Moreover, as a group cyclists are extremely self-righteous, and generally speaking we have a tendency to think that our views are the correct ones. However, if you know your history, this is not always the case. For example, in the late 19th century a group called Pennyfarthings4Hayes was instrumental in engineering the “Compromise of 1877” that put Rutherford B. Hayes into office, despite the fact that his rival Samuel Tilden actually won the popular vote. As a result of this compromise, Reconstruction ended in the South, Jim Crow laws were established, and the seeds of segregation were sown.
The point is, cyclists can and do make mistakes. Furthermore, I think it is far more important that we address the many problems in our own cycling community before we start trying to effect changes in the outside world. Cyclists, we need to get our house in order! Here are just three of the many problems that are currently killing cycling and tearing us apart:
Despite weather balloons, satellites, and whatever else they’re using, weather forecasting hasn’t come very far. At the same time, though, thanks to the internet there is more information available to us than ever before. This has led to a dangerous development: the riding buddy who thinks he can predict the weather. Every group of riders has that one person who thinks he or she can look at the radar, interpret the data, and do better than the professionals. Sadly, this is not the case. Like the person who misdiagnoses himself on the internet only to die from a malady that could have been easily cured by a doctor, amateur meteorologists have grossly miscalculated routes and roll-out times and led many a ride to a tragic, wet, and cold demise.
Training With Power
In case you didn’t know, training with power is all the rage. In fact, Joe Friel likens getting a power meter to a person with weak eyesight donning his first pair of glasses. Of course, the reality is that riding with a power meter is more like having sex with an electrocardiogram, in that it takes the fun out of the whole enterprise and buffets you with data you don’t really need. Physical sensation will guide you through your ride the same way it guides you through sex, and if you can’t do either without electronics it’s possible you have a problem that technology by itself may be insufficient to address.
Ah, yes, I sense a lot of readers shifting awkwardly in their chairs right now. Sure, nobody wants to talk about it, but the fact is that we all know anti-Semitism is deeply and tragically ingrained in the cycling culture. And until we talk freely about it, it’s simply not going to change.
Why are those safety tabs on fork dropouts still called “Jewish Mothers?” Why is skipping the ride on Saturday in order to rest and rip your friends’ legs off on Sunday still called “Kosher Sandbagging?” Why is pouring the contents of your water bottle over your head on a hot day still called a “Belgian Yarmulke?”
One word (or is it two?): anti-Semitism.
I will no longer be a part of this conspiracy of silence!
So, my fellow cyclists, before we band together to elect a Presidential candidate, let us first unite and better ourselves.