A few days ago, my blog post “Keep the golf out of cycling” was posted on CyclingTips Facebook page and there was an incredible amount of feedback ranging from offensive disagreement to full support. Whatever the feedback, the sheer amount of opinions demonstrates that this topic matters to a lot of cyclists.
As a number of commenters pointed out the perception of attitudes in cycling is very location- and group-based. Having lived, ridden and raced on three continents, I have faced different attitudes towards cycling. However, in recent times, my broad experience has been that a condescending attitude towards others has been creeping in, and all I can say is if you haven’t experienced this, lucky you. I’m not saying that I can’t and haven’t found fantastic groups to ride with, but that I have also experienced others that aren’t so great.
To reiterate, I have nothing against someone riding a $10k bike – good on him or her that he or she can afford it. It is the attitude that sometimes goes along with it that concerns me.
Cycling is one of the few sports and occasions, where people from all walks of life meet on two wheels – the 16 year old high school student, the 70 year old former Tour de France rider, the CEO, the tradesman and the mum with three kids. It does not matter where you come from, what your work is and how much money you have. Cycling is a sport that does not discriminate and that’s the beauty of it. Whether someone rides to race or just to get to the next café, it does not matter – at the end of the day, we still share the same enjoyment being on two wheels. Let’s cherish that! The choice of our bikes and gear should not affect our behaviour or attitude towards others.
Happy riding, everyone!