Actor James Cromwell was hospitalized over the weekend after he broke his collarbone while cycling. This news article describes Cromwell as a "serious" cyclist who was out on a training ride in a Los Angeles canyon when he fell. The 68-year-old Cromwell is coached by "Coach to the Celebrities" cycling guru David Brinton. Cromwell also supports the Veterans Road 2 Recovery benefit bike ride. Via Jamie in Columbus, OH.
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What is a "serious" cyclist, I wonder? As opposed, I imagine, to a "flippant" cyclist? As I understand it, people seem to use the term "serious" cyclist for people who use high-priced bicycles as sports items (cf. this cyclist's "training" ride) rather than as their everyday regular means of transport. So many thousands of Copenhageners and Amsterdammers together with thousands if not millions of ordinary people around the world (including myself) must then, by this token, not be "serious" cyclists: we are only using our bicycles for the frivolous purpose of getting ourselves around in our daily movements around town (instead, I assume, of using cars, which is what "serious" people do)...?
I wish to heaven this insulting term could be retired from people's vocabulary.
# posted by Christopher Ray Miller : 11/10/2008 07:31:00 PM
Christopher Ray: Unfortunately, the AP article describing Cromwell's crash is not bylined.
I agree with bikesgonewild on this. While I personally use my "high priced bicycles as sports items" from time to time, I also commute by bike to work. I don’t feel the need to uplift one use of the bike at the expense of the other. In many communities there is a sharp divide between transportational and recreational cyclists, and that is really too bad. We would all be better off on local advocacy issues with a unified voice.
Yeah, I know a few racing cyclist who are somewhat elitist, but I think that is something that goes both ways. Plenty of cyclists who only ride for transportation constantly imply that recreational riding and racing are frivolous activities. In my opinion that “holier than thou” attitude is not the best way to be an ambassador for transportation oriented cycling. Semantics aside, it is the attitude behind the various labels that I just don’t understand. Like many other cyclists, I just love to ride regardless of whether I am actually going somewhere or not.
Citizen Rider does it all and advocates a unified front on cycling issues. I tease the sportos, but I've been one. The term "serious" lets the non-cycling reader know that the rider in question has put some time and study into the activity, as opposed to being a child, who has yet to choose a seriousness level, or an unwilling rider who would drive except for certain legal problems, if you know what I mean. It also excludes the transportational cyclist who only does it for budgetary reasons or to avoid having to get too much government identification.
On the "serious cyclist" issue, think of a presidential candidate, I won't mention any names, but I'll call him, Barack Obama, riding a bicycle. Sneakers, blue jeans, polo shirt, a borrowed bike. Pure photo op. Not a serious cyclist. Now think of another candidate, one John Kerry. Spandex, nice bike, clipped in, yellow band on his wrist, rides in the team car at the Tour de France because he is really interested in who wins. No photo ops here, he is really into cycling.