Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cyclist You Are Amazing Just the Way You Are

Purge. This. Crap.

I am sick of being bombarded with advertising proclaiming how inadequate / fat / slow / outdated I am. That all of us who ride bikes could be SO MUCH MORE if we would just spend a few thousand dollars regularly, specifically allocated to a narrow group of prominent advertisers.

Marketers know that when a mind is bombarded with the same words and images a certain number of times, the message will sink in even if it's nonsense or unwelcome. 

GET LEANER: you are not lean enough.
GET STRONGER: you are not strong enough.
TRAIN SMARTER: you are currently a training moron.
FULLEST POTENTIAL: you are wasting your potential currently.
TRANSFORM: you require transformation in your entirety.
IS IT SAFE??? you are constantly on the brink of death and/or dismemberment.
STIFF: your current frame is floppy.
COMPLIANT: your current frame fights against you at every bump.
LIGHTWEIGHT: your current [insert anything] is TOO DAMNED HEAVY / FAT / BIG.
PHOTOSHOPPED GIRL: she is way out of your league.
PHOTOSHOPPED GUY: he is Superman and you are Jimmy Olsen (on your good days).
(TO GUYS) GET BIGGER: you are way too small
(TO WOMEN) GET SMALLER: you are way too big
WATER IN A DISPOSABLE PLASTIC BOTTLE: is way more valuable than from the faucet

It's a battle for mind and eyeballs. Therefore, I am throwing it all out. Any media which attempts to instill in me inadequacy, want, desire, need, by raising doubts, activating fears, throwing sloppy innuendo my way in order to get me to purchase something, goes straight into recycling. All TV commercials go on mute and I look away.

Here are some alternative messages which I prefer:

Cyclist, you are amazing just the way you are
Girl you are beautiful
Dude: you are the net result of three billion years of biological evolution
Potential: in your every movement and thought you demonstrate realization of it

My eight year old bicycle takes me everywhere I need to go

My mind is my own. My dreams belong to me, not advertisers and marketers. I would rather make something or see something than buy something I don't need. Teaching, learning, moving, these are hugely more important to me than consuming or jumping on the latest trendwagon to be pseudo-cool.

Everyone is different. No one can tell you how lean, strong, fast, or even hydrated you should really be, particularly not advertisers who don't have any idea who you are or what you really need. I am not going to listen to them. I'm throwing them all out of my mind. I am imposing a global ADBLOCK on my Internet, my eyeballs, my ears, and as much as possible on my household. I need to go find that Internet proxy program (Privoxy? Squid?) that I can set up where the net enters my house and try to filter them all out. 

You are strong.
You are amazing.
You are cool.
You are perfect the way that you are.
You are beautiful.
Banish marketing nonsense from your mind.
Go for a ride.



  1. You got a honking derailleur on yer bike.
    I just noticed.
    Why is there a long cage on your LeMond? You got one of them 75T mountain climber gears on back there?

  2. "If Ads were Honest" over on The Retrogrouch is relevant here. "Beefier, tapered design is less likely to snap!"

  3. Triple chain ring. So uncool it whimpers. But I've got a triple, too. (I'm no longer young. It works miracles some days...)

    1. Low gear is better than walking your bike up a hill. Oh the indignity.

  4. 48,36,24, uh those aren't my measurements, that's how I roll. 21 - 105 gear inches, that's range and there's nothing wrong with that. I think I'm going to copy the last paragraph of your post, it's a good mantra.

    1. Thanks accyclist. There's a lot of overlap in ratios inside my 30 gears. Sometimes I think about going to 1x7. I have two bikes that are setup single speed (one fixed, one free) and they work fine in the flatland of the desert basin and range landscape. But heading up hills, I drop it down to granny sometimes and feel good about it. Arguments against me (or you) having that third chain ring for our purposes seem spurious to me. Ride three!

  5. Let's not confuse hydration with ads. Hydration is fresh water to replace the fluid your body has lost. It comes free out of water fountains. The stuff in ads is contaminated fresh water.

    1. Yes! Take any $2 bottle of brand name hydration fluid in its native bottle. Hold it next to a similar-sized container of chilled tap water. Ask anyone to explain to you what it is about the $2 bottle of brand name hydration fluid which makes it $2 more valuable than the chilled tap water. Where's the added value?


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