Wanted: Bikes For The Rest Of Us

Sometimes I wish Greg Lemond never won the Tour de France in 1986.

At the time, in the excitement surrounding the first American win at Le Tour, there was talk of a “renewed interest” in bicycling. As it turns out, there was a renewed interest in the sport of cycling, but not in building a real, pervasive bike culture here in the United States.

In fact, bike shops across the country began putting aside their single speeds, 3-speeds and cruisers to make room for expensive, lightweight, “high-end” racing bikes. In other words, bike shops lost interest in selling regular bikes to regular people.

We need a bicycle industry that pays attention to people who bike as a means of basic transportation, instead of focusing solely on roadies and mountain bikers.

We need bikes that you can hop onto at any moment without putting on spandex or special cleats.

We need bikes with wider tires and more comfortable seats. (The kind that don’t exert pressure where you’re most sensitive, increasing the likelihood of erectile dysfunction among male riders).

We need bikes that can carry stuff.

We need bikes that are fun to ride.

We need bikes with function and style.

We need more bikes like this Velorbis (via cycleliciousness):

My hope is that higher gas prices will not only change the way Americans think about bicycles but also the way the bicycle industry thinks as well, so that we can finally have bike shops selling bicycles designed for regular folks who just want to ride from point A to point B and aren’t interested in paying a fortune.

Or winning the Tour de France.

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