Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm A Poor Boy Now.

People are attracted to pretty things, and that's ok. For example, I have a really nice red shirt from Ben Sherman. It's all fitted and really bright and I look totally hot in it. That's cool. I didn't, however, only buy the shirt because I look totally hot in it, although I do. The first and paramount purpose of a shirt is to cover up nakedness and, in my case a few dodgy tattoos. The secondary purpose of a shirt is probably to keep me warm. Only after these two does me looking totally hot come into the equation. If, by some strange warping of logic, my priorities became all skewed and I started valuing my appearance above everything else, well, I probably wouldn't have bought the same shirt. Or I might have, but I might have just hung it over my shoulder and walked it down the street. At any rate, all of a sudden my shirt wouldn't be about anything practical, but rather aesthetics, perhaps even at the expense of practicality.

While this epic (which should be taken here to mean "unapproved") Boski x Cinelli Collabo doesn't necessarily come at the expense of practicality (even if it doesn't have a brake), it certainly places aesthetics above all else. And apparently aesthetics are expensive indeed - the complete bike is selling for $2750, whereas some calculations I pulled out of my butt has the parts/frame coming to about $1700. That's a cool thousand dollars to have different coloured letters on the frame.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't care if you want to make your bike look pretty, and nor do I care if you spend a lot of unnecessary money on it. I do, however, start to upchuck a little bit when you talk more about how your bike looks - or what parts are on it - than you actually ride it. And this Collabo seems to be placing the emphasis firmly on the former. No, here we have a bike as an object to be consumed visually, rather than ridden.

I know that these kinds of things are "dropping" daily, and that this particular bastardization shouldn't bother me any more than a stroll through fixed gear gallery. But it does. And I think that's mostly because it's happening here, where I live. And I can tell you now that Boski has never supported any underground cycling events in this town. Hell, I quickly scanned through the one hundred and eleven people who told facebook they're attending and I think I've only ever seen five or six of them out riding. I've certainly only ever seen a couple of them at events. Like the people who listen to Blink 182 and tell people they're into punk, these folks seem to be into cycling without the jagged edges, taking the easily consumed parts of the culture but refusing to give anything back, even by way of participation.

So, here's what I propose. On the 7th of November, at 1pm - the same day and time as the launch of this abomination - get your friends together and go for a ride. Head out of town - you can take the Merri Creek bike path all the way to the Ring Road bike path, for example, and then join up to the Craigieburn bike path. There's a nice bakery in Craigieburn where you could stock up on carbs before heading back the way you came. It's about 60ks all up. There won't be any free beer, of course, and no one will win a set of Deep Vs. It may, however, be a really nice day. Leave a comment if you need a map.


Tim said...

Its certainly very pretty. but meh.

Enjoying your posts mate, save for when you get too self righteous :)

cheers, trmac

Mel said...

Oh come on Brendan. It's a bit disingenuous of you to say that unless you've personally spotted someone out riding their bike or at an event, they're "refusing to give anything back".

Natasha said...

I agree with you about being mildly annoyed by people with very pretty bikes that don't really get ridden. I particularly notice girls who ride these extremely stylish old school girls bikes - at about 5km an hour, because the frames are so heavy - despite their lovely wicker basket and ribbons etc. I know one or two who have laid out huge sums for these bikes but then wont ride them as basic transport because it's too hard. They're just for cruising around North Carlton looking stylish.

I see these stylish ladies bikes as the cycling equivalent of high heeled shoes: Sure they look nice, but if you can't get around on them they're basically pointless.

You'll note at this point that I ride a very daggy and fairly cheap Kona. It doesn't ever win me any cycling cred but I ride it pretty much everyday.

Anonymous said...

Haha oh Brendan.
You should end the ride at loophole around 7pm!!
I might even come along if I'm not organizing shit for the show.

nat said...

Isn't this about you being annoyed with people attaining "biking" or "cycling" credibility when you don't view them as worthy or having earned it - because you have been in it for so long and done way more to contribute to biking culture in Melbs :) Which, in a sense, is a totally legitimate response, if not somewhat possessive and territorial. but then we get into problems of ownership...

Sam said...

This is the same crap old argument that people have about punk and hardcore for decades. Nat summed it up pretty well. You sound pretty territorial. Just because they're not spamming their friends in every outlet possible to see themselves crowned 'Cyclist of the Year' (or perhaps most egotistical cyclist of the year) doesn't mean they don't deserve do be part of your/our/the community. I like it when people give back too, in the punk community and in the cycling community. It helps foster the scene and generates ideas. I feel I participate and give something back to both these communities. But it doesn't give me the right to call people out for not being as involved as others. Maybe I'm just not as old and jaded as you are.

ps: despite my reservations about the Cyclist of the Year business I did vote for you. ;)