Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heroes PT. II

So it was a rather quiet weekend for the AP but that allowed them to take what they had read in our previous discussions about bike celebrities and heroes and go out and find one for us. In a story posted yesterday on CNN they followed Barack Obama on a bike ride along the shores of Lake Michigan where they took this flashy photo. As much as I love the guy I kind of wish he had a bike adviser on his staff that could have upped his cred a bit before this shot was allowed. I mean all i'm looking for is a rolled pant leg or perhaps a sweet Obama '08 messenger bag (maybe Manahatten Portage could jump on this one). I am, however, curious about the foam noodle fender that he's rocking as it looks less likely rip his sidewall, as I am suspicious of mine of having done, though at the height its sitting at I wonder about its performance.

Regarding the celebrity discussion, it seems here that at least the AP feels that biking has enough mainstream consciousness that the public would be interested with this photo. Reading the comment section of the article is far from bike related so maybe Obama is not the type of bike ambassador we are looking for at this point but one could argue that he made the top page of CNN on his bike and none of us can boast that.

I fear for his durability as a bike ambassador as one commenter keenly pointed out:


Personally I'd be more concerned about McCain rolling his walker out of the bushes and throwing his dentures ninja-style at this unsuspecting passerby. Just another reason to wear a helmet!


Brendan said...

He was looking much cooler when he was just hanging out around bike: http://www.idsnews.com/news/mfiles/photos/0000-DS597425030.jpg

Karma said...

He'd look even cooler in that picture if he had a leg rolled up and his sweet customized mess bag on his back, but definitely an improvement from the first.

Rich said...

I missed out on the first discussion, but that was the last thing I read before the weekend and I rolled that around my head a bit.

Yeah, celebrity usage is important to push any fashion/style/trend no matter how good or hideous into mainstream America. But not just any celebrity, and certainty not politicians. If anything politicians are seen as trend-killers to a generation. Athletes? Maybe to a very small cross-section. No, as much as I hate to admit it, the people with all the power in the fashionable consciousness in this country are exactly the people you see on the crap Entertainment Inside Extra Hollywood Tonight Edition shows. The celebutantes. The young hollywood actors. The hip-hop artists.

Think about any big swing in trends. Ugg boots. Gigantic sunglasses. Tiny dogs. Trucker hats. Popped polo collars. Hummers. The leading edge of these? Paris, Lindsey, Ashton, P. Diddy, etc. Even the recent Green movement in Hollywood...Leo. (Unfortunately, Ed Bagley Jr. is too old and too dorky. Even though he's a hero.)

A great spoofed example of this effect can be seen in this Superbowl ad from a couple years ago.

And it can't be planned. It can't be a commercial showing Paris Hilton holding a Biachi Milano saying "that's hot" in a PSA. You need the paparazzi catching her riding a bike to the Viper Room. You need Kanye West rolling to his recording studio on a modified comfort bike. It's how America works with trends and style.

Brendan said...

Kanye West would not be caught a comfort bike!

Rich said...

Sure he could. Dorky things are always being used all ironic-like and turn around to be hip. Flat-billed caps. Horned-rimmed glasses. Unicorn t-shirts. Why not a comfort bike? Modify it however, maybe drop some ground-effect lighting on it...

Brendan said...

There's some thing that just don't become ironic. Those are things that your parents do.

It goes back to my dorky non-profit transportation alternative types are not the kind of people who can effectively market bicycles to a big audience.

metaljaybird said...

Hello there,

First time visitor, and comment.

Remember the 04 election with Kerry taking a monster spill?

Bush riding a bicycle is amazing (if he can do it, anyone can), but I guess he's gotten hardcore on his MTB.

If only everyone knew who Ron Paul was.

Anyway, I grew up in Enfield, but live in the Morristown, NJ area. Maybe I'll catch up on one of the Hartford rides when I'm up visiting family.


Karma said...

I think if Kanye was to ride he'd be all laid back on a full-size recumbent fully tricked with chrome Zipps and definitely the aforementioned ground effects. The reality, slim to none, but when I see it, it shall be sweet.

Also welcome MJB nice to see Hartford's bike community stretches all the way to Jersey, drop us a line if you want to roll when you are in the Beat.

metaljaybird said...

Definitely will next time I'm up in CT. As long as you don't mind rolling with a Ron Paul libertarian.

bugbear said...

I'm more concerned that he is pictured riding on a sidewalk (dangerous)and on the left side of the road (though he is technically on a sidewalk, not on the road.) I don't want the prez nailed by a car because of poor traffic cycling skills and knowledge.

You can't even *make* me ride my bike on a sidewalk.