It seems none of us will be immune from the fallout from the collapsing house of cards which for many years has been our financial system. Even in the cycle world, where perspiration, aspiration and consumerism combine with annodised aluminium to push forward the boundaries of what can be done on a bike it seems we won’t escape lightly.
Some of us work in organisations which are directly affected by the meltdown but even for those of us who don’t it’s widely predicted that bike prices will be on the rise next year as the effects of raw material costs filter through. Which seems to me to be an admirable reason to immediately buy a new bike if only I wasn’t already experiencing my own mini credit crunch. Even with the government’s Cycle2Work scheme offered through my company I can’t afford a new bike!! Dang!
For those who can afford it the image of pigs and troughs springs to mind. After all, ‘the best’ city financiers (that’s those who pulled the most wool over the most eyes) have been troughing it for years, so this seems like a golden guilt free chance for the wealthy amongst us to do our patriotic duty by buying a new bike.
I’m joking of course. The chances of me buying a new bike are about as good as the odds you’d have got for Lewis Hamilton winning the F1 Championship at the start of the final lap in Interlagos on Sunday and few of my acquaintances are any better off. Those that can don’t need tissue thin excuses either.
Incidentally while I’m on the subject of F1 the FIA stewards must be delighted they scandalously robbed Hamilton of that win in Belgium since it resulted in what was a properly exciting final few laps in Brazil. But lets keep things in perspective. Lewis is not the best driver in F1 (for that you need to look to Alonso who’s been driving the wheels off the Renault all season – just ask his teammate), nor was the F1 season any more exciting than previous years (aside from sex scandals, stewarding controversies, pit disasters á la Singapore and a calendar designed to fit in with poor weather conditons at key times).
There was in short little track action and the best funded teams had the best results (aside from Toyota!). But nonetheless, congratulations to Hamilton and commiserations to Massa for a spirited effort and genuine grace at losing so narrowly.
Now I’ve broken a promise I made to myself to not talk about F1 on this blog. Dammit! Apologies for that detour. So, am I trying to say anything here? Well, what I think I’m trying to say is that a cursory read of the Sunday papers seems to have us heading into a New Age of Austerity which if nothing else is some of the most patronising clap trap I’ve read for a while.
Maybe the editors, journalists and contributors of these newspapers are thinking this way, having attended one too many dinner parties where their city friends have sat shell shocked from a week of incomprehensible financial events but I don’t share this view. It’s enough to put you off your caviar.
Look around you. None of us are starving and we all have roofs over our heads. That’s a better starting point than most in this world and without wishing to make too much light of a situation which at it’s most extreme is the sort of thing that starts World Wars I don’t think a sensible reaction is to wax lyrical about how much more meaningful lives are about to become because people are going out less, are growing their own food and smiling gamely in a ‘we’re all in this together’ jolly matey knees up kind of manner.
But, if it means I’ll actually have to singlespeed my On-one, as an economy measure of course, then it’s a sacrifice I’m happy to make.