eBay fail

I came across this on eBay, I have noticed it before but I am only just getting around to posting it now.

ebay fail

ebay fail 2

This is one of the biggest barrier to mass adoption of cycling in the UK.  Every company selling bikes sells them as “Sporting Goods.”  I doubt that the car would be in its sadly dominant position today if the places which sold them promoted them as sporting goods, showing off only the F1 cars in the showrooms, keeping the more practical transportation-oriented models out of sight.  Yet this is what practically every bike shop I have ever visited does.  If you want to get around on a practical everyday bike they can oblige, but the range of them is always small and they are hidden at the back of the shop (or they have to order them in from their supplier).  It is ultimately self-defeating for these companies to promote cycling as sport.  Far more people want an effective and easy way to get from A to B than want to participate in races, cyclocross and freeriding etc. 

By all means keep the mountain bikes and track bikes and all of the performance clothing and components available, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  But please don’t promote those thigs as cycling.  Promote cycling as what it is (or at least could become) to the rest of the population; cheap and effective transportation.

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4 thoughts on “eBay fail

  1. Completely agree. I am an expat from Belgium, and I am surprised by how cycle is performance-oriented — I am tempted to say macho — in this country. It also has to do with the way cyclists dress. It is rare to meet cyclists in plain clothes in town — as opposed to fluorescent creatures with all sort of gloves, cycling shorts, glasses, etc.

  2. I know what you mean about the clothes. I can see why people use them for longer rides but for a few km into work it seems excessive. Whilst I believe that people are free to ride in whatever attire they wish, it has got to be putting some outsiders off by making them think that they need all that specialist gear to start cycling. Its all part of the same problem of "cycling is sport." Helmets don't help matters either.

  3. It is clear that 99% of people don't regard the bicycle as a real mode of transport anymore. You probably get the same looks of shock as me when I tell people the distances we do on the Yuba Mundo / kids bikes.The people we see on expensive performance machines and wearing performance clothes are doing it for the exercise or as a fashion statement as much as for sport, let alone transport. My mother in law couldn't stop laughing everytime we were overtaken by an overweight OAP clad in Lykra on a carbon framed roadbike on our trip to the beach this weekend. Their clothes probably cost more than our bikes… This elitist cyclist "image" probably puts alot of noncycling people off cycling too, and I wonder how many people give up because of the cost factor.I use my bike everyday and probably blog too much about our weekend sorties leaning to much to the recreational side of things. Thanks I will include more blog posts on trips to the post office etc etc..

  4. I went to a performance at the weekend and bumped into a friend on the way out. She seem surprised that when we were walking I stopped and started unlocking my bike. This place was only about 5 km from where I live and I think her place might be a bit nearer still.Next day I saw her and she asked how long it took me to get home. I told her it took about 15 minutes and she was shocked, it took her longer by car going a shorter distance. the problem seemed to be that a lot of other people had also gone by car and that slowed their progress somewhat.In an urban environment it is just more convenient to get around on a bike, it just seems to only occur to about 1 or 2% of people

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