Saturday, May 15

BETTER Advocates

Not too long ago, I wrote a draft of a post, noting how advocates, specifically BIKE advocates, don't thrill me, with their stridency and ideological approach to things involving bikes. I threw that post away today. Because this isn't all just policy and sniping at people and arguing about minor points. Sometimes, "the journey IS the reward. Without further comment beyond the photo captions, I went to the Irving Bicycle Festival. It wasn't particularly big, or fancy, but it demonstrated advocacy as it SHOULD be - leading by example. Thanks!
Steve's Road Bike at the Centrepoint TRE Station
Multimode Travel allowed extra time for the Coffee (sitting on the trash can)
Note the Thumb ALMOST Wiping out the Shot

Seattle isn't the ONLY Place Where Sharrows
are Painted too far Right. Irving, TX is Even Worse.
But a Sharrow is Pretty Meaningless
I Rode About a Foot Left of the Left Edge

Irving Police, Connecting with People

Chandra, Caught by Me, From Behind a Tree
Checking out the Girl Scout Cookies

Chandra and I Were BOTH Captivated by a Mercier Mixte
and its Owner. The Bike was Remarkably Original
Built in the Late 70's or early 80's

Chandra, as a Volunteer, Pumped up the Mixte Tires
Myself, as a "non advocate," Watched and Recorded the Event
I Actually Thought About Letting Air Out of my Tires Just to see if he'd Pump Them Up

The BikeDFW Table
There were at Least Four LAB LCI's There

Bike League Director Gail Spann
She was Gracious Enough Not to Mention that my MP3
Player Seemed to Have no Earphones!
(They were in my pocket, safely hidden)

While These Guys Might not Meet Cycler's Standards for Cool Bikes,
They're Not all that Bad!

That Windshield is Better than my Photo!


Velouria said...

Oh God, that Mercier mixte looks spectacular, what a gorgeous colour combination! I wonder where it came from and how it compares to mine. Did you ask the owner about it at all? I bet it belonged to one of her family members.

Steve A said...

The bike has been in the family from new. It has an English fender (not Bluemels) and a later Japanese rear rack.

Ham said...

Looks like it was a great event, and as you say, the sort of thing likely to attract non-riders to the fun of cycling.

Given the place of cycling in society today there is room for the strident advocates, too, I think. I just hope I'm not one of them.

cafiend said...

Definitely early '70s on that Mercier with those cottered cranks and Simplex plastique gruppo. If that rack is Japanese, it's a knock-off of the period-appropriate Pletscher.

As for the stridency of an advocate, it may have a lot to do with how often someone in a powerful armored vehicle demonstrates, if not malice, at least a complete disregard for your safety and right to use the surface of the planet we're all stuck sharing.

The problem among cyclists comes when a rider or group of riders insists that what works for them is the only answer. In a particular instantaneous moment there might happen to be one correct answer surrounded by several deadly mistakes, but usually there is room for more than one interpretation.

Steve A said...

I would not argue with cafiend's assessment. Certainly it tracks with my own French bike, purchased in 1972, right down to the steel "Rigida" rims that disappeared from my bike many years ago.

Besides the Mafac "Racer" brakes, it had what looks to be a later Avocet saddle. Those plastic Simplex derailleurs didn't last long in the rear, but my bike still has its Simplex front derailleur and shifters.

The Japanese rear rack also looks newer than the rest of the bike.

Even from new, my own cottered crank worked marginally and was replaced by a TA crank, and later by a Japanese crank. The plastic rear Simplex was replaced by the bulletproof Suntour that still adorns it.

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