19 Sep

Keep the golf out of cycling: the follow-up

A few days ago, my blog post “Keep the golf out of cycling” was posted on CyclingTips Facebook page and there was an incredible amount of feedback ranging from offensive disagreement to full support. Whatever the feedback, the sheer amount of opinions demonstrates that this topic matters to a lot of cyclists.
As a number of commenters pointed out the perception of attitudes in cycling is very location- and group-based. Having lived, ridden and raced on three continents, I have faced different attitudes towards cycling. However, in recent times, my broad experience has been that a condescending attitude towards others has been creeping in, and all I can say is if you haven’t experienced this, lucky you. I’m not saying that I can’t and haven’t found fantastic groups to ride with, but that I have also experienced others that aren’t so great.
To reiterate, I have nothing against someone riding a $10k bike – good on him or her that he or she can afford it. It is the attitude that sometimes goes along with it that concerns me.
Cycling is one of the few sports and occasions, where people from all walks of life meet on two wheels – the 16 year old high school student, the 70 year old former Tour de France rider, the CEO, the tradesman and the mum with three kids. It does not matter where you come from, what your work is and how much money you have. Cycling is a sport that does not discriminate and that’s the beauty of it. Whether someone rides to race or just to get to the next café, it does not matter – at the end of the day, we still share the same enjoyment being on two wheels. Let’s cherish that! The choice of our bikes and gear should not affect our behaviour or attitude towards others.
Happy riding, everyone!

  1. Happy Friday
    I am from Quebec, Canada, and I just read your article.
    I have to unfortunately say that the situation is the same here. This summer it was even more clear to me that something was OFF, too many cyclist on my play ground, too many cyclist not returning salute, too many cyclist not stoping by when trying to fix a flat.
    I am cyclist for now 30 years inherited that from dad (ok being French it helps) I was raised in this community of cycling of no one is left behind when you ride in group, yes you can attack but once the difficulty is done, we regroup and we share, because at some point cycling is always sharing, sharing sweat, joy and pain.
    Main problem that I see with those ersatz of cyclist is the fact that they don’t know how to ride properly, how to position themselves on the road, they made driver angry and unfortunately we as a cycling community pay the price for them.
    I wished you a excellent summer.

    1. Hi Stef, many thanks for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you have similar experiences in Quebec. But please dont get discouraged by the behaviour of others. We will make a change by exhibiting the welcoming behaviour we want to see in the cycling community! Happy riding!

  2. Michael (beatlloydy)

    Hi Monika,
    As a 53 YO male hack born and bred cyclist from 8 years old who has done Road, MTB, Ironman tris etc just for fun I have to agree. I have finally stopped the competitive side and mostly just commute 60km round trip daily for work. This helps my mental and physical aspect of health. If I don’t ride for 3 days the sciatica comes on.
    I also have put the racer in the garage and converted to a flat bar road bike. Although I can keep up with the “roadies” and in many cases solo at higher averages than many I am shunned for the type of bike I ride. I chose the flat bar as it gives me less problems with the back. However, in order to ride with the bunch I have to convert to the racer. It’s a funny world and very tribal but then not as bad as say surfing where it is entirely localism. At least in cycling, in most cases, the more the merrier (provided you attempt to be part of the tribe). I find being consistent in turning up helps. If you don’t turn up regularly then yes you are shunned (from personal experience). We have a loose MTB crew that rides in RNP on Saturdays. There could be 100+ riders associated with this group but on average around 20 per ride. We always end with a few cleansing ales at the local bottle shop. With this, you get what you put into it I guess.
    I always wear lycra as it is relatively cheap ($40 kits on ebay), dries quickly and doesn’t catch on the seat when moving backwards and forwards on ascents/descents. I cop some flack for this on occasions but thats ok I don’t wear it après ride. Keep up the good work and the cycling. Looking at your Strava has inspired me to double my goal from this year for next year and start practicing my hill climbs.

    1. Michael, many thanks for your comment! It is great to see that nothing holds you back from getting on your bike! Dont get discouraged by others and stay who you are! All the best!

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