Our controversial bike-fiend Duncan Davidson on VeloSwap (this Saturday 11/18 at the Concourse)
The VeloSwap PR folks chase the opening zinger “the largest consumer cycling show in the world,” with this dubious enticement: “It is the place to feel the pulse of the cycling community and rub elbows with like minded cyclists.” No doubt said elbows are clad in those weird spandex arm-socks that turn a short sleeve jersey into a long-sleeve. I’m dubious, or maybe just disinterested, because I don’t consider myself a “cyclist.” Don’t get me wrong--I’ve got nine bicycles--everything from BMX race bikes to downhill mountain bikes. I race in four disciplines and ride skateparks and street, plus collect vintage BMX bikes.
But I’m not a cyclist: I’m a biker.
The stuff I’m into has always been treated by the aforementioned elbow-rubbing, like-minded cyclist community as the red-headed stepchildren of the two-wheeled world. Case in point: at the Sea Otter Classic, the pros in the gravity mountain bike disciplines of downhill, mountain cross, and dual slalom weren’t even paid by the Sea Otter Classic organizers and/or the National Off-Road Biking Association, who generally ignore the intensity of the gravity sports and push the intense boredom of cross country and short-track, wherein a bunch of shave-legged Euros pedal featherweight, glorified road bikes with plastic spokes around the same boring, obstacle-free dirt loop for hours at a time. Sea Otter is a “cycling” festival with over 10,000 participants in almost all disciplines (BMX is missing, though they’re adding it this year), and they can’t “afford” to pay pro athletes who do this for a living? And BMX? Please. Most roadies call BMX bikes “kids bikes.” So you’ll excuse me if I’m not too hyped up on the VeloSwap. I’m not a cyclist, and I definitely don’t ride a damned “velo”...what have the French done for me lately? BMX was born in Southern California, and mountain biking started in Marin. So you can keep your fawning Francophile bullshit for the roadies.