Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friendly Folks

Just a quick note. Last week on my second pass through my new loop, I encountered a fellow Motobecane owner and enthusiast. I'm more of a bike enthusiast in general, really, but I do really like the Motobecane a lot. More than my Schwinn, honestly, though that's a prettier bike.

Anyway, I was riding with a friend, and we were passed by a car carrying said enthusiast and her family. They pulled into their driveway not too far ahead of us, and as we passed, she called out. My ears are junk, so I turned around to see what was up, and in the process knocked my front fender askew for perhaps the tenth time that morning (the toe overlap when pedaling from the arches now showing its dark side). After several attempts to understand her from a distance, I finally gleaned that she was saying "Nice Motobecane!"

I stopped in front of her house to chat and to fix my fender. Turns out she has a handful of similar Motobecanes. We talked a bit about the fork replacement and the bikes in general, and she mentioned wanting to unload a blue 25" model she has tucked away somewhere. I left my contact info and hope that I'll hear from her at some point. I don't really need another bike, but mine is a 24" and it's just a smidge small in the seat tube for me, so a 25" wouldn't be a bad thing, either.

Anyway, it was a fun encounter and it came just a week after my ride and post about the Motobecane not getting any respect. Scratch that -- it would seem the bike just needs the right people around to respect it.

All for now,



Allyson said...

It's fascinating to me that once you hop on a bike for a ride, you're immediately part of a micro-community, one that acknowledges and greets you when you ride by, who reach out to verify you're all set if you're stopped on the side of the road, and who, as you note, compliment each others' bikes. I've noticed the same thing when I get in my Mini Cooper.

John said...

It is, yes. Seth Godin calls them Tribes ( but they've been around for a lot longer than he's been writing about them.

There are sub-communities, too, in these tribes. The people who ignore me and my mongrel, and the people who call out to you from their yard to say they like your bike. The people who race their minis and the people who go to gatherings.

I took my girls to Provincetown over the weekend, as part of our visit to the cape. Fascinating set of tribes running around there on Thursday. Subcultures within subcultures.

People are at their best when they're embracing the things that give them joy.