Today while I was at work and should have been working , The Wolfe forwarded me a post from the site of the great Maynard Hershon regarding his decision to stop writing for cycling mags (BTW thanks Gewilli for the plug). Here is an excerpt:
Scarcely anyone waves back today. Last month a hipster on a fixie waved; I nearly hit the chain-link fence next to the bike path. Club riders don’t point out holes and aren’t aware that cycling etiquette exists. Guys buy Sevens and Madones and put hi-rise stems and three-speed bars on them. Many Colnago riders can’t fix a flat. No one rides to rides.
All Brother Hershon says is true, but who is to blame? For a variety of reasons cycling is booming. Here in the 801 we have herds of hipsters on fixies, 200 riders at our weekly crit, 5 (maybe more) week day races to chose from, I am sure it is the same in other cities. Back when I got into riding it was a pretty small community. There were a few local hotshots, and grumpy old racers that pretty much ruled the group rides and the race scene with an iron fist. You learned pretty quick about pointing out holes in the road. Attacking a feed zone was a death sentence. On solo rides when you saw another rider you waved, probably because you knew them, but even if you didn’t you always got a return wave. As a Cat4 I showed up once with a pie plate spoke guard on my new rear wheel. I endured more abuse than a 14 y/o FLDS girl on that ride, I have never had a spoke guard since. The point is I had mentors. Heartless grouchy bastards but mentors none the less. Now we have reached a critical mass so to speak. There are not enough of us grumpy old racers to tell the hipster that colored anodized rims are dumb (they are too young to remember the purple anodizing horrors of the early 90′s) or mercilessly mock the cardiologist on the Seven with platform pedals.
We need to mobilize and take the word to the street. Shame that fixie guy into putting a brake on that thing. Keep waving, it will catch on again. Go on a group ride and scream like Ike Turner whenever a hole goes unpointed. Teach a kid how to glue a tubular. Remember, it takes a peleton to raise a cyclist.