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Old 04-06-2014, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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What's interesting is that there are more Hispanic riders than Black riders in a city/metro where there are many more Black people (and Blacks are generally more affluent...among the most affluent in the nation actually). The article below raised questions about this phenomenon, but didn't really make any effort to provide answers.

Why Don't More Blacks Use DC's Bike Share? - WNYC

I have a simple answer, which is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence. I just don't think black people dig cycling the way white people do. Among the upper middle class, it's not a trend the way it is among the white upper middle class (which is far larger anyway). Biking, for a lot of people (imo), can be a bit of a status jockeying game. Sure, there are tons of people riding around on beater bikes, but if you walk into the average bike shop in Brooklyn or San Francisco, most people aren't pushing in beaters. A lot of people are strolling in with Cannondales that cost $2,000 or more. And the shops offer a lot of high end goodies like expensive power bars/energy snacks. There's sort of an upper middle class culture that's sprung up around cycling in cities (even though that culture does not subsume all cyclists).
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:27 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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There's a also hipster (and not all hipsters) culture of fixing up old bikes and old road bikes.The $2000 Canondales are usually for recreational riding out of the city. I guess bicycling could be a status-jockeying game, but that's only a small group among bicyclists. I'm not the best at picking a status markers, and I bicyclists before I discovered it had actually become hip.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
There's a also hipster (and not all hipsters) culture of fixing up old bikes and old road bikes.The $2000 Canondales are usually for recreational riding out of the city. I guess bicycling could be a status-jockeying game, but that's only a small group among bicyclists. I'm not the best at picking a status markers, and I bicyclists before I discovered it had actually become hip.
Even 40 years ago, some of what bajan yankee said was going on with bicyclists, and not just the "hard core".
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:31 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Ok. I don't pay attention much to bicycle culture, though. I just bicycle on bicycles I like. Don't care that much what they do.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Cycling seems like one of these activities that's egalitarian on its face but can take on an air of exclusivity rather easily. In this sense, it's a bit similar to tennis.

It really doesn't cost much to play tennis. You can go to your local Costco, Walmart, K-Mart or Target and pick up a racquet for $30 (cheaper than a bike). Pick up a six pack of Penn Extra Duty balls on sale and you're off and hitting. Most courts in the U.S. are free (and many suburban apartment complexes have them).

So it seems cheap and simple enough. But the deeper you delve into the sport, the more quickly the costs escalate. A Babolat Pure Pro Drive or a Wilson Tour 90 can easily set you back $200. And of course, the pros have multiple racquets, so most people buy 3 or 4. Then you need a bag for your racquets. That's a $100. You can't just walk onto the court wearing regular clothes; you gotta look the way Federer does. That's $180 for the shoes, $90 for the shirt and $50 for the shorts. The socks are $22. Then it's not enough to hit at a public park. All of your friends play at clubs that feature teaching pros and have clay courts (which are expensive to maintain).

Of course, anybody can play tennis without spending this type of money (recreationally, that is, competitive tennis at the highest levels costs hundreds of thousands). My point is that there's a culture around it that's a bit snobby and exclusive that many people buy into, even though one can technically play the sport on a daily basis without spending more than $20 per month. Cycling, in my experience, is a bit similar. While not really exclusive in theory (and practice too), it has a culture that's developed around it that is a bit snobby and pretentious.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:39 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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But do people start cycling to be part of a culture? Why must one pay attention to its culture?
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
But do people start cycling to be part of a culture? Why must one pay attention to its culture?
I think "the culture" gets some involved in cycling. IMO, that's not bad, if it gets people on bikes. But you can quickly get into a "keep up with the Joneses" thing about cycling, just like everything else.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
But do people start cycling to be part of a culture? Why must one pay attention to its culture?
Some people do, some people don't. I'm just stating my observations. I mean, not everyone plays tennis to become part of a culture. You can go to some parks and find guys hitting with cheap Walmart racquets who exhibit a genuine love for the game. They'll be out on the courts every day. On the flipside, however, there's a country club culture where people are more into the status and social aspects of the sport than they are into hitting.

Cycling is no different imo. Yes, there are people who truly love cycling and would ride any type of bike, but there's also this elitist thing that comes along with it too. You don't really get that with a sport like, say, basketball.

Soccer is another sport that's egalitarian in theory in the United States but sees most of its participation in middle to upper middle class suburbs.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:49 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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My bike odometer has 21,767 miles on it. Do I get extra bike culture status points on it.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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And yes, you could say that cycling and tennis (or basketball) are not the same because one is a legitimate mode of transportation whereas the other is simply a sport/activity. But I'd still say the same culture applies. I think a lot of cyclist commuters view themselves as doing something "cool" much like the bike commuters in Copenhagen or Amsterdam. Though I think the people who ride a bike to work each and every day are more than often your more hard core cyclists.
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