To the Parlee-riding, Rapha-wearing tosspots that intentionally blanked my courteous nod this morning...thank you. On behalf of all actual cyclists, thank you for perpetuating the myth that lycra-clad riders are all divs that can't see past the labels on their own swanky outfit, as that allows those of us who care more about the getting out on our bikes to carry the burden of your shitty reputations and actions, as well as our messenger bags etc. NOTE: We know plenty of lycra fans that are lovely people, excellent riders and nothing short of fantastic ambassadors for all two-wheeled traffic. The knobs I encountered today were not some of them.
When did it get like this? My dad would talk about the 'good old days', when a person on a bike was a cyclist, regardless of how fancy the tubes beneath them or what they were wearing. Right up until he passed away, he was still out riding every week, clocking up more miles than I'd wager any Sunday Rapha rider does in a month, but would they acknowledge him? No. He was just some old guy in a pair of tatty chino shorts, taking his time on a return 50-mile leg. Why does he deserve the huge honour of a nod? Oh right...because he wasn't clad in £100s of stretchy material and valiantly churning through the Festive 500 (who bothers now the patch isn't a thing anymore?). Dad would also talk about how cyclists are a minority, so why add extra elitism within that?
Sorry to say it guys, but those of you who judge fellow cyclists based on the bike they're riding or what they are wearing are just plain ruining it for everybody. No wonder people hate joining clubs now! That person you pass wearing some Muddy Fox and trainers? They might just be starting out on their cycling journey and not have much spare cash to invest. The girl riding a tatty old Raleigh? She might have had that bike for years, going everywhere on it (and I'll bet she could tear your legs off on a hill if she needed to, because she doesn't rely on Di2).
I understand that everyone wants to feel a bit of a big deal (well, I don't, but I'm aware of the idea) but do you know what doesn't make you a cool or swell person? Being an elitist twat. If you've bought technical gear and a pricey bike because your riding style demands it, fair play and more to the point, good on you for investing in something that brings you pleasure and increased fitness. Seriously, that's rad and enviable. If, however, you've bought the entire #Rapha catalogue, a carbon bike and the latest #Garmin, just to cruise around the ring road looking like a boss...chill it on the rudeness. We are all trying to get somewhere, we are all doing it in the same way and we should be respectful of each other. We've got enough common problems, like shitty cycle lanes, crap drivers and pot holes to contend with, so why add more to the roster?
We can only hope that none of our customers are these kinds of riders. We don't think any of you are, as we havent seen any Insta-shaming sneaky photos of someone in an outfit you find funny or sub-par and when we've recieved emails saying one of our bikes was seen at an event, you've all been described as thoroughly nice people, so a huge thank you for being amazing ambassadors. Even our chap with a bonded carbon seat tube (hey James!) has been able to resist the bile that carbon so often pours into riders, remaining a bloody good bloke and super talented rider. So it can be done!
Ps. #Parlee guys...the commuter I was riding is an award-winning custom frame that has been featured in multiple magazines that you were most likely bought subscriptions for this Christmas and is the only one in the world. You guys had the exact same bike.
Pps. Your togs are owned by the Walmart family. WALMART. AKA Asda.
Ppps. Sorry to say it, but my wife, who had a baby eight months ago, would probably be able to keep up with you on our cargo bike, with bub in the front, while wearing jeans. And she'd wave at everyone else on a bike and flash them a big smile.