Old 05-22-19, 07:57 AM
Newbie racer
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Bikes: Propel, red is faster

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If you hang with me for a second, I can try to give a theory here......

There's a book titled "Bowling Alone". It documents a theory of a perceived loss of "social capital" within the United States in the last 4 decades.

It uses a mind numbing amount of statistical data of social clubs, teams, fraternity organizations, church membership, union membership and other things to show the changes in tastes and lifestyles.

You could throw participation in cycling clubs, groups, teams into it as well.

The original observation in the book was that overall, the bowling alley industry hasn't died. It's numbers were actually higher. However, league participation used to drive bowling alley numbers to a higher extent. Nowadays, it's just people who show up with a few friends to toss some balls.

I do think we're seeing a counterinsurgency in a few areas. Brewery group ride critical mass stuff is WAY up in participation. Some local group rides are starting to thrive again.

However, I am seeing a big drop in availability of local road racing. The racing I have done.......I'd say a Cat 4/5 of today probably has the fitness of a 2 or 3 even just 20 years ago due to "structured training for the masses" and this odd new mentality. The 4/5's don't have the brains for racing necessarily, I sure don't.

But we've got local 4/5's that can do into the 300's for 20 minutes. That's a pretty steep barrier to entry to race.
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