Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Eco chic" my ass...

From the title of this post one might surmise that there is more than the odd chance that there is a rant in store, and dear reader you would be right...

Inhabitat is a website of note and a lot of interesting and wonderful things find their place there. Sadly, just as often they also get it completely wrong and their most recent foray into things cycling "Top Five Eco Chic Bicycles" is a perfect example of one of the main failings of "Green Culture" is that they don't get the form follows function and not the other way around. To be hip it is going to have to do the job and not just have a cool press release!

I've never been a fan of "best of" type of statements or journalism. Saying that five bikes represent the "best of" to be accurate would mean you have tested and researched the thousands of bikes out there and actually know of what you speak... Really what they should have done in this case is maybe titled it five bike we think are kinda hip or some such. But when you use that word TOP I expect it to actually mean something.

The only thing that I can see about the assembled selection of bikes in question is that none of them are bikes I'd choose to ride (or buy). They are all kinda neat and have some interesting features, gimmicks or connections but none of them are, to put it simply, good bikes and all have a high humiliation factor. I mean seriously can you see yourself going off to the store a couple miles away on a Strida and riding back with thirty pounds of shopping?

Yeah... I thought not.

Pretty much the same for the other bikes as well ( though they would all work better than the Strida but than just about anything with wheels would. (and yes I HAVE ridden a Strida)! The point is with bikes is they are not adornments or examples of cool design features. They are tools and for any tool to fulfill its function it has to work... That form follows function thing really makes sense.

What I find really rant-worthy is that there is no shortage of truly excellent innovative bike designs out there and in production that need promotion in the whole "lets get people out of cars and on two wheels" and promoting half-assed bikes because they are cute, clever or chic is not going to advance that agenda in anyway I can think of.

On the other hand the Bike Friday, Swiss Bike, UTB or that new Salsa Fargo I'm in love with (and hundreds of others that are too numerous to mention) would promote the whole idea of two wheels in a way that makes sense.

Rant over...