It’s raining outside. She’s off in paradise again, but at least the flat’s tidy. I’m a bit less of a wreck today. Going riding this weekend all seems so much more feasible now.

E-Bay has a lot to answer for. Scumbags and scammers are taking their game to an all new level and this hasn’t been helped by the fact that E-Bay have refused to pull items that are not genuinely what they claim to be and then ignore confirmation from the genuine manufacturing company that the product is infact a fake. Like some rather dodgy Oranges that are discussed here, here and over here.

Talking to Tony today, I starting thinking about whether or not there is some kind of aspirational ladder that mountain bikers subscribe to? Now I guess many mountain bikers would love to be able to ride bikes all day everyday, in fantastic areas around the world and still be able to live a comfortable lifestyle, but there are very few people who can afford to sustain that lifestyle for any great length of time.

I suppose the very best freeriders fall into this category. There isn’t the pressure to be at the peak of physical fitness that is associated with cross country racing or the pressure to get results for the sponsors like with the downhill scene. Tyler Klassen and the boys on the Drop In road trip fit into this perfect picture, riding the best trails all over Canada and North America, Helibiking, etc. Are they the lucky ones?

What comes next? Is it the bike journo’s that get paid a small in terms of salary, but do get to ride thousands of pounds worth of kit and test all the latest products in return for writing and reporting their findings to the world? Or maybe the trail builders whose hard graft goes into moulding the ups and downs, corners and berms, but then as reward they get to be the first riders to test their handy work and ride new trails?

Elsewhere on the ladder office bound cyclists sometimes express their wish to work in the relaxed environment of a bike shop, whilst bike shop workers would love to be paid as much as some office workers, but always seem to be wishing for more opportunity to ride their bikes and be treated as more than just someone who works in a bike shop (especially by fat balding rude South Africans on Bromptons).

Now as for people who work for the importers and distributors, well I guess some of them never see the products other than in pictures or on screens, but talk to people about product all day long on the telephone. Others probably talk about it and show it to people all day long in the hope of selling it, but rarely have any time to go cycling and use it themselves. Whilst somewhere at the top of the ladder some people have made so much money from cycling that they’ve moved on to other sports and now don’t ride at all.

I guess it’s all swings and roundabouts. The grass is always greener on the otherside and if you want to go biking there’s always a way to make time and if you don’t there’s always an excuse. A new bike should be arriving soon. I’m beginning to get excited because it going to be an even better reason to ride more.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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