent of their influence on our daily activities. Likewise with the internet.

For myself, I welcome this human urge to drive forward, even if I don't like all outcomes or necessarily understand them. It was ever thus.

To relate what I've written to a cycling issue. I watched the rise and rise of the Rohloff hub. And the subsequent emergence of a number of wide range gear boxes. Not a new concept (Sturmey Archer in 1902, I believe), but certainly a development that has found its "time" and niche. People will use it or not, according to need/pocket/want. Up to them.

whoof
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby whoof » 13 Apr 2016, 1:24pm

I was watching Gardener's World a while back and someone was asked if they were worried as there seemed to be very few young gardeners. The response was 'no it's something you take up in later life'. I am not suggesting that touring, commuting, pottering off into the countryside with a flask and sandwiches is only for older cyclists just that 'cycling' is a very broad term. When people start they often only concentrate on a narrow spectrum; racing, sportives, commuting etc. For some this will continue to be their sole focus, but others will branch out an discover other types of cycling.

I started to cycle as I wanted to race. Commuting made sense as this could be used as training. I went on club-runs and on Saturday rides to a café but these all fitted in with training for racing. I stopped racing a number of years ago but carry on commuting, it's far more enjoyable than driving or the bus and it saves a lot of money. I ride to the shops or visit friends for the same reason. Now I don't have a training schedule to stick to or races to do I can ride out to the river with a picnic or go touring.

When I was in my twenties and racing an old gentleman said I should 'stop riding around with my head down and whatever up' and ride slowly and take in the views. In hind sight was he right? I didn't think so then and I don't think so now. I knew that at some point, either due to age or not wanting to continue training I would stop racing and have decades of riding around looking at the views. But to race to any ability there was only a relatively small window of opportunity. I enjoyed racing a lot and have made life-long friends through it. I could find some form of racing I could do now but I don't want to as I am not the same as I was 20-30 years ago.

My type of cycling is not right and someone else's wrong.

By the way if the author of the article wants to find some hippies riding bikes they are currently living in two caravans at the Bath end of the Bath-Bristol Railway path.

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horizon
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby horizon » 13 Apr 2016, 2:13pm

It can be quite hard to differentiate between the physical exhilaration of cycling and the enjoyment of what you see around you. That view from the top of the hill is much more awe inspiring, the air sweeter when you have walked and/or cycled up than when you arrived by car at the picnic spot. So I think that is something that all cyclists share.

But there is another dimension to cycling that might sometimes get missed - and that's the sense of adventure. Again, there's an overlap here with people on challenging rides - the excitement of not knowing how it will end and the question mark over your own fitness and even mental stamina. But here's the next "but": you could argue that cycling takes you into a world that you didn't know about. It can do this better than walking IMV as you can be more self-reliant. So you have all the physical senses enlivened in a way that all cyclists do but you have the added dimension of unexpected discovery and new realisations. For that though you might need to stop concentrating on your computer.

I can understand cyclists who set off for a defined ride in the morning, lightly equipped and with the reasonable expectation they'll be back by lunchtime - it's not a bad thing to do. But in another way I feel sorry for them: what adventures might lie ahead if they took an extra jumper and allowed themselves to be out all day and into the twilight hours? After all, the people you meet along the way, the new places you discover, the challenges you overcome (mechanical, hills, weather etc) and the new teashop you find are also the rewards of cycling, not just a calibrated improvement in fitness or speed.

So. yes. diifferent cyclists engage with the world in different ways. The problem arises when we reflect on our experiences and don't find the resonance we were hoping for and instead are confronted with a very different way of looking at it. When that different way becomes all pervasive, shouts at us louder and louder and finally eclipses within our culture what for us perhaps is the joy of cycling, then yes. it causes a certain regret and disenchantment. This is what the writer was getting at. And if the kind of cycling that is dominant today isn't your kind of cycling it can be hard explaining to other people just how pervasive the promotion and representation of the new cycling actually is.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby [XAP]Bob » 13 Apr 2016, 3:09pm

horizon wrote:I can understand cyclists who set off for a defined ride in the morning, lightly equipped and with the reasonable expectation they'll be back by lunchtime - it's not a bad thing to do. But in another way I feel sorry for them: what adventures might lie ahead if they took an extra jumper and allowed themselves to be out all day and into the twilight hours? After all, the people you meet along the way, the new places you discover, the challenges you overcome (mechanical, hills, weather etc) and the new teashop you find are also the rewards of cycling, not just a calibrated improvement in fitness or speed.


What kind of adventure might I be missing? Divorce?
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Geoff.D
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby Geoff.D » 13 Apr 2016, 3:27pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
horizon wrote:I can understand cyclists who set off for a defined ride in the morning, lightly equipped and with the reasonable expectation they'll be back by lunchtime - it's not a bad thing to do. But in another way I feel sorry for them: what adventures might lie ahead if they took an extra jumper and allowed themselves to be out all day and into the twilight hours? After all, the people you meet along the way, the new places you discover, the challenges you overcome (mechanical, hills, weather etc) and the new teashop you find are also the rewards of cycling, not just a calibrated improvement in fitness or speed.


What kind of adventure might I be missing? Divorce?


Alternatively, you might be missing the excitement of the 19th hole after a good round. :twisted: ? (which also requires a good divorce lawyer, I believe).

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mjr
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Re: How the spirit of cycling has changed

Postby mjr » 13 Apr 2016, 4:43pm

Geoff.D wrote:Alternatively, you might be missing the excitement of the 19th hole after a good round. :twisted: ? (which also requires a good divorce lawyer, I believe).

:eek: I think "19th hole" is a slang term for the club bar and not what that's suggesting, isn't it? :lol:
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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