Roadies ruin everything.
They ruined riding on the road. They ruined road racing. They ruined mountain biking. They ruined cyclocross. They’re currently ruining gravel. Everything they touch turns to shit….or so were told by the prevailing winds of the cycling proletarians.
Roadies haven’t ruined anything. They never will. It’s actually impossible. For this to happen, there would need to be some sort of collective agreement and a legitimate action plan put in place by a group of folks that largely tend to operate independently…so they haven’t ruined anything and they’re not going to. Shit, cyclists as a group tend to be loaners. The idea that a bunch of folks rolling around of road bikes could unify in such way as to destroy an entire discipline within cycling is not dissimilar from the idea that the same group could put together a successful baseball league where they’re all player/managers. It isn’t going to happen.
But if they didn’t ruin it, what happened?
Time. Time happened and our tiny little brains fell prey to the ever tightening grip of the marketing machine. New bikes came out and littered the pages of whatever periodical was en vogue and then something called the internet was born and our thirst for anything newer than what everyone else had screamed at us to move forward faster.
Yep, we got thirsty. Thirsty for something else to replace the things we didn’t even know we no longer loved. We got thirsty and it all happened right under our noses and we just couldn’t live with the idea that we had been blindsided by the corporate marketing machine…so we found somebody to take the blame…the roadies.
We blamed them for everything. We blamed them for being fast and for taking cycling seriously. We blamed them for leaving the road and coming into the woods and overpopulating our beloved trails. We blamed them for taking the fun out of cyclocross by ramping up the competition. We blamed them for everything. We blamed them then and we blame them now. We do it and we shouldn’t.
More people on bikes is never going to be a bad thing. Ever. In fact, more people on bikes is a good thing. Yes, even the roadies.
So…next time your underpants get soiled by the idea that some fit folks show up and have some personal expectations for their own experience, take a deep breath and remember that the only person ruining anything is typically the person doing the yelling…in their head or out of it.