January 27, 2014

by Kristin Butcher

Sure, people might say that bad trends fade away while good trends become the new normal, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, perfectly good ideas fall by the wayside?then there are the ideas that are so bad they’re good. Here are ten trends that should be dusted off and brought back into action.

1. Kickstands



When did fancy bikes get too cool for kickstands? Newsfeeds are filled with glory shots of expensive bikes helplessly propped up by trees, signposts, and even sticks. Meanwhile, the barely-functional 20-year-old cruiser outside the convenience store stands up on its own, like a boss.


2. Neon everything



Neon has reasons to come back?it’s bright and visible. Okay, neon is hideous, but it’s hard not to have fun wearing DayGlo green jerseys and pedaling anodized blue cranks. Even if it’s just for a day, let’s bring back neon everything. But, the Hypercolor shorts can stay at home.


3. Respect for bicycle riders on roads



A hundred years ago, bikes weren’t an anomaly on the streets, but the reason for having streets. Bike riders or not, most folks aren’t eager to give up their cars anytime soon, but it?d sure be nice for bikes to be fully accepted on the road.


4. Bike technology failures



When the adjustable Hite Rite seatpost and curiously shaped Biopace chainring hit stores decades ago, their problematic designs became the butt of jokes. In the decades since, adjustable seatposts evolved into hydraulically actuated wonder-devices and Biopace worked its way into professional racing. Lately, new technology is a logical progression that’s consistent, reliable, and incredibly boring. Sometimes, nothing pushes technology forward faster than a giant flop.


5. Cheesy bicycling movies



In the seven year span from 1979 and 1986, the big screen saw the likes of Breaking Away, BMX Bandits, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, American Flyers, Quicksilver and Rad. In the past seven years, we?ve had? Premium Rush. If anyone with Hollywood connections could pull some strings to bring back more ridiculous action flicks starring bikes, that?d be great.


6. Wearing bicycling shorts as everyday clothing



If this 80s trend returned, riders who prefer the feel of spandex would no longer look out of place in line at the grocery store, the bank, or grabbing a post-ride brew at the biker bar that doesn’t cater to the types of bikes they thought it did before entering.


7. Adult kick bikes



The recent trend of kick bikes for toddlers has led to a whole generation of three year olds on pedal bikes, but adult-sized kick bikes haven?t been popular since the ?Walking Machine? of 1817 gave way to the newfangled ?Velocipede? in 1865. Imagine a world where you never have to worry about lubing chains or tipping over at intersections?and the possibility of getting to work looking half as cool as this kid


8. Kids on bikes everywhere



Let’s bring back kids on Stingrays who turn into mini Evel Knievels as they pedal toward plywood ramps. Let’s bring them back to skidding Big Wheels, racing BMX bikes to the corner store, and riding too-big Christmas bikes to school for the first time. Let’s bring it all back. Now.


9. Self-supported Tour de France



It was a big deal when the Tour de France changed the rules allowing riders to swap out parts instead of repairing them in 1923. Now, the ever-present radios and support vehicles (not to mention performance-enhancing drugs) in races could benefit from a few dirt road stages where riders have to support themselves with some tools and a few tubes slung around their shoulders.


10. The bike tribe

Years ago, there were bikes. Today there are commuter bikes, fixies, fat bikes, BMX bikes, cruisers, trail bikes, downhill bikes, hybrids and the list keeps going. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the differences between us instead of seeing the bigger picture: that bikes are just so much fun.

Kristin Butcher is a freelance writer based out of Boulder, Colorado, she spends her time writing about people, the outdoors and, of course, bikes. You can read her column, Butcher Paper, in BIKE Magazine.

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