Trigger (heh) warning. Hang on Baby Jesus, this is gonna get bumpy. You have been trigger (heh) warned.
Here we go… My Google feed is finally getting around to figuring out that I’m a little more interested in bicycle news than today’s ignorant liberal political rubbish. So what did my Google feed crap out at me? Liberal bicycle political rubbish. Dammit.
The second paragraph gets right into it:
In all the excitement to proclaim bicycles the answer to congested roads, polluted city air and our own health, the materials used to manufacture those bikes often get overlooked.
Now, if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, I predicted this years ago. My one mistake was in a lack of understanding why and it’s the why that’s important. The author goes immediately into explaining why we shouldn’t be riding on a carbon fiber frame, and then why we should choose bamboo in its stead.
Here is a photo of the bike, and I use that term loosely, used to showcase bamboo bikes for the article:
What an ugly, misshapen piece of junk… and she only paid $835 to build it.
What’s interesting is the amount of deception (or perhaps it’s ignorance but I have my doubts) the author uses to frame his argument. For example:
It’s also incredibly wasteful. Most people replace a racing bike every three years, adding to carbon fiber scrap, says James Marr, founder of the Bamboo Bicycle Club and a former wind turbine engineer.
Did you get that? A wind turbine engineer? Windmill anyone?
Personally, I own two carbon fiber bikes, a 2013 and a 1999 and my wife owns a 2014… Let’s see, my buddy Mike, a 2003 and a 2014… The point is, I know of only three carbon fiber frames, warrantee claims all, that were ever discarded between all of my friends (and we’re talking upwards of 20 friends and dozens of bikes) and none were as soon as three years. The statement simply doesn’t make sense. Who would scrap a $2,000 to $10,000 (frame value from $1,500 to $7,000) bike in a few years? Folks, nobody – and I mean nobody, scraps a bike every three years, let alone most people. The average lifespan of a carbon frame is better than steel or titanium and vastly longer than aluminum.
Maybe we should look at the source of that data, though… the founder of the Bamboo Bicycle Club. Now, I could see getting rid of that bamboo piece of junk in the photo above after a few days but there’s no way I’d give up my Venge or my 5200. Even if I did, I’d sell the frame off rather than scrap it! To suggest otherwise is one of two things, disingenuous or dishonest. Take your pick.
Look, I could bother with going through the rest of the article but the whole thing leans in that particular direction – disinformation from tree huggin’ hippies which leads us to the obvious conclusion that we should be using bamboo to build our bikes as long as we “rel[y] on production standards, for example avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and ensuring natural forest is not cleared for plantations.”
Okay, so as long as we don’t use a method that creates reliable bamboo and we grow it on the moon, we’re good… We’ll just gloss over, for now, the urethane coating used to shine up the bamboo on that ugly bastard in the photo above, and the epoxy used to lash the pieces of bamboo together. I’m sure they’re produced from iceberg lettuce fibers or something.
SO, in conclusion, the hipster author of the article wants us to ride ugly, creaky, slow, impossibly heavy bikes that will have a shelf-life a quarter that of a carbon fiber bike because? Anyone? Bueller? Because some people can’t be happy unless they’re making everyone else miserable with their restrictive, fascist ideas of how everyone else should live. Too harsh? Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
Hipsters these days are nothing special, nor are they creative. They simply like to come up with ways to make a name for themselves by pointing out how everyone else should live, thereby proving that, because they can see the intricacies in their ideas, they are better than you.
Because Tom can see that making a bike out of carbon fiber is a messy process, even though carbon bikes are vastly safer than that homemade piece of shit shown above (especially at 60 mph), we should all ride in a way that Tom sees fit (slow, with no excitement whatsoever) so we can all be “sustainable” and sit by the bamboo bike bonfire singing kumbaya. He’s smart, after all, and we should all bend to his will because he is. The fact that he’s willing to bend the truth to prove it is just a bonus.
My friends, do the opposite of what the author of that article proposes. Go out and buy the most expensive, lightest carbon fiber (or steel, or aluminum, or titanium) bike you can reasonably afford and ride the wheels off of it. Not to get groceries or to save gas or CO2 (which you exhale with every second or third pedal stroke), though feel free, but ride a bike because it’s fun. If you want to play Don Quixote with global warming, go right ahead, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re better than anyone else for that choice…
My middle finger to do-gooder tree huggin’ hippies? Not quite, they’re not that important.
I would have to kick my own ass if I were pretentious enough to suggest we should all be building bikes out of bamboo. People who consistently seek to influence others, bending reality and truth in the process, should be teased often and repeatedly, relegated to the lower levels of human existence. They are naval lint. They are a vile, fun-hating group.
So, from all of us fun-loving, happy people to you; do shut it.
This has been a public service announcement.