Sunday, May 26, 2013

Yet another Bike Month post: Kill a cow, win a county line sprint

Page 34 of the July Bicycling Magazine tells us old geezers of average age 59 that to maintain lean muscle mass, one should eat a six ounce steak. Why? I guess so that we can beat the other 59 year old geezers to the county line signpost. Ok, everyone belly up to the meat counter at Trader Joe's, Sprawl Mart, or Whole Paycheck.

Is Ultimate Narcissism a good reason to pound the prairie growing feedlot corn, kill a cow, burn a lot of energy in food production, and eat at the top of the food chain? Perhaps. For many Americans, the bicycle is a high end carbon fiber narcissistic toy, getting a mere fifteen miles per gallon while hoisted onto the SUV. If it is fueled, moreover, on well marbled steaks so that the rider can admire his physique while beating other aging yuppies to the signpost in races that subsitute for "who has got the biggest dick" honors, this sounds increasingly like bullshit.

That is a far cry for what a bicycle could be: a very efficient way to live a life in better tune to the environment while at the same time staying fit, allowing the rider to push the personal envelope as far as it can go, perhaps even beyond. One could still compete for the county line sprint sans dead cow, just as one could compete for it sans EPO and other performance enhancing drugs. Hell, at least with performance enhancing drugs, one is not tormenting animals other than the one in the mirror.  One could even do one's training while riding the damn bike to work, school, or the butcher shop.

Maybe Bicycling should spend less time extolling muscle meat and more extolling brain development. Or not? After all, the bicycle, like the steak, is just another consumer product, right?


Ian Brett Cooper said...

I occasionally buy Bicycling Magazine, but every time I do, I'm put off by the high-end sports-cycling bias. The editors are way out of touch with my kind of cycling.

I wish there was a bike magazine for commuters who ride ancient, gnarly and weather-beaten steeds that have so many gizmos attached that they look like a Rube Goldberg device. Bicycle Times is the closest I've found, but even that mag caters more to the upmarket hipster crowd.

Khal said...

I get it as a fringe benefit of being a LAB member. Bicycling is dedicated to "active, affluent professionals", etc., etc. Hence the 5k carbon wonderbikes and other trappings.