The majority of bike riding around here seems to be on $4,000+ carbon fiber bikes pedaled by guys in their thirties who are wearing spandex uniforms and traveling in club packs ... There is very little commuting, traveling for errands or just plain pedaling for fun. Apart from the fact that biking is very rare here as a result, there is something odd about cycling only as a serious sport activity. I'm sure it sends the wrong message about cycling to the rest of us.
There is something odd about these guys - there are probably about a hundred in the area - and their high end kit. While the bikes are beautiful, they also are complete overkill for this sort of activity. These would have been world class road bikes only a few years ago. The cycling clothing is equally overkill. Most of these guys, athough in good physical shape, would be laughably out of shape and training for even modest racing events. There is a bit of Walter Mitty in this....
If cycling is to become popular, people need to recognize its practical side. The New York Times has a review of a book by Grant Peterson on the subject - Just Ride.
... with this book, he’s trying to bring biking back to a state of moderation and rationality. If you like the gear, he’s fine with that, and if you don’t agree with all his advice, no problem. But he makes the case that at its core, biking should be a simple, democratic, sometimes ludicrously enjoyable means of getting around. “No matter how much your bike costs,” he says, “unless you use it to make a living, it is a toy, and it should be fun.” Amen.
(Dave is probably smiling along with me)