Ed note: this started as a long message thread between Nic and I, then turned into a post. Nic has marketed bikes you’ve probably ridden or read about here and in other outlets. Nic is asking, why do the fans (and me) get so worked up?
Why You Mad Bro?
What am I talking about? Well, we as cyclists get so involved in our sport and mad anytime we hear about something wrong (like disc brakes). I think this is more a US thing than I have found in Europe, there they just love the cycling and they don’t dwell on the issues too much. The thought is, if everyone is doping then it’s an even playing field, so let’s just watch the racing. Same thing about the gear and kit.
Should we get mad?
Sometimes for sure but I know if people are doping or doing some other form of cheating, I’ll still watch. I was telling a friend the other day that I think we get so attached, because what the top guys do is maybe achievable.
What do I mean?
You could become a racer if you train. Maybe you can make the pro ranks with genetics, but it is something possible. We all ride and at some point have struggled up a climb, bombed a decent with some tricky turns and ridden in less than perfect weather. I think the same feeling and attachments could be said for a lot of the sports we get really into like basketball, baseball, and football.
These are all sport that as kids we have played and maybe at a high level, so we can really relate to the pro’s and what’s going on in the game.
Then look at motorsports. This stuff is cool with tons of technology, but I don’t get so emotionally attached, why? My thought is that these sports are things that we really can’t do unless we have the funds. I’ll never drive an F1 car or race Moto GP so it is hard for me to relate to what is going on or get that involved. It’s unattainable.
If I am lucky, and I have been a couple of times. I might get to a track one day but that is as close as I can get to Moto GP. I’ve ridden Roubaix and the Poggio so I feel more attached to those guys because I have suffered the same courses they ride.
Ed note: I’ve been to an F1 race and still think about it. Amazing.
That is the cool thing with cycling you can actually go and ride the same courses that you see the pros on, ride them the day before a race then watch them race it the next day. You understand the suffering they are going through because you pretended to be them the day before.
Not many other sports can say that. I wouldn’t have it any other way but let’s not forget why we do this sport,
IT’S FUN and as soon as we lose sight of that then I’m done.
So as Freddie Mercury said “Get on your bike and ride”
And, I did this weekend, it was fun.
Considering what Nic shared, another bike industry insider said this about what the pros were riding at Roubaix.
Pros ride whatever is going to be fastest. People should buy whatever is going to be the most fun. Sometimes those are the same thing, most of the time they aren’t.
Seriously. I’ve got off-the-record quotes from industry players who’ll tell you they’ve made kit for pros that us amateurs should never ride, but we can, and do.
I think the deep belief in the sport and how we connect to it is also rooted in the bro deal….how we’re all in on something pretty good, but with its own drama, and negative energy around doping.
To that and the next generation of racers, the bike companies have been and are hands off about doping. They let the teams, riders, and governance, work it out.
Not much else they can do, when they’re selling super-fast bikes we can buy for $12K or less. Like the ones I just reviewed…