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Home » Cycling » The Dirty Little Secret of the Tree Huggin’ Hipster Crowd: They’re only Happy if They’re telling You how You’re Doing it Wrong. And now they want Your Bicycle.

The Dirty Little Secret of the Tree Huggin’ Hipster Crowd: They’re only Happy if They’re telling You how You’re Doing it Wrong. And now they want Your Bicycle.


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:

Bamboo Bike.jpg 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.



  1. unironedman says:

    So we have a bamboo frame… what about the groupset, chain, wheels, tyres, tubes, cables… not sure they’ll function too well made out of hemp… I don’t actually have an issue with the materials really, but let’s be honest about the entire process. It’s the same with the debate on electric cars in Ireland at the moment. I am sure they cost much the same (to the planet) as regards resources as an internal combustion engine, but the real sleight of hand is pretending the electricity to power them somehow came from butterflies flapping their wings. Here, we still burn peat, oil and coal to make electricity, and import it from the UK where they use nuclear. So if you want a clean, green car, then you also need a clean way of creating power. That’s where the real debate needs to be had. The engine is really not the issue. Same with the bike. Overall, I suspect steel is the best things for bike frames in that it’s a common enough material that’s strong and lasts a long time; much longer than any other material as of yet, factoring in the damage over the years that we subject them to. So, omelettes and eggs, I guess!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Exactly, and we’re not even getting into the chemicals that go into the batteries and what happens to them when they’re disposed of finally! As to steel, there are two sides to the steel bike frame. We won’t even deal with rust, lets say you store your steel bike in a climate controlled house (as I do my tandem), steel doesn’t take the flex the same as an aluminum, titanium or carbon fiber bike does – the frame will deform over time, so in that respect a carbon fiber frame will last the longest of all materials. On the other hand, a steel frame can be fixed easier and more completely than anything out there, and that’s by a long shot. In other words, you’re right. Steel would probably be the best bike material, all things considered. They can start only making bikes out of steel now that I have my carbon fiber bike. 😀

  2. theandyclark says:

    Please tell me that he’s not exploiting a woman in the bamboo bike photo, and that that is a respectable transgender model.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Andy, I think that’s just a British woman, no gender flopping necessary. The saddle selection suggests female as well. So yes, he’s exploiting a woman. Good catch! Maybe we should write an article about how male hipsters tend to exploit women to raise awareness for their silly causes…. Hmmm.

  3. Maybe she should build a hemp bike.

  4. capejohn says:

    This irony of this post is staggering.

  5. saoirsek says:

    I’m currently knitting my own bike with the copious amounts of dog hair left lying around the house by our hairy hound…

  6. Perhaps Thou protesteth too much? If your worldview feels truly threatened by people using hyperbole to make a point, there is usually just cause hidden in there somewhere. But if you’re just annoyed, it means you’re nothing more than a whiney bitch. Take your pick. Neither is a pretty option.

  7. I get that you’re a conservative bike rider who likes to have fun and is not concerned about the environment. And maybe there even some legitimate argument to be made against bamboo bikes. And perhaps bike waste is an issue. But your post was a bit confusing and maybe tongue in cheek, but I don’t get the antipathy or even hatred toward bamboo bikes or even hipster tree huggers. Don’t like it, don’t buy it. But I am unable to like this article, it didn’t persuade me to hate either if those. I’m car free 13 years and that’s good for the environment, which is polluted and in big trouble. I don’t have to believe it, it’s scientific majority consensus.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Well I can’t like your comment either. Chuckle.

      What, specifically, is a scientific majority consensus? Care to define that? Maybe the earth is flat was once a consensus, right? Environmental hucksters have been around long before you (or Ed Begley Jr. for that matter) were born. I am never for butt-hurt, pretentious people who buy into the current Russian generated talking point of the day against whatever it is we’re supposed to be against so Russia can sell more oil and gas (fracking anyone?). You may choose to bury your head in the sand and proclaim the sky is falling. I just won’t be cheering you on. It’s a bit sad, really.

      • You can’t or won’t be convinced that 99% of climate scientists agree that humans are making the environment worse. Look it up. If you’re a climate change denier then that’s just willful ignorance, so maybe just stick to bicycle talk, bro.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Fascist comments always make me chuckle. That was a doozy! You’re either drinking the Kool-aid or you’re against us!

      • bgddyjim says:

        See, and there’s a problem right off the bat with that false 97% claim. You have to read the consensus part closely. They hand-picked 72 peer reviewed papers, 97% of those papers did agree that there is a such thing as global warming and that humans likely have some part to play in that. Many of those scientists came out immediately after the 97% malarkey was published and said their work was misrepresented.

        It’s so much deeper than “there’s a consensus” and most people have no idea how deep that rabbit hole is. I’m for science, 100% (not just 97%). I am also for not bastardizing that science for slavish government funding.

      • Agree to disagree with unverified claims about verified studies. How ’bout those bikes?

      • bgddyjim says:

        Fair enough, I’ll agree to disagree with the handling of those studies, the comical changing of temperature records and placing too much emphasis on shoddy computer models that can’t account for reality (or come anywhere close to it).

        As bikes go, and this has something to do with this post, the local shop just put together a Renovo Aerowood…

        Second one down… Now THAT’S a wood bike! I hear they’re quite heavy for a $10,000 bike (and way out of my price range!).

  8. Archetype says:

    The progressive leftist mentality is one of an illness. Manifests itself in many types of Psychosis. Guilt, self-loathing, jealousy, gender hate (males), etc. The ideology of the far left is not all different from vintage National Socialism, with variants of corporatism and of course fascism tied in.

    The far left are no where being ‘socialists’ or communists as many on the right point out. Or even the far left like to be associated with. The left favors big government, which is controlled by BIG corporations. The financial and economic collusion between private and public enterprises is called corporatism. Leftists love corporatism. (again, which is a guise for economic Fascism) But extends far beyond the econ-financial systems.

    It’s intention is to permeate all of society. Paper laws and the control of money. Abolishing of Christian and Judaism religions, (except the murdering moooosilims) Both Himmler and Hitler were pagans and whole heartedly believed in paganism.

    Also, the destruction of parental authority, value and moral systems. A disdain for the military establishment. Social engineering, health care, food, housing, etc. To the point of having virtually little to NO choice. Result? You accept what the ‘fascists’ tell you.

    (1930’s- 1940’s Italy and especially Germany were great examples of this)

    This is their REAL utopia. NOT central planning, not communes, not peace, love and harmony BUT rather tyranny, disguised in the form of so-called caring about YOU, the children, and the planet, about a better society.
    It is authoritarian rule because ‘they’ know better than you. ‘They’ know what is best. Also part of the mental illness or psychosis. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not only the far left, but there a small contingent on the far right who are virtually the same.

    Nazism was successful in all I mentioned above. The STATE was in control of raising the children. The parents were merely ‘hosts’ The STATE controlled everything in Germany at the time. Businesses were allowed very little decision and had to be cleared by the Reich before any changes were made. The ‘private’ sectors were only private in name.

    Today, it is a bit different, because so many trans-national global corporations have so MUCH money. BUT, in order to get ‘laws’ passed…they need the puppet regimes or puppet politicians to enact such tyrannical systems.The puppet governments still call the shots. And the far left couldn’t be bigger fans of it.

    But in the end, it is those on the far left who despise choice, who do not value individualism. Collectivism is their main goal, but not in the communist sense. These delusional ideologues would like nothing more than to impose their OWN stifling will upon the masses… but only for the greater good, of course! (rolling eyes)

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