Cycling and Socialism

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Sooper8
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Cycling and Socialism

Postby Sooper8 » 23 Dec 2012, 10:09am

Working on a hypothesis that cycling and it's related activities are inherently socialist (within the broader meaning of the word 'socialist' )

I'd be happy to expand and give you my thoughts but really just interested in your thoughts for a blog article I am going to write.

Cheers
Everything you love,everything meaningful with depth & history,all passionate authentic experiences will be appropriated,mishandled,watered down,cheapened, repackaged,marketed & sold to the people you hate
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reohn2
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby reohn2 » 23 Dec 2012, 10:58am

What is your broad meaning of the word "socialist"?
Cycling IME can be a social activity though equally can be solitary.
BTW what's the Blog?
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al_yrpal
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Dec 2012, 11:11am

" (Economics) an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. "

What that's got to do with cycling I cannot imagine? Are my bikes to be nationalised?

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

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gaz
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby gaz » 23 Dec 2012, 11:19am

Google "Socialism can only arrive by bicycle", a quote attributed to Jose Antonio Viera Gallo.

I think you'll find that your blog has already been written.
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mrjemm
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby mrjemm » 23 Dec 2012, 1:37pm

Is this why China used to be swamped with bicycles when I went there on my earlier trips, but in more recent years they've become less and less common as concepts of wealth and status take centre stage?.. Except as commodities to export of course.

Yes, a rhetorical question.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Dec 2012, 2:17pm

mrjemm wrote:Is this why China used to be swamped with bicycles when I went there on my earlier trips, but in more recent years they've become less and less common as concepts of wealth and status take centre stage?.. Except as commodities to export of course.

Yes, a rhetorical question.


Err.. I remember the early 60s when I got my first car. It was due to very modest wealth (as an engineering apprentice I was able to rescue the car from a scrapyard and fix the engine, brakes, lights and steering which had caused it to fail the ten year test). It enabled me to visit distant jazz clubs, the seaside, and get to college without getting soaked. Nothing whatsoever to do with wealth (wages £5 a week), and nothing to do with status, although many of us recognised the cars usefulness as a girl magnet. The cars I have now serve exactly the same purpose, nothing whatsover to do with socialism, and I am not a Tory either. As for the Chinese, I made my first visit back there in March since 1984, its still the same overcrowded dump that it was then with big pockets of stinking awfulness even right in the centre of Peking! But wealth is slowly filtering through as they embrace capitalism to some extent. Half the bikes in Peking are now electric! People there want cars, but Peking is now like Singapore where car licences are rationed to limit the terrible traffic jams. If you are a resident of Peking and you want to live somewhere else you have to get permission, so much for freedom. I have recently finished reading 'Nothing to envy: real life in North Korea' which says it all about socialism. I am glad we don't have it. And bikes are nothing to do with it. Those that HAVE to ride them don't do it out of choice.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

mrjemm
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby mrjemm » 23 Dec 2012, 2:45pm

Maybe I am oversimplifying things Al, and I've only been going since the early 90s, so not as long as yourself. I have however noticed a great drop in cycle use between my earlier times there and later. Far more cars, scooters and as you mention, electric bikes.

bikesmed.jpg


I think I've posted this before, but it's from 94 I think, which is similar to my 1st time there in 92. It's Kunming and was a fairly typical morning scene that encouraged me to buy a Diamondback Topanga and try my 1st go at cycle touring! So many shops there selling a weird and wonderful variety of bikes, many of which, like my Topanga, were presumably locally made for export, but that's a guess.

Last time I spent any time in China was about 10 years ago now, and I saw nothing like the same amount, but then these were the more developed cities and regions in the SE that I spent most time in. I did of course see the poverty, filth and how thin the veil of sheen is where it existed. The people I got to know and those I encountered did place a high value on 'face' and perceived status, wearing glitzy gilt watches and shiny suits (again and again) with miss-spelled labels sewn on the cuffs. Transport which didn't require self-propulsion was far preferable, much like here.

I really like the country and the people, even though I find it difficult place to travel and spend time, and would return there far quicker than I would say India.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Dec 2012, 3:05pm

My trip to China visited Shanghai and HK as well as Vietnam, S Korea, Thailand and Singapore. You are spot on about status symbols, all Asians especially the young are besotted with so called 'designer' gear, its absolutely daft! In every place we went they were packing out the big stores clutching handfuls of shiny bags. Bicester Village, quite near here is like going to HK, its packed with East Asians every day. I suppose we should be glad that we can still sell them overpriced tat whilst they sell us £1 tape measures etc.. But, I am sure they would all abandon their cycles if they could.. even though politically many are still naievely socialist and they think we are wicked capitalists. The need to cycle is economic, or a belief in eco stuff, or because like us, you like it, nothing to do with socialism

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

reohn2
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby reohn2 » 23 Dec 2012, 3:33pm

What has China and North Korea got to do with socialism(other than a name which is used as a threat by western capitalists) or this thread FTM?
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mrjemm
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby mrjemm » 23 Dec 2012, 3:41pm

I actually agree with both of you. My 1st post was a bit tongue in cheek. I think the term used to describe China best in the past was 'State Imperialism', but am sure it does not apply now.

My suspicion is that in the dark days of murderous Maoism, a bicycle would've been viewed as a sign of elitism and the rider taken off and disembowelled.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Dec 2012, 4:11pm

reohn2 wrote:What has China and North Korea got to do with socialism(other than a name which is used as a threat by western capitalists) or this thread FTM?


Well, they reckon they are peoples republics based on socialism, where the state controls the means of production etc etc... We would interpret that as the former is a one party state that has seen the light and is gradually changing, and the other is literally still a dictatorship that hoodwinks its people 'animal farm' style. It was quite interesting to walk around the art gallery in Peking after 28 years to spot that change is actually very slow. Socialist bicycles conjours images of flat hats, bicycle clips and roll ups, not Lycra, helmets and carbon....

Al :)
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

reohn2
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby reohn2 » 23 Dec 2012, 4:25pm

al_yrpal wrote:Well, they reckon they are peoples republics based on socialism, where the state controls the means of production etc etc... We would interpret that as the former is a one party state that has seen the light and is gradually changing, and the other is literally still a dictatorship that hoodwinks its people 'animal farm' style. It was quite interesting to walk around the art gallery in Peking after 28 years to spot that change is actually very slow. Socialist bicycles conjours images of flat hats, bicycle clips and roll ups, not Lycra, helmets and carbon....

Al :)

Conjuring,hmm........I'm not good at magic,but I can see what capitalism has up it's sleeve :wink:
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al_yrpal
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Dec 2012, 5:50pm

Here's a socialist touring bicycle I spotted in Ho Chi Minh city.

Image
Vietnamese Touring Bike by Alyrpal, on Flickr

I think its redundant because they are all riding little put puts now...

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

pete75
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby pete75 » 24 Dec 2012, 8:40am

Sooper8 wrote:Working on a hypothesis that cycling and it's related activities are inherently socialist (within the broader meaning of the word 'socialist' )

I'd be happy to expand and give you my thoughts but really just interested in your thoughts for a blog article I am going to write.

Cheers


Just read FELLOWSHIP IS LIFE - The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 - 1995' by Denis Pye and you'll see what you say is true. It's available from http://www.clarioncc.org/book_form.html

reohn2
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Re: Cycling and Socialism

Postby reohn2 » 24 Dec 2012, 9:16am

pete75 wrote:
Sooper8 wrote:Working on a hypothesis that cycling and it's related activities are inherently socialist (within the broader meaning of the word 'socialist' )

I'd be happy to expand and give you my thoughts but really just interested in your thoughts for a blog article I am going to write.

Cheers


Just read FELLOWSHIP IS LIFE - The National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 - 1995' by Denis Pye and you'll see what you say is true. It's available from http://www.clarioncc.org/book_form.html

Funny you should mention that I'm just reading it again ATM :)
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I cycle therefore I am.