The Outspoken Cyclist: Musings
I'm sorry I missed offering an article for the last issue of the GLC, but it's been quite hectic for The Outspoken Cyclist!
As many of you know, I am co-owner of HubBub Custom Bicycles and we are experiencing quite an uptick in both new bike sales and re-fitting of existing bikes, which tells me a couple of things.
First, the economy is better; regardless of what many might be saying, people do not buy bikes and especially expensive bikes, when they have no disposable income. This isn't coming just from me either; other bike shops both here in NE Ohio and around the country are experiencing especially good selling seasons.
Secondly, more people ARE riding their bikes; and for a lot of reasons! Everything from commuting to and from work to taking a cycling vacation is seeing a marked increase in participation. For this we are very pleased and hopeful that the trend continues to grow.
It's also been a year of controversy and for me, sadness. Having so much negative press has almost blotted out the amazing 2012 cycling season.
Beginning with the Spring Classics and moving through the London Olympics, cycling was in the limelight so often as to be considered a "premium"sport not unlike baseball, football, and golf. We've seen a Rwandan mountain biker who began life in his war-torn country compete in London. We've watched the British capture a myriad of titles in their own country! And, we've seen podium victories here in the U.S. in what are fast becoming world class events.
Yet, the controversy and ill-will surrounding so many of the riders has allowed a pall to settle on the otherwise bright and hopeful future of cycling. Perhaps a new era will emerge beginning with the start of the season in 2013.
On the non-competitive side of riding, we are once again immersed in an election year fraught with bitter, nasty ads that make you want to just get on your bike and ride wishing that it would all go away.
However, if things are ever going to change - now is the time to participate. From the pittance that the Federal Government has left open for pedestrian and bicycle related programs to the local and statewide opportunities that will all but disappear without our support, voting this year is critical!
Bicycling has never had so much opportunity as it has now - I've been in the bicycle industry for almost 38 years and this is our time! We need to grab it and run with it.
So, I'm stepping off the soapbox now and getting ready to prepare for Interbike 2012. Have a great fall riding season.
Diane Lees is the Outspoken Cyclist at 5:30 each Saturday on WJCU FM, 88.7 FM and wjcu.org.