Wednesday, October 15, 2008

9 TREK Madone Vs. Tata Nano Car, A Freak Bicycle Accident etc

1. TREK MADONE vs TATA NANO CAR : Could it be true that TREK's goal in India was to compete directly with the cheapest car in the world?



Atleast that's what TREK's Indian distributors were gleefully doing early this year. If that was the intention, then I find the thinking somewhat flawed. I agree that cycling is definitely one of the solutions to a more environmentally sustainable world, but marketing a 3000 dollar bike in a developing country is not the best of answers to get people onto bikes. It perhaps would have made more sense if they stepped foot into that country with more cheaper, yet decent quality options for the people at large.

And how can a racing bike with extreme geometry for a single person compete with a really low cost vehicular solution for the entire family? This part makes no sense to me. I assume TREK thinks Indians are stupid and may settle for this idea.




2. WOMEN PUT OFF BY HELMET HAIR : Women are three times less likely to cycle than men because they are put off by "helmet hair" and getting sweaty, a survey said on UK's Independant. Apart from safety concerns riding in traffic, add appearance issues to the list of reasons for people not taking to biking. Is this something helmet designers should work on, or simply something women should quit worrying about? Any ladies here are welcome to drop a comment.




3. PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE : Put doping aside for a moment and check this short photo essay of the Tour de France from Magnum Photos. The background music and colorful narration by Danish poet Jørgen Leth explores the history, poetry and beauty behind the greatest of the Grand Tours through 60 years of photographs. 5 stars!






4. CUSTOM SILK BICYCLE TIES



How would you fancy extending your cycling lifestyle into your workplace, by wearing an actual custom made bicycle tie? Donald Trump suitings definitely won't have this in their collection, but you can find it on this website.

Says the seller :

All of my ties are made from either a beautiful shantung or dupioni silk. Dupioni is a richly textured silk fabric created from the irregular silk thread formed when two or more silkworms spun entangled cocoons. This silk thread is naturally slubby, uneven and fibrous. When it is woven, these characteristics are evident in the fabric's surface qualities. This gives dupioni silk its uniquely organic, natural charm. Shantung is very similar to dupioni, but it has a smoother, sleeker surface quality with a more refined and less raw look and hardly any slubbiness.

All ties are made completely from scratch, by me. (They are NOT purchased pre-sewn and then printed). Each tie is individually screen printed with a bicylce design. The image is printed using an acrylic permanent textile ink and the print has been heat-set.





5. BOB'S FREAK CYCLING ACCIDENT :


This story comes to us courtesy of Ride-Strong, with a short narrative and some gruesome pictures. What happened to this cyclist that day lends some new meanings to the idea of a freak accident!

So what really happened?

From Ride-Strong :

"He was on a ride last week after the storm the weekend before last. The guy he was riding behind ran over a large branch which kicked up and impaled Bob’s leg when he ran into it. The EMT’s had to cut the ends of the branch off to get him in the ambulance."

I did two things. I screamed ouch, and I'm still scratching my head. Hey Bob, we all hope you heal and recover soon!




6. BAKFIET VS XTRACYCLE : The Austin Bike blog has an interesting comparison of two cargo bikes - the immensely popular Xtracycle with the Bakfiet, a bike based on the Danish Long John design. Click here to find out which one emerged winner, atleast according to the author's experience.




7. FOLLOWUP ON MY POST "ARE BICYCLE INDUSTRIES HEADING TO POTENTIAL TURMOIL" : There was a very good turnout of comments to this post, and I found readers arguing intelligently for both sides of the issue. Note that two well known industry insiders by the names of Tim Jackson (who is one of the prime members of Masi Bicycle's marketing team) and Carlton Reid (we all know him) also happened to express their views. You can read the post with the comments here. Tim has also followed up with a post spreading hope to the bicycle industry in these financially trying times the world is going through.


Expect some whackier posts in the coming days. But first, Bird of Prey :


Fatboy Slim - Sunset (Bird Of Prey)
Free Videos at Roxwel

9 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:44 AM

    I just about barfed seeing that branch through his leg.

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  2. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Looks like it went straight through his bone. Its a horrible accident.

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  3. Hey, since this seems to be an "odds and ends" post today, do you have any idea where I could find out how much cash dinero a pro cycling contract might be worth? Thanks.

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  4. Crash: I got weak when I saw the photo. A warning would have been appropriate for this one.

    India: Bikes are the poor man's transportation, and cars are a status symbol. They're marketing the bikes as status symbols, as a marker of success. The poor schmuck rides a hunk of junk; the successful middle class schmuck rides a Trek.

    @Truman: What level of pro? The UCI "Continental" cyclists I know make enough to have a reasonable middle class life if the spouse also works. They get salary, bonuses for winning and their share of the prize money. Female cyclists typically get zero salary -- they have their expenses paid and that's it.

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  5. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Fritz : Female cyclists just get expensed???! No salary??? Where are you pulling this information from??

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  6. #femalecyclists - Personal knowledge. That's not entirely true -- they can some pay, but it's peanuts compared to what men are paid. It's certainly not a living wage.

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  7. fritz,

    Let's say we are talking about a contract for a rider on a european team that would be in consideration for invitation to the TdF or Giro. How much money would such a rider make?

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  8. At the European pro level I don't know what they make, sorry.

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  9. They're marketing the bikes as status symbols, as a marker of success. The poor schmuck rides a hunk of junk; the successful middle class schmuck rides a Trek.

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Thank you. I read every single comment.