#1 Most Interesting Comment Left To MTB198
Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from a reader who was unsubscribing from this blog. Normally, I would not post up these kinds of rant emails (its actually the first I have received…so we must be doing something right!), but I just had to share this one with you guys.
I am unsubscribing because your website is just another commercial website. I am tired of commercialism; I prefer bicycles as a utilitarian vehicle, not a two – wheeled sport utility vehicle where the price of Chinese – made frames and components continually escalates. I think the founding fathers of mountain biking never wanted mountain biking to become the plaything of a small group of capitalists.
Before I jump into this head first, I want to say, I feel ya Adam. I wish there was more bike commuting. I wish there were more cities that embraced the bike culture more than it is now. And I wish everything could be manufactured on this side of the pond giving more jobs to American workers for a price everyone was able to pay. Are these dreams realistic in today’s economy…most of them aren’t but we do our best to try to make things the best we can given current situations. If everything was manufactured here (or anywhere else that isn’t Taiwan or China – there are some sick rides coming out of Europe and the surrounding areas…you guys make some great bikes!), bikes would cost 3 times what they do now. Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil to get affordable bikes to the public.
However, I am not tired of commercialism as the competition brings us better bikes and parts over time. Commercialism is also what funds our advocacy groups and allows people to fight for the rights of cyclists in government.
Now…has this site become too commercial? Well…it’s a review and riding tips site man! We review parts and bikes for mountain bikers who happen to use their bikes for sport. I can’t lug my heavy ass long travel bike around town and I don’t want bike manufacturers to stop making them just becuase they are a two wheeled sport utility vehicle. I DO believe that the founders of mountain biking would be incredibly happy to see how far mountain biking has come. Do I think they would like every single aspect of it? Probably not…but that doesn’t take away from the progression the sport has seen over the years.
I don’t have any stats to pull from…so I am going to shoot from the hip…but I would venture to guess that there is a substantial increase in bike commuters due to the growing popularity of road and mountain biking. Anything that increases awareness in a positive light is a good thing.
The beauty of cycling is that we can all enjoy it exactly the way we want to. You can keep on using it as a utilitarian vehicle and I can keep riding for sport. Part of what brings the cycling community so close is the fact that we all “get” each other and can exist in the same realm. While their is friendly competition between sub-niches in the overall sport of cycling, we are all out there for the same goal…to have fun on our pedal propelled machine.
Anyways…there is my answer to your rant and I hope the rest of you enjoyed it!
What do you think?