There’s ample room in cycling for every kind of cyclist, but please don’t try to convince me that your way is the best, brightest or greenest. It would be like the nail telling the hammer it’s about to get pounded into the wood. More than a little silly.
I am, without a doubt, an enthusiast of sharp road race bikes. I am the happy owner of a wonderful, if small, stable of excellent bikes ranging from road to mountain.
I’m not too flashy, but I’m close enough for government work. I like ’em cool and my bikes are that, especially the two newest additions to the stable.
I don’t, however, see the beauty in the randos, commuters, leisure bikes or those God-awful bike share thingamabobs. This isn’t to say they aren’t worthwhile for someone else, I simply reserve my right to be prejudiced and simply don’t care if someone else doesn’t take to it. On the other hand, while I fail to see the beauty in those bikes, I don’t have a problem with someone who does.
To each his or her own. I am not lost on the coolness of packing up enough stuff to camp on a bike and going for a week-long (or more) trip with or the idea that ten miles in an hour is still much faster than walking or jogging from point A to point B.
Now, having ridden a Trek leisure bike last year (my in-laws own a matching set [points for that] and on vacation last February they let my wife and I ride them every day), I can tell you they’re comfortable. It was like riding on a Lay-Z-Boy recliner, as long as you don’t try to go too fast. Speed is not what they’re about. It was nice, just not sexy, in my eyes.
While I might think they look goofy, my in-laws love them and that’s what it’s really all about.
Road cycling, like any other sport that an average person can participate in (running being another), has its snobs and some of those snobs are more repugnant than others. They have funny rules that encompass everything down to the length and material of one’s socks (crew length and ankle lengths are not acceptable, etc.), whether or not you can have a saddle bag on a road bike and even the minimum frequency of leg shaving (every fourth day). Most cyclists don’t give a damn about many of the rules, they’re silly for the most part, though they aren’t all that bad either. There is no doubt though, when they’re followed a cyclist almost can’t help but look good. Then there are other rules that enervate and are simply there to make life for others difficult. I avoid these types of people like the plague. My friends and I only have two rules when we ride: “Do what you can to contribute” and “Don’t crash me, bro”.
Randonneurs have their rules too (if they are a lot more flexible) with their flags and hi-viz everything, their panniers, three-pound 45 position handlebars and trailers… Commuters (even more flexible) have their rules as well (though they mainly have to do with road etiquette and riding in places that have no room for a nervous person). Now this might surprise some but even leisure cyclists have rules… Well, one anyway: “Stick your rules up your @$$! I’m riding in my khaki shorts, open-toed sandals, wearing my aviator sunglasses and I don’t care if you don’t like it.” Folks, anarchy is still a rule.
Anyway, do what you like. Ride, wear, sport what makes you happy. It’s all good. Kind of. There’s room for everyone.
Just do us all a favor: You stick to what you like and leave others to their joy. Besides, when you start talking about “green this” and “sustainability” that, when one starts believing their own press, or that their way to enjoy cycling is best and should be conformed to by everyone else, it says a lot about the person… Mainly that you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about. Of course, on the plus side, that’s all I need to know to drop you at the first hill.