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« Lugs | Main | Fixed gear enthusiasts are discovering they have a hole in their rear »

Lighten Up

My last post about the terminally hip fixie crowd was an attempt at humor. If a person tells a joke then has to explain it, it is not funny.

If a certain reader of my last post can’t tell it is satire without me labeling as such, then maybe you should get to know my style of writing before rushing to judgment.

If you think I am prejudiced against this or that cycling faction you are wrong, and the problem is not mine, but your inability to laugh at yourself.

There are people in this world who would kill us because we don’t hold their particular religious beliefs or values. We make fun of them, not because we are prejudiced, but because we see the absurdity, the humor in it.

My recent post, Womankind, and the website I was reviewing, Copenhagen Girls on Bikes, is still drawing criticism for being sexist and perverted when I intended it to be a tribute to the grace and beauty of women.

When a woman (or a man for that matter.) dresses in nice clothes, they are making the world, their environment, more beautiful.

However, I am not supposed to look and admire without the accusation of being some kind of pervert. Maybe women should dress in long black robes from head to toe, that way we wouldn’t be tempted to look.

And maybe the fixie crowd should not post pictures of their bikes and videos of their trackstand competitions on line; so the rest of us will not be tempted to make fun of them.

Label: This is a rant.

Reader Comments (16)

wow ,,i cannot believe people take it sooooooo personal,,me ?,,,no way,,,i thought it was funny ,still do,i can relate to this story,because i own a old SS/Track bike and in the process of redoing it,,,i will not be using that $75 dollar though :>)..there is no hole were the caliper used to be,i will NOT be using a bar pad,there is no eyelets,,i have three bike so i can blend in with everyone,#1 is a Touring,,#2 is a fenderless 10-sp ,,& #3 is my SS Track,,,,,,,,,"CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG""!!!!!!!!!!LOL.......
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
You're absolutely right. Perhaps you've stumbled on another characteristic of bike hipsters: they take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY esp. when people are dying around the world for real reasons.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Da' Square Wheelman,
Amen, Dave.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter db
All three - this one, and the two mentioned were outstanding and well written. Don't let them get you down, Dave.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Jim
Well, I'm kinda flattered to be labelled as a "Hipster". As a 46-year-old guy with no fashion sense, that is high praise indeed.

And, I can easily laugh at myself, and people like me. When George Carlin goes on his rant about Southerners calling their father "Daddy" as adults, I laugh out loud. It's funny because it's true. (Tennessee born and raised, if you need to know.)

I even find BikeSnobNYC funny (although I find a lot of his reader/commenters to be jerks). Why is he funny and they are jerks? Simple: He's joking and a lot them aren't.

I guess I'm just getting tired of cheap shots lobbed over the internet. I don't use a top tube pad, or ride a track bike on the road (or a 6" travel full-suspension freeride bike on the road, either). I ride a converted "road" frame on the road because that's where it was designed to be ridden.

Still, I don't feel the need to tell people who do otherwise how stupid they are.

And, while we're at it, just leave Brittney alone!
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Jon
At least we know who the true Brittney Spears fans are.

46 year old guys with no fashion sense.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
I've got a '74 Schwinn Le Tour that I converted into a fixie when I got pulled into the whole fixed gear craze. I think the "fixie culture" is actually pretty cool but it definitely deserves to be made fun of. Anyway, I love my fixie conversion and use it as my backup commuter bike. Though Dave is right, I just might convert it back to a road bike some day.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter oceanhai

Look at it this way, you are getting people to think and voice their concerns. Even if all they do is rant, you are helping to contribute to our community by causing people to interact in this digital medium, and I feel that is mostly a positive thing. Chalk one up for you.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Bob J
Way to go, Dave. I bet those fixed gear urban roadies are REALLY ticked off by Bikesnob's blogs. That guy is merciless.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Bill in Pasadena
Damn straight Dave.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Jerome

Don't let the bast**ds get you down!

October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Jim
once again you handled yourself with grace and class. Exactly why I read everyday. Thanks and do not change a thing - rod in nebraska
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter rod termaat
Whew..I'm tired after reading all of these posts and the posts from the previous blog. But...not too tired to get my ass on my fixed gear and head out for a ride.

October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Maltese Falcon
No need to get going on this, but what you see as complimentary intent has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not something like Copenhagen Girls On Bikes is sexist. It most certainly is sexist. You're not going to see a Copenhagen Boys On Bikes blog. There are lots and lots of reasons for this, and ain't none of them somehow organic or natural. It's not about you being a bad person, or thinking evil thoughts about women.

As for perverted, I don't know - I don't exactly spend much time at CGOB, seeing as I find it rather creepily voyeuristic - again, how is the fact that it's somehow okay to take unsolicited, anonymous photographs of women and post them online to be viewed and judged on their physical attractiveness NOT sexist? It may be that the icky feeling that this voyeurism gives to a lot of us is what is being referred to as "perverted."

By the way, I rather like your blog, but I think you're off-base with this.
October 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter grolby
I enjoyed the post, Dave, and the article in Momentum. People are welcome to have their own opinions about what is sexist or not, or obscene or not.

What irritates me is when people say, "It is sexist!" - with no respect for other peoples cultural norms. The intelligent way to phrase it is, "I find it sexist".

We have had the occasional nay-sayer on our Cycle Chic blog - mostly from the States - but generally the feedback is positive, from both sexes.

An female Icelandic friend pointed to this quote, which is rather appropriate:

"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood."
Susan B. Anthony - suffragist. Feb. 2, 1896 in the New York World.

In societies that enjoy a high level of equality, such as the one featured in Cycle Chic, this quote is put into practice daily. Perhaps in countries that have yet to experience this equality, there is resistance to the idea. Perhaps.

As another suffragist said: "I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum."

May the momentum be with you and people like you, Dave.
November 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter 16:9
There's a very fine line between posting public pictures of people riding bicycles (I notice no faces in virtually all of these photos), voyeurism, and even sexism. However, the greater good is showing that normal people ride bicycles, and not just bums and weekend warriors. I'm a bicycle activist who works in the city planning field, and it is frustrating when some middle-aged white professional male (or his female equivalent) gets up in a public meeting and says that he doesn't need bike lanes or bike paths because he's a "competitive" cyclist. Pfffttt. If you want to change the world, get people on bikes. If you want to get people on bikes and out of cars, make bicycling easy and attractive. If you want to make bicycling easy and attractive, well, we live in a capitalist society and a commercial culture: make bicycling sexy. That's how the anti-fur people challenging the public wearing of fur, smoking, and now green cosmetics and other personal care products. And there's nothing wrong with a little sexiness!

Keep it up, Dave. I love it.
November 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
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