piglet: me riding my blue Biria easy boarder bicycle (cycling)
posted by [personal profile] piglet at 06:56am on 05/04/2014
Sometimes, magazines make it crystal clear that I am not their target audience. Take this most recent issue of Bicycling magazine (which I thought I canceled last month, hmmm).

Cover headline: LEANER FASTER STRONGER: A simple plan to get fit and trigger warning ). Oookay. Actively offensive.

Next below headline: Our Favorite New Helmets. I have become anti-helmet for adults, the more I've ridden & read helmet studies. And my scalp infection from my helmet sweat is FINALLY gone. So, no.

BMX Skills for Road Riders. Unlikely.
How NOT to ride your first fondo. Okay, maybe something of interest there, because long miles good, but we still have that racing emphasis.
Master the art of the paceline. Fuck no. Racing BORING.

And, down at the bottom, *SMUG ALERT*!! we have EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Why Cycling Makes You Smarter and Less Stressed. Oh dear.

Flip to the back cover. A *car* ad. "Light is might." Um. Oooookay.

Inside cover. An ad for a bike part I can't identify. Shifters? There's a line pointing to something identified as a brake lever. And they use words like front derailleur in the copy.

Next up is a two-page ad spread for the Tour of Utah. A long-distance race. "Beautiful agony." Hell to the NO. *flip*

Ah! Table of contents. I might enjoy... a comment on bike share, a guide to biking in Detroit, Heidi Swift's Joy Ride column, gear articles on handlebar & rain jacket. Out of 28 items listed with descriptions, I am drawn to 5. That's just not a good ratio. Though I will miss Heidi's column.

Next up? An ad from Specialized, that starts "Remember the 70s?" Yes! I cry, thinking fondly back. It goes on, "Yeah, neither do we." Um, wow. Nice copy for your 40th anniversary ad.

So let's address those 5 items:

1. bike share. No new info.

2. biking Detroit: *GOLD STAR* at least from me, who's never visited. (Should remedy.) 2 pages with places to rent (Wheelhouse Detroit), repair (The Hub of Detroit), eat (Avalon Int'l Breads) & ride (16-mile loops incl. Belle Isle park & Dequindre cut), and local groups & events (Slow Roll, Tour de Troit, Bike the Bridge, ...).

3. Heidi Swift's column -- OMG that was awesome! You should all go read it. It'll show up here eventually. "Angels". Paying respect to life via biking through a cemetery.

4. gear: handlebar. Ah. As anticipated, all about drop bars. Moving on...

5. gear: rain jacket. Much more basic than anticipated. No new info.

Total: 2 items I enjoyed. Defensive reading deployed (flipped directly to page numbers to avoid blood pressure surges from browsing other articles & ad copy; not entirely successful as is hard to flip directly). Experience insufficiently rewarding. (Although complaining about it afterwards has been great! Thanks for listening.)

Takeaway: if *YOU* like racing, road-biking, spandex, helmets, clip pedals, drop bars, super fuel food, etc., then this is THE magazine in its category for you.

If you are into sitting upright, chain guards, fenders, baskets, panniers, eating regular food, and super-long bike rides, allow me to a) ask What do you read!?! and b) recommend Adventure Cycling as being relevant to your interests.
piglet: crayon purple on white paper, me as drawn by my son (Default)
posted by [personal profile] piglet at 03:03pm on 05/04/2014
Oh, man, the knock-down drag=outs my dad and I would have had if he had lived. Er, I mean that figuratively. Passionate debates. Possibly with raised voices. Definitely with intensity. And email. Heh. But some at dinner table, no doubt.

He's not around, so I get to fight with my uncle instead. Here's our most recent interchange. I'll start with my response:

Hey, Xxx, you know why that's not funny? The joke you forwarded relies for its humor on the truth that women don't hurt men. Turning it around so that women are violent is only funny because men are violent. If men were peaceful there'd be no joke there at all -- just a giant huh? 1/3 of women globally have been assaulted by their partner or sexually assaulted by a non-partner.

That 1/3 of women globally translates to within your family, as well, by the way. You are sending this joke to women who have been hurt by men, and have had reason to be physically afraid of them. I was first assaulted -- on a quiet residential street -- when I was 16. Self-defense doesn't work, by the way -- even against a guy who is smaller than you are. Harsh lesson. Fortunately screaming was both possible and effective, for me in that case. Not so lucky for others of your female relatives to whom you have mailed this, whose personal narratives are theirs to share if they chose. You might ponder on why they haven't shared them with you.

One of the reasons I chose my husband as my partner is because he is the most non-violent person I have ever met. Not only do I know he would never hurt me, I know he never has the urge to. A welcome respite from the rest of the world, in which I am directly threatened with violence by men approximately once a year. This year was 2 days ago, when a very drunk man got up in my face and threatened to punch me while I was trying to swipe my way into the subway. Last year was in the summer, when I was riding my bike along the greenway, and some man ran at me and tried to grab my handlebars. 2 years ago I forget. 3 years ago was the man with a woman in a chokehold, dragging her across the street in front of me, who grabbed my handlebars and threatened to punch me when I braked, while the whole neighborhood looked on aghast.

Need I go on? Violence against women is part of the fabric of my existence. And I really don't need to be reminded that it's just an abstract joke to you.

And spare you the forwarded joke. )

He'd (wisely) used a BCC: list, so I couldn't tell who else might have been included. But figured I might as well go in swinging, and added my sister, my mom, my niece and 2 aunts to my CC: list. So pleased I did! A(n unexpected) positive response from an aunt. I look forward to furthering our acquaintance. ;-).


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