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Life seems just like a rubber band stretched around the elastic pull of the Market Place. Our task is to travel the rubber rail of delusion, kept comfortably numb to the more spiky realities of life lived real – a place where the glare of the marketplace stuns us less. The Novocain of our times are the fantasies of marketing spin; the oh-so-intentional social constructions of those who seek our cash and our submission to the True Religion of the marketplace. We are all headed off on some endless cattle ramp into the bowls of a destination we know is wrong; a destination that will make a holocaust of times to come. But as long as the destination remains elusive, all we have to do is check our progress against the reference points of those immediately behind, and with those just ahead. Then we don’t have to worry about all the rest. We are seemingly drawn along this line of time on the scent of shiny toys and by a life miraged though the constructions of marketing spin.

There’s signs all around that our track is a road across a void with rails as flimsy as the edge of a Pyrenean mountain descent. If only we can open our eyes. The reality of that void all around would cause us to slow. It might cause us to stop! It might cause us to walk our bikes down that hill instead.

Here’s a clue. The fabrications of delusion have caught up with the world of cycling; even cycling! That’s a place that should be immune. But it’s not. Not even here.

My flag of concern concerns the oil spill of marketing sludge into the Sacred Central of the High Temple of Pinarello! Yes, even there. The rot’s set in. Nothing is sacred any more. Consider the new Pinarello Dogma 60.1. A fine machine. Technically. But a bike for which I now have unending contempt. Pinarello has sold out. They are now busy ingratiating themselves onto the flabby Dentist egotisms of lives stretched past the border of fashionable youth. Pinarello’s Dogma has become the Botox solution for those who would cling to the fantasies of a youth long gone. It’s become a cosmetic appliance for those who can afford its ludicrously inflated price. $20,000 for a bike that’s worth half as much in terms of the performance it provides. If it were only an instrument of cycling rather than as an appliance of personal vanity. $10,000 for the bike; $10,000 for the pose. I am disgusted. Waiting lists apply!

Consider this. For $10,000 you can attach yourself to a BMC or a Scott Pro Tour machine. Either will perform at least as well. Either are at least as well made. Either have captured all the functionality even a Tour de France winner needs. I love the Dogma. I want a Dogma. But I am not going to pay a premium for pretence. I am not going to join the ranks of the Open Top Sports Car brigade who now seem to be turning their pudgy poncy ponderings to the world of two leg-powered wheels. When did cycling become the new Golf! When did our bike shops start stocking size XXXL knicks? When did the fuel of choice turn from water to double whipped cream latte? When did the bicycle become a shield of pretence for the cafe crawling crowd? Bah! A pox plague on the flabby over-cashed middle aged. They are driving prices beyond my reach!

Once cycling was a place through which to escape the stupidities of culturally constructed delusions. Now it’s a destination. Once we were impediments on the road of those travelling the sports car delusions of their past-it lives . Now we’ve become the playground for their cosmetic cash. I think I will take up banking or the stock market trade. Now that the Pre Global Financial Crisis set have moved on from the world of finance into the financing of pretentious cycling instead.

One Response to “Value Rot”
  1. Dee says:

    Come ON! Whatever it takes! I want bums on bikes, and the richer and more powerful the bums the more pressure for social change. XXXL is a great beginning on the long road to L. Hate Pinarello, but leave late blooming lovers of cycling alone.

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