Newsletter - 2007 Archive

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Ray's message appeared on the discussion list as a response another contributor's comments. The subject was handle bars, and the observation from the other contributor was "...honestly I find in Randonneuring... there is way too much conformity..." To be fair, the contributor is not a practicing randonneur and would not be familiar with the variety of individual bike set ups (including handle bars) on display at the beginning of your run-of-the-mill brevet. Still, good fodder for our guy Ray:
[Eric F]

"Randonneurs conformists? You must be joking."
by Raymond Parker

Agreed; there is no ONE [handle] bar. That's why manufacturers keep innovating. Some people find the trad "randonneur" bar uncomfortable over the long haul because it throws the hand at an inward angle on the tops, etc. But obviously some folks swear by them. Different strokes.

But randonneurs conformist? You must be joking. Go to any brevet, ride along with a group (or, if you prefer to focus on gear alone, just ogle the hardware) and you will find the widest assemblage of different approaches to the bicycle and its accouterments than in any other cycling endeavour. Randonneurs are absolutely the most anarchic group of bicyclists known to velosport in general!

When ever I see this kind of "this is the only way" kind of discussion start, I just have to roll my eyes. We can all agree to disagree on certain gear choices. Sometimes, when we go on a ride, we see innovative solutions, or gear choices others have made and we learn a thing or two. Maybe we go out and purchase something, after being impressed with how well it worked for someone else. Mechanical advice (rather than diktats) from an experienced bicyclist are helpful. But, in the end, it's just GEAR.

It's the "ride" that we take away with us, not how sweet my zircon-encrusted bar-con adjusters looked.



May 28, 2007