Sunday, August 9, 2009

What is MountainTownie Biking?


The August issue of Mountain Gazette (No. 158) features an article, Mountaintownie Biking: The Once and Future Slow Lane, along with several other articles about biking in the Mountain west. It's worth checking out.

Not surprisingly, schools of thought vary about what constitutes a mountaintownie bike. Both refer to bikes that are the preferred mode of transport for many mountain town resident. Mountain towns tend to be expensive places to set up a homestead. Mountain town residents generally trade of the cost of living for the outdoor lifestyle and some make it work by transitioning to a one car or no car household, depending on circumstances.The formalists find form and style of paramount importance. Their ride of choice is old, vintage and homebuilt, if possible. If the bike rattles, even better. The functionalists, as one gathers from the word, view the bike as a means of gettin' some place and taking care of business. While, functionalist appreciate a stylish ride, they prioritize dependability. Everything needs to work.

I'm not sure where I fit into all this but I am probably leaning toward being a functionalist. I love the old vintage cycles I see around Flagstaff but I need to get to work on time. Perhaps a good follow up piece could be "Who is the Mountaintownie rider?".

Is it me?

Is it him?

Is it her?

Anyway, great article. Lots of fun and many insights of the challenges of bike communuting in the mountain west.

1 comment:

Filigree said...

Very interesting concept. We used to live in what you could definitely call a "mountain town" in Northern New England, and no one rode a bike; 4WD was the transport of choice. There were bikes in the "resort towns" nearby, but mostly tourists and college students rode them. In that part of the country, the lower income you are, the more cars and trucks you are likely to have, and the less you are likely to ride a bike.