Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stepping Stones

There was a recent article in Velonews about whether people jumping on the bicycle bandwagon with a ss road bike is a bad thing or not... This got me thinking.

One of our favorite customers, who we will call Tobi, because that is her name, got into cycling this last year or so. Her trainer felt that cycling would be a great way to cross train and that she would just like it. We sold her a bike that she liked aesthetically and would function for her needs. She was absolutely not comfortable with a bike that was going to have a lot of things to adjust and play with. She just wanted a bike to figure things out with. We obliged. And she reacted with such incredible vigor and excitement that we got worried about her. She rode that bike a lot. So much so that she became very comfortable with paths and sidewalks and roads. She became comfortable with other cyclists and us. In essence, she graduated to the next level. As a reward, she bought a different bike; it is a bike that appealed to her new aesthetic wants and her new level of needs. It was really fun to watch.

My question is this: How is that different than the accused fixie rider that is still figuring out that they aren't as big as a car? We have seen a great deal of riders come in and discover their life's passion is cycling. Personally, I don't care how this happens. But, people are in a stink about it. The pattern is there. The aesthetic wants and the simplicity needs. Function (sometimes but not always) before form?

A cyclist is born when they see a bicycle as a part of who they want to *be*. Then, they can *become* a cyclist. Try before do.

1 comment:

Ian said...

I have been exploring bike aesthetics lately, I love the new/old mix in the fixie world. Here is a fun gallery, from a Dutch cycle design show: