In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Colbrelli wins De Brabantse Pijl; Cavendish diagnosed with mononucleosis from Epstein Barr; Two riders on Czech Continental team test positive, possible team sanction; British Cycling independent review report release delayed again; Wout van Aert to race all the Spring Classics?; In memory of Mike Hall, the man who inspired a world of cyclists; Dibben ‘finished’ Paris-Roubaix despite time cut; No more hippies and explorers: a lament for the changed world of cycling; Could financial problems in Bahrain affect team?; Pon Holdings looking to acquire Accell Group; E-bike legislation signed into law in Colorado; Video: Night Riders by Racing Club; Track Cycling: What is the Omnium?
Your Thursday Daily News Digest
While it is a self-proclaimed ‘reactionary rant,’ Tom Marriage’s article in The Guardian about the outcomes of the sport becoming more popular is an interesting read. Are we taking ourselves too seriously? It’s a good problem to have, of course, since we all want this sport we love to be popular, but it does come with some consequences — such as ‘The Rules‘ going from tongue-in-cheek to some seeming to believe they are issued by the UCI. Here is an excerpt:
A classic south London ride (over Crystal Palace, out to Oxted) has become a miserable slog of unsmiling, un-nodding pink and black Lycra-clad sports cyclists. There’s no bonhomie or camaraderie, just wrap-around glasses and steely determination to overtake. And the chat is about bikes and times, Strava segments, with the same fervour dull men use to talk about football teams. People are less and less likely to talk about experiences, the things the’ve seen, the places they’ve been, the fun and epic hardship they’ve experienced. They’re less and less likely to talk about the joy of cycling. Again, it bores the shit out of me.
This sounds like a reactionary rant, and that’s because it is. I should be able to just let these people get on with it and live and let live, or even just take joy in the fact that there are so many more people who love cycling in any way they like. But I can’t, and I have my reasons. First, I don’t like being looked down on. I don’t like being characterised as less of a cyclist because I can’t be arsed with sportives and would rather get lost than go hard.
Second, I think it pollutes the rest of the culture. This pernicious strand of macho sport orthodoxy is creeping into all parts of cycling. It’s starting to be the norm. Bike shops are geared towards it, bike blogs are geared towards it, conversations around cycling are geared towards it. You mention you like cycling, now that comes with an expectation that you are a certain type of person; alpha male, serious, competitive, buyer of bikes, regurgitator of facts.
Moreover, I worry that this fake professionalisation in leisure cycling hides the joy from people who might otherwise have got involved. Third, it’s just another example of something lovely, free and non-corporate being turned into a mega industry. And that makes me sad. Can’t we have some things which don’t get packaged up, branded and marketed? Isn’t there any part of life where I can experience a freedom from corporatism without have my experience re-packaged and sold back to me?
Click through to read more at The Guardian.