Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Journey Into Bicycle Dorkdom : The Local Bike Show

I am a Born-Again Cyclist.
In the overall grande scheme of things, I am a Noob in the cycling world.  But over the past year, cycling has transformed me into an avid fanatic that can only think, eat and sleep biking.  Now, with my almighty refusal of admittance, I am becoming a Dork.  A Bike Dork.  ...Sigh.
The Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show and the Vancouver Bike Show started off today and has given me the opportunity to attend my very first Bike Show.  Having been excited during the week to attend this show has concerned me,  I may be turning into a bicycle nerd. In more politically and technically correct term, a Bike Dork.  Previous to entering the venue, I am inundated with images of The Comic Bookstore Guy in a Klingon costume having a nasty debate against a Lieutenant Sulu lookalike about what is the correct term whether it be 'Trekker' or 'Trekkie'.  This is what I feared...  that the Hipsters will be in full force with their anti-gear mentality, the Critical Mass crowd riding into the show  butt-nekkid with nothing on other than their panniers, the North Shore junkies walking around with body armour and full-face helmets, and the Roadies riding in with full spandex gear and their tapdance clown shoes.  Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at things, I saw very little of this.  There were the small sections of crowd that stuck to their cliques and  some evidence of niches and culture that was spread throughout the show but for the most part, the people were... normal.  Yes, just your average joe, the family down the block, the lawyers and the doctors and the stay-at-home mothers.  Mostly, a lot of 'myself'.  Not so different from car shows in which I am so familiar with, but with the exception of a lot less big burly tatooed guys in Harley Davidson jackets and people generally looking like they were in good healthy shape.
So, were you expecting this blog post to be more about the bike show rather than my own personal feelings and thoughts about the cycling community in general?  Well, if you were, then you are probably reading the wrong blog.  I am sure there are many others that will have better reviews on the show in the coming days and will most likely have much better writing and grammatical skills than I have.  Thanks for passing by anyways.

Oh by the way, it's not over yet.

Upon entering the show I was greeted by The World.  Yes, The World!

And then a bicycle flew over the cuckoo's nest.  Insert E.T. The Extraterrestrial photo-chops here..

The relatively small yet angry mob of brand jingoistic zombies slowly awaiting to pounce on the latest and greatest of what their product lords can offer chanting 'Kill the Pig, Kill the Pig' while kowtowing to the conch.

Whilst Piggy got away in this

But Piggy will never truly get away because the product lords have hired this man to capture him
Yes folks, that is indeed Mantracker.  Piggy will be pork roast by the end of the night.
And all the cooking would be done in this cauldron..  Olympic sized I might add.

As I walk through the maze of carbon fibre, aluminum, chromoly and sweaty roadies after their in-show spinning sessions, I am left to ponder 'why am I here? what am I looking for?'

Am I here to ogle and salivate  over the thought of maybe one day I will be able to ride this Italian beauty?

Or to add this to my stable of full suspension mountain bikes?

Maybe feel bad about myself that I will never get into the sport of riding these types of bikes?

Or to shed a little tear that this vintage steel-lugged road bike was rattle canned fire hydrant red.
I must say, however, that this bike was rescued from the scrapyard and the rattle can red was better than the rust that the paint is covering.  And now it lives a new life of 'booth attention getter'.  It got my attention.

I ask myself again, 'why am I here? what am I looking for?'.  The answer kept coming up as another question, 'where are the touring bikes??'
In the past year, I have done all sorts of riding.  I have collected and built bikes for their own specific purpose.  I have slowly and still am defining myself as a rider.  I have found what I enjoy most, and that is distance riding.  I have slowly redefined myself as a 'Cyclotourist'.  Bike racks, panniers and fenders excite me just as much as 7" suspension forks.

Hybrids and Commuter bikes were abundant..

but I was looking forward to more Cyclocross bikes which was a rare sight.  I am itching to try one of these bikes out as they may just fit the specific type of riding style that I have.  Part road bike part mountain bike.  I could never take a dedicated road bike into the woods as I often do on my day trips.  I think a cross bike would fit the bill nicely.  Then there was the lack of dedicated touring bikes in the show.  I was really hoping to see more of these bikes in hopes of seeing what's really so different about them and why they would be the ultimate bikes for riding across the country.

With that in mind, I looked for gear.  Any gear that would fit on the back of my bike and take me to places.  As it was also an Outdoor Adventure Show, tents and sleeping bags were everywhere, camping equipment and survival kits etc. etc.  Things to keep an inspired mind spinning with hopes and dreams that maybe one day, some day...

I think this will definitely be in the future plans.
It surely didn't hurt that the host manning the booth was so nice in answering all my annoying questions.  And I must add that she was probably one of the prettiest girls in the event.  I just hope she's not a Leafs fan.  ;)
When the time comes, this will be one of my purchases. (the trailer of course ;) )

Amid the dreary drones of the loud speakers from the Red Bull truck, I forgetfully remembered (hi Ms. Ouimet, my hs English teacher) that the pork roast must be done by now!
Me and Mantracker will share a nice meal and a beer.  This will be when I tell him face to face...  "Dude, I can take ya"  and btw, Survivorman > Mantracker.

Are you still reading?  Have I bored you yet?  As I type this blog in its entirety, I sit back and preview this post and think to myself, 'wow, this is the most typing I've done in a long time. I must really be catching a big serious case of dork'.   

ps.  Did I just say those words?  "..riding across the country" ?  Forget that you read that 'k?

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