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Is cycling becoming fashionable now?(25 posts)

Is cycling becoming fashionable now?Dog
Jul 22, 2001 12:49 PM
As I was working on my bike this morning in the garage, I had the Michigan 500 auto race on in the background. I couldn't believe my ears. They were discussing the need and ability of the cars to draft, as it's importance to using less fuel, etc.

Then, they went on to describe a driver as "staying in the *peloton*, like Lance Armstrong does to conserve energy in the Tour de France." Actually described a group of cars as a "peloton." All those beer drinking, motorhome driving, car nuts (I'm somewhat one myself), may now actually think that bike racing is something more than what little kids do to deliver newspapers.

Is cycling becoming mainstream now? Thanks, Lance.

Doug
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?VictorChan
Jul 22, 2001 1:02 PM
Don't think so. ABC (the station I was watching the race) would have boardcasted Tour de France if bicycling becomes a mainstream sport in the US. Believe me, I hang out in the computer forum called www.hardocp.com and some of the guys there would never have appreciated or spend over $1000 on a bicycle.
Maybe for a whilemike mcmahon
Jul 22, 2001 1:17 PM
I remember thinking the same thing in the late 80s and early 90s when LeMond was doing TV commercials for Taco Bell and a host of other products. (Remember Greg riding away from TB on his bike with a 12-pack of tacos?) When LeMond retired and no U.S. rider immediately stepped up to fill his shoes (i.e., win the Tour), pro cycling returned to its position of relative obscurity alongside lawnmower racing, candlestick bowling, and wakeboarding in the U.S. sporting consciousness.

Although I don't think pro cycling will disappear from the radar screen when Armstong finally packs it in, we probably will hear less about it. The good thing is that we seem to be taking two steps forward and one back with each U.S. superstar. LeMond and Armstrong have each introduced new fans and participants who never would have thought about cycling but for their success. Although a few of these people fall along the wayside as the "trend" fades, many people end up addicted for life. At least in our lifetimes, cycling will probably never reach the level of popularity it enjoys in Europe. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's nice to enjoy a sport that most other North Americans ignore, especially now that we can actually watch the racing on TV.
I sincerely hope not!PaulCL
Jul 22, 2001 1:49 PM
I don't want my niche sport to become fashionable. The jersies get ugly now...imagine if they were in style?

Some respect on the road would be nice. Some understanding from the aforementioned beer drinking, motorhome driving, car nuts would be appreciated as they zip past us. But I really don't want those same folks to try to join me on a nice, hilly century.

....on the other hand...the price of Colnago's might fall with the increased production...hmmmmm.....A C-40 for $99.99! Blue light special!
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?LC
Jul 22, 2001 2:11 PM
I made some non-cycling friends watch the TDF with me and they actually seemed to get into it. They had heard about LA, but had never really seen him. All of a sudden they are asking questions about my bikes and wanted to barrow my "It's not about the bike" LA book. Not sure if this a good thing or not, but the more people at least watching will mean better coverage and more sponsers in the future for cycling.
Ditto with my girlfriend...Jim Burton
Jul 22, 2001 6:43 PM
She watched the stage at L'alp de Huez and seemed just as interested as I was. Even her mother, who we persuaded to use the satellite equipped TV, was interested. These are two people whose idea of an expensive bike is one that is bought new (rather than used) from a department store. Every morning since that stage, my girlfriend comes in before work and checks on yesterday's news on the OLN website! If I could impress upon you all how amazing it is that she is interested...

I think that if the networks would air more cycling the country would watch. That doesn't necessarily translate into more people on bikes (how many people do you know that actually OWN a nascar?) but it will promote more tolerance for the sport.
Ditto with my girlfriend...Lone Gunman
Jul 22, 2001 7:02 PM
Jim,
Well now that she is interested, get her to raise the $5k and go down to Austin next April and meet Lance @ the Ride for the Roses.
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?Car Magnet
Jul 22, 2001 2:13 PM
When I saw that Northwave made umm sandals, I was thinking maybe cycling fashion will be more fashionable than cycling itself. But then I turned on ESPN to see what looked like a aerobic cheerleading contest. I knew cycling was safe of being overplayed, overpaid and fashionable.
Could it be a contagious disease?Elena
Jul 22, 2001 2:21 PM
I started cycling about a year ago, and got my first real road bike in January. Since then, my mom got out and dusted off her bike, my uncle got out his bike, three co-workers tried to commute to work, and even my grandma got into the TdF and asked lots of questions when we found OLN on her TV last night. (heck, if I'da known that, I woulda been at her house for the past week!!)

I'm starting to wonder if it's contagious. I certainly hope it's a long, terminal "illness".

Ellen
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?Bike Fool
Jul 22, 2001 2:29 PM
It's like what Mike wrote. Two steps forward, one step back. I remember in '92, trolling a bike shop for MS150 riders, when a yuppie type female came in (parking her beemer out front) and proceeded to drop $1800 on a new Bianchi, then bought matching helmet, 3 outfits (top and bottom) and shoes and socks. I asked her if she was interested in doing the 150, since who else would drop this kind of jing. Bzzzt, she looked at me with horror when I said how long the ride was, "Oh no, I usually just cruise the boardwalk on Saturday and Sunday, and I wanted to look good doing it." Fair enough. (Disclaimer, this post is in no way dissing our distaff riders, those who drive BMWs, or those who like their socks to match their helmet color)
Talking about it, maybeCliff Oates
Jul 22, 2001 2:48 PM
When the TdF ends, so will the use of cycling metaphors. I doubt that I'll ever see Joe Sixpack out there humping the hills alongside me. It's too much work for most people. That's OK too -- I like to enjoy a little solitude on those out of the way roads that no one knows exist.
I hope notStarliner
Jul 22, 2001 3:22 PM
The term "fashionable" gives me the creeps. There will most likely be those who jump on the bandwagon only to soon fall off once they reach the end of whatever angle that got them on the wagon in the first place. If it's a guy trying pick up chicks, then he'll soon be disappointed by the paltry male/female ratio of cyclists. Some guys won't even get past the mirror stage -- one look at themselves in body-hugging lycra is going to give some of them a real wake-up call.

I think you can look at how this country has "embraced" soccer over the past twenty or so years to see how we as a country will handle the sport of cycling. The success and world recognition gained by LeMond and Lance has opened many eyes and created an awareness where none existed before, but cycling will never challenge football, baseball and basketball, or even horse racing and auto racing for fan interest.

What will happen IMO, however, is that on a grassroots level (like soccer) the sport of cycling will solidify within our culture and our communities over the years to come. More and better riders will move through the ranks, and there will be more great athletes to root for on a world-class level. The best is yet to come.
The world's most popular sport has it's problems here so >>>>>>>Live Steam
Jul 22, 2001 3:44 PM
why would cycling become more well received than soccer? I mean soccer has had it's moments here, but then seems to fall back into obscurity for a while. Millions of little kids are playing the game every day, but most of their parents have not interest beyond that. As soccer will go so will cycling some day, but probably much farther off into the future. Soccer will take on more prominence after a few generations of kids participate at an adult level and retain the enthusiasm about it. I am an American and I played soccer since I was 6 or 7 and I am now 41. I follow the World Cup and a few Euro events, but my interest in professional American soccer leagues really isn't there. I did however, have season tickets to the Cosmos back in the '70s and early '80s. It was fun to see such greats as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Gorgio Chinaglia, Yohan Neeskens and many great international stars. I jus feel that the average American is too consumed by what is familiar to take the time to seek out these other sports. If it isn't put on a silver platter before them they won't look for it.
I'm curious*****************************************************Cliff Oates
Jul 22, 2001 4:47 PM
Do you put the >>>>'s in your subjects to make it easier for you to find the threads you're involved in? They make it kind of weird for the rest of us to see what's going on as they really clutter up the page.
The world's most popular sport has it's problems here so >>>>>>>Car Magnet
Jul 22, 2001 4:48 PM
Soccer will definitely grab hold here in the US. When I was service in the early 80's, I was amazed at how big soccer was in the international scene. What other sport has fans trampling each other to death just to see the game or has a hooligan squad from each country? I don't know where you live, but in the DC Metro area soccer is pretty big stuff. I generally attribute this to the amount of foreign nationals in the area, but it does seem that even the indigents are getting into the act. You're right about how when the soccer playing youth grow up so will soccer. It's just a shame cycling doesn't seem to fit in that category.
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?Lanakila
Jul 22, 2001 3:59 PM
No. No ball, no internal combustion engine. Bicycle polo will sweep the nation first. It at least has a ball.
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?MeDotOrg
Jul 22, 2001 4:05 PM
Fine, let it be fashionable...I just don't want to see a limited edition Dale Earnhardt Memorial Colnago on the Home Shopping Network...
How about an Eddy Bower LiteSpeed? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Live Steam
Jul 22, 2001 5:18 PM
Yes I do!!!!
Dale would never ride a Colnago...keith m.
Jul 23, 2001 5:58 AM
You must be thinking of a D.E. edition Cannondale, in black of course.
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?KStone
Jul 22, 2001 5:02 PM
I don't think so...no tailgating, no beer sponsors hyping it, no high priced tickets, no team owner profits, no stadiums built with local taxes and on and on. The cycling at the Atlanta Olympics were the only free events . Who can make $$$ from an event held on local streets?? If there is money to be made, those making the money will make it popular.
Cycling and MoneyStarliner
Jul 22, 2001 6:57 PM
good points. sounds like why there is such resistance to legalize marijuana -- big tobacco can't make money off it because anyone can grow it in their backyard.

the strategies of team cycling are foreign to 99% of this country including me. the roles of each cyclist, what each is supposed to do and when to do it. we all know about who's in first, but what about the guys behind him?

it's a very sophisticated sport; difficult for a spectator and even, i imagine, as a competitor to understand all the nuances. i think i am going to have to enter a few races to help me figure it out. in fact, there is a crit on the racing calendar taking place in my town in two weeks, and i've been thinking to enter it and ride as unattached. i'll file a report if i make the race.
I think so.E3
Jul 22, 2001 6:32 PM
Advertisers certainly have caught on, as even non-Tour timeslots air ads featurng cyclists.

On a personal note, I watch OLN coverage with my 5 & 8 year old sons, sometimes for almost an hour at a stretch (typically short attention spans). They actually volunteer to watch, and they ask questions. Even better, this weekend I've also had a roomful of their friends watching with us. They ask alot of questions and seem to really get into the action. Even as I write, we are watching the OLN tape delay, and my WIFE is asking questions.
Upper middle class white guysTom C
Jul 22, 2001 9:13 PM
The traditions and the riders so admired which are the backbone of cycling, are rooted in the economically lower classes of Europe. You don't see too many bi-lingual European riders do you? Whereas many if not most educated Europeans speak English, and often better than Americans. No, Kelly left to race in Europe because there was nothing for him in Ireland. Hinault, without the time trialing ability, faced the life of a tradesman. Cycling in Europe is really more like boxing here and when one thinks in this country cycling, one does not quickly make the mental leap to boxing. In the semi-rural midwest I've been living in, I still hear shouts of queer and hi girls about ten to one as many times as I hear nice ass. Further mitigating against full acceptance is the money involved. Baseball fundamentally changed with integration but most of that was a battle against a mindset. Inner city kids are doing well to pony up $150 for the right basketball shoes, forget about the expense of cycling.I think when you see cycling nomenclature slipping in to places you wouldn't expect it, like Doug's car race, you are probably seeing marketing to a bunch of middle class white guys.
Upper middle class white guyslillith
Jul 23, 2001 4:43 PM
I for one am glad that it will never become fashionable....at least in Austalia. I live in Adelaide, and enjoy viewing the various national comps and international comps. It is still deemed as a niche sport, but riders like S.O'grady and B.Mcgee are at least bringing it attention that it deserves. Like the states, most of the male population is obsessed with big fast cars, and bikini clad sponser girls,(not that theres anything wrong with it!) subsequently the only station that shows tour highlights is a minority ethnic and independant station, which is fine by me. There is also one other fundemental point as to why it will always be a niche sport in Austalia, and thats the cost(i.e. the exchange rate). All bikes/bike components are either european or US, as such its an exceptionally expensive sport, even from the beginners point who wants at least something of quality. Still as many have pointed out, theres a certain pleasure in riding in a backroad, unabated by cars, with only the woosh of the bicycle tyre, stopping every now and again at cafes to complete the carcophony of colours and admire and chat about the sport with others.....long live the sport, even if it never becomes fashionable.
re: Is cycling becoming fashionable now?AustinTexasRider
Jul 24, 2001 4:37 AM
I am not sure if cycling is becoming fashionable, but Trek and Mavic sure are making money hand over fist as a result of LA's victories. Go to ebay, check the prices for a Trek OCLV vs. anything else. You can see the difference right there.