Cycling is the New Black

by CycleChick on June 2, 2012

We have a set of pencils at the office with various iterations of “the new black” inscribed on the side. A deft stroke of a sharpie transformed “Recycling” into “Cycling”, inspiring a flurry of ideas here at WCC headquarters, including my latest rant.

As far as expressions in the English language go, “X” is the new “Y” is as weathered as a rusty old chainring with 17,000 kilometres on it. It was originally used some twenty years ago in the deliciously fickle world of fashion when some obscure Italian designer decided a “new” colour had displaced black as the foundational base of any self-respecting fashionista’s wardrobe. A designer who was no doubt clad head-to-toe in black.The expression has been used to compare everything from soup to nuts, but recently a new and disturbing iteration has come to my attention.

“Cycling is the new golf”.

When I read it for the first time, it made me throw up in my mouth a little. What exactly, I wondered, does that mean? Is cycling the new go-to recreational activity for middle-aged, upper-middle-class white people? Is it the new sport you turn to when you are too old and decrepit to do anything else? Is it a thinly-veiled excuse for people to get together and drink overpriced cocktails on a sunny afternoon?

As you can probably tell, I have no love for golf. Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are avid golfers – but personally, it is a sport I have never really cared for. Probably becuase I’m no good at it whatsoever, and it’s really easy to hate things we’re not good at and dismiss them as stupid.

Something else about it that puts a knot in my chamois is the fact that golf is just so… popular. One of the things I love about cycling is its relative obscurity. Remember when you were in high school and discovered some cool and obscure British New Wave band that nobody else knew about?  Remember how your devotion turned to disgust when they hit the top 40 and showed up on Video Hits? In a modern context, saying “Cycling is the new Golf” is like saying “Cycling is the New Nickelback.”One thing cycling does have in common with golf is the spectacular failings of our greatest heros. Lance and Tiger brought unprecedented attention to their sports, followed by equally unprecedented transgressions with fast drugs and easy women, respectively. (Mr. Wood’s lurid misbehaviour did, however, make golf moderately entertaining for a brief period).So with all due respect to golf, if we must compare cycling to something, let it be the ever-fashionable black (which is cool), rather than golf (which I hate). Black is classic, sophisticated and sexy. It is Johnny Cash, Zorro and every cowboy bad guy you’ve ever loved to hate. Black is the colour of badass. And in my books, badass will always be in style.

The awesome photo of Tiger ogling the Maxim girl was taken by my keen-eyed friend Susan Kuz, who noticed the fantastic juxtaposition in a airport newsstand. She was not golfing at the time.


Again you have nailed it. Never ever heard a golfer tell another golfer to “HTFU !”

by Phil on June 2, 2012 at 10:37 am. Reply #

Haha! Maybe there should be more danger in golf. Burning oil drums, or packs of wild dogs.

by CycleChick on June 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm. Reply #

In my opinion, the phrase “cycling is the new golf” means that business executive types, who would usually meet at the golf club, now go out cycling together on expensive multi-thousand dollar bikes. So that phrase reminds me that I can’t afford those dream machines they carelessly ride and pretend to be avid cyclists with. (although I am sure there are some avid cyclist in that group too)

I still love to ride my vintage Trek 520 Cirrus! Anyone have a Cervélo P5 to give away?

by Drewm on June 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm. Reply #

True enough. There is a whole demographic with obscene amounts of disposable income that buy way more bike than they really need. But god love ‘em for keeping the bike industry in business!

Oh, and stick with Trek. I ride a Madone and love it to pieces. Or maybe Specialized, or Pinarello… (so many great bikes out there!) Cervelos ride like shopping carts. IMHO.

by CycleChick on June 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm. Reply #

Bubbles was on to something then!! Shopping carts are the new black!

by Drewm on June 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm. Reply #

As always – insightful and cutting right to the essence of the matter. Paint it black….

by Meg on June 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm. Reply #

Amen sister. Thanks!!

by CycleChick on June 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm. Reply #

Nailed it!

by Michael on June 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm. Reply #

Thanks Michael. This was a fun one.

by CycleChick on June 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm. Reply #

Golf is NOT a sport, and what’s up with caddies – these out of shape weakling “pros” need a slave to carry their clubs around!? The worst part is the ridiculous amount of space they require. Turn all golf courses into parks.
ah now i just feel like going out and snapping a golfer over my leg. GOLF SUCKS!!

by Marc on June 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm. Reply #

Caddies are soigneurs for pro golfers.

by CycleChick on June 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm. Reply #

Ouch last time I checked my shopping cart rode pretty well. The bikes damn fast to bad the rider isn’t as fast. Also bought from A Cdn company. Well it was until last week anyway.

by Phil on June 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm. Reply #

Haha! I figured I’d get someone with that. Do you ride the P5? In fairness, they are known for being fast and stiff – not necessarily comfortable. The Roubaix is a possible exception.

But they are dead sexy.

by CycleChick on June 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm. Reply #

Reminds me of a quote from Pierre Trudeau – “Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.”

Perhaps to update this for the times, it could be said that cycling has become the new muse of the petit bourgeoisie. Personally, I hate to think of myself and my fellow roadies that way, but there is some truth to it.

by RJ on June 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm. Reply #

Agreed RJ. I think it a more apt description, and sounds much prettier as well. Cheers!

by CycleChick on June 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm. Reply #

Pink is the new cycling.

by Michelle on June 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm. Reply #

Ok, I’ll give it to you this time because of the Giro.

by CycleChick on June 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm. Reply #

Black, coincidently enough, is also the colour I see half way up the hill on our Tuesday / Thursday am rides.

by John on June 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm. Reply #

Once more a great Cycle Chick post with appropriate sentiment but somewhat balanced however this time followed by rabid negative comments. What is wrong with the interest in more than one fun thing to do. This weekend I got 200k of cycling and a golf game and couple dozen beer and a lot of time with friends of all ilks.
It is not necessary to denigrate another activity to say that your fave is better. That is bad karma and will result in many flats at the turn around with malfunctioning co2 cartridge.
As for never hearing a golfer yell HTFU that is a clear indication of never being on a golf course. Other people are always in the way of the colder beer at the club house than those you carry with you. So you yell HTFU and they yell back or ignore you much like the person you can’t pass once you yell at them to keep up the pace.
As for the snapping a golfer over your leg maybe we should get Andy and Frank to try that with Tiger and Dustin. Somehow I think that Andy and Frank might have a little trouble with this and end up with their water bottles shoved where Lance put the injections.
And pink is a great colour just ask Ryder and his Cervelo. What would happen if he traded his shopping cart for a real bike. Maybe a Tour win but needs the injection to win that one. Disclosure I like my Cervelo and am one of the OFWG who has way more bike than needed but it is only money after all.
And finally I guess it is ok to have bike paths and roads that are paved with the tar goop that they can not turn into gas or desiel but having nice green space is a waste. Must be a true Albertan for that sentiment.
Fore and HTFU as you are in the way of beer.

by Mark on June 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm. Reply #

Excellent comments Mark. Thank you for providing a look at the other side of the coin. I was careful in the post to make it clear my opinion of golf is only that – my opinion. I think people are too fast to judge other activities and define them as better than others. If I had a nickel(back) for everyone who thinks cycling is stupid, I’d be a rich woman and surely own a full stable of Cervelos among others. Maybe even a pink one in celebration of the Giro. I do, incidentally, include myself in the ranks of OFWGs that owns way more bike than I need. Call it my mid-life crisis bike. Cheaper than a Camaro and less trouble than a boyfriend.

Tiger could take both Schlecks in his sleep (which, incidentally, should make them both a little nervous). No deep fried turkey required.

by CycleChick on June 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm. Reply #

If I were Andy or Frank I would not sleep near Tiger without the rest of the Radio Shack Nissan team on guard including Johan B and maybe the Luxemberg wrestling team.
I also would never refer to you as an OFWG as from what I know you only meet the W criteria. I will ask Meg to confirm.
Fore and if you want to go flog and drink beer let me know. I am way better at those than cycling. And spandex is not slimming like black golf duds.

by Mark on June 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm. Reply #

Don’t really get the gratuitous hating on Lance, doping, cheater bullshit. Other than that, great blog.

by Steve B on June 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm. Reply #

Thanks Steve. I may have been hard on Lance in other posts, but in this case I wouldn’t call it gratuitous. I’m merely pointing to the fact that there have been serious allegations of doping (which is in fact cheating), including public accusations by former teammates, as well as a federal investigation. I am drawing the parallel between that and Tiger Woods’ equally public scandalous accusations. I don’t make up the bullshit – I just talk about it.

I don’t hate Lance. Never met the man. But I was a huge fan and defender for many years and have come to believe, in my own mind, based on the information at my disposal, that he is guilty.

Thanks for the comment. I think it’s good to have varying opinions here – makes things way more interesting.

by CycleChick on June 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm. Reply #

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