My friend, Lauren, likes to call cyclists "total DBags," and though a big part of my life revolves around cycling I'm generally inclined to agree with her.
Lauren's quibble—partly affectionate, deathly serious—isn't with biking, per se: she rides plenty, and her partner is not only blazing fast on a bike but he's also the owner of Over The Edge Sedona. What she mocks—and I'm on board, though just as guilty as the next guy—is the misguided snobbery, the ridiculous self-satisfaction, and the absurd contradictions that so often go along with cycling culture. How many cyclists proudly have more money invested in bikes than in a car? How often do you fuss to trim a few grams of weight in bike parts but then pile on seconds and thirds of pasta and another round of drinks? And what about all the times you can't ride with friends because of a "workout"?
I couldn't help but pass this pair of videos on to Lauren, and not only because she frequently lampoons many of these very absurdities but also because she's right. Having just spent a week surrounded by bike geeks in Tucson, I heard some iteration of almost every single one of these lines, without so much as a hint of irony. One guy even tried this one—"These ceramic bearings roll so much faster!"—before catching himself with, "They are ceramic, right?"
They were not, but man did those hubs feel fast.