|It was a good day|
|Found on Mandatory|
But the picture also reminded me of my last trip to Brown County Indiana with friends.
You never outgrow some things.
By the way, we're going back to Brown County next weekend for the Brown County Epic. It will be a weekend of awesomeness - demo bikes, live music, a beer garden, and epic rides. You should come hang out with me too. It's only like a four hour drive from Columbus.
But back to the matter at hand.
Fact is, I still look for friends by searching for the bike pile. Like last time I traveled to a new city and wanted to find a good place to get a meal and a beer in the evening.
I rented a bike:
And rode it around until I found this:
Would it surprise you to learn that all of these bikes were parked outside an artisanal restaurant/pub that served small plates with locally-sourced ingredients and craft beers? The menu looked something like this:
Yeah, so there it is. But, I'm not the only person who does this. For instance, if you saw this outside a bar:
|In fairness, Lucky 12 looks like it has a pretty good menu and taps.|
Or, if you saw these cars in the restaurant's parking lot:
Then there's a pretty good chance that you are at a BW3, and the people inside are eating chicken wings and washing them down with Corona bottles from a bucket. They're likely wearing ball caps (some backwards) and cargo pants.
In this parking lot:
And if you see this:
Congratulations, you're at Applebee's or Friday's or Golden Corral.
My point is, that we seek out markers that tell us that we will find people like ourselves. We look for places where we fit in, where people look like we look and repeat the same things that we say. Like they said on the theme song to Cheers, "sometimes you want to go . . . where everybody confirms your personal beliefs." Or something like that. I do it too. Is that wrong?
Well, post modern philosophers like Adorno and Horkheimer would tell you this is a product of marketing. They'd explain that every aspect of our lives have been planned out and marketed for by the "culture industry." We are sold "lifestyles;" if you want to be a good cyclist, here's the clothes you will need, the beer you must drink, and the bike you must ride. It's even further broken down - are you an urban cyclist? A mountain biker? A roadie? There are goods and products that will specifically advertise your cycling preferences to the world. There are even goods designed for people who wish to demonstrate their non-conformity.
|It's like an irony Fibonacci sequence|
Is that all bad? Hell, I don't know. I like to think that, as individuals, we find out what it is that we like to do and where we're comfortable doing it. You can broadcast that to the world as your "type" by your dress and purchasing choices. And, because we're all aware of the significance of those choices, other people can quickly sort us into our category. That way, you can continually be surrounded by people who will affirm that your version of the world is the correct one.
And if you're confused about how to best present yourself as an immediately-recognizable member of any given subset of humanity, plenty of people online provide guidelines for the "right way" to do things.
What does it all mean? I don't know. Maybe we should all ride bikes? Personally, I like chicken wings and draft American beer. Can I ride my bicycle to Sturgis? Maybe they'd welcome me if I wore denim cycling pants?
|Somehow, I doubt it.|
Go be brave, however you like.