A Commuting Rant (At A Risk)
No ride today, just mag work, house work, dad work, plus making a run to the shop to get my wheel that Little Ball of Hate worked on. Would have been a perfect day for riding but I mentally scheduled a Tuesday/Thursday/Friday ride week with the SM100 on Sunday to destroy me.
Trade show season is starting. I always dig/loathe when Eurobike and Interbike come rolling around. I dig it because we get to see all the new sweet and juicy rides coming out in 2010 and all the killer parts we think will make us faster. But at the same time I HATE (and I know I'm risking sounding like a dick here) seeing all the over the top shit that the shows bring. As well as all the fixie bikes, freak bikes, and the endless parade of bikes marketed as "commuter bikes". Bikes that look like something the German Wehrmacht would have used to roll into Poland on.
Most of the folks I know (at least here in the U.S., Europe is different bike friendlier animal, like an Otter or something) that commute use an old beater bike so as to not have their good bike inevitably stolen by some crack head or destroyed after they're run into a big ass city curb when they try to "share the road" with some small dicked road raging douche bag driving a gas guzzling Hummer.
That isn't to say folks shouldn't commute or that companies shouldn't make bikes that would make great commuter bikes. I LOVE when I hear about and see folks commuting. BUT in my opinion (which really means nothing at all) the best commuter bike is an old cross bike, road bike (and even some mountain bikes). The best way to get an old cross bike or old road bikes is make NEW, better, well spec'd and well priced bike that people want to buy. Then if you're a company like say Trek, you have Bontrager market parts and accessories to spiff up the old stuff making them more commuter friendly (fenders, bags, mounts, etc.,).
Bikes shops in turn make a littler more cash off selling/installing the parts and can get hold of a little more new and spanky inventory to convince Mr. or Mrs. Soiled Chamois that he/she should really get a new ride for Cross season and turn that old cross bike into a flat barred, fender mounted, pannier using, Wehrmacht style commuter to get his/her ass to work on, or to the corner shop for a sixer and a taco.
The new bikes could possibly be lower priced and spec'd better because the company is not pouring R&D cash, etc., into a market, that in the U.S. at least, has to be an under utilized and under appreciated commuter market. Believe me I'd love to live in a society where to get to work or to the store I just hop on my bike and roll. But sadly we all don't live in bike friendly towns with bike loving folk. Some folks live in places where locals would throw a Big Gulp at you for fun, or scream at you to (and I am indeed quoting on this one) "get your f*cking ass off the road you f*cking piece of shit!!" when they see you rolling on a busy road.
I would apologize for the rant, but I'm not really ranting about anything. Just having some mental diarrhea about marketing and trade shows that overflowing with too many bikes that sadly will go unsold.
I think I need to ride more.