Monday, April 21, 2014

letting go: the Riven-thrill is gone

I became a "lifetime subscriber" to the Rivendell Reader back in 1998.
The Rivendell Reader in those days was. smart, quirky and gave readers credit for having some intelligence. It was also heavy on articles and light on advertising [for its own products].
Along the way and through the years, the Reader became more expensive and time-intensive to create every quarter. At the same time, Rivendell found itself struggling to keep up with demand for some of its products and struggling to remain competitive with a slew of copycat companies who offered some of the same quirky, manly "country bike chic" at lower prices.

I've remained pretty faithful to Rivendell over the years, because I appreciate their stubborn refusal to carry products made. in China and because I continue to admire their founder's commitment to bicycles for non-racers.

But the times have changed, and so have I. I no longer care so much where my bicycle parts are made because most of what I need -- tires, tubes and acceesories -- IS made in China. I cannot do anything about that which will make a real difference in the long run. The fact is, in order to eschew Chinese-made bicycle products, I have to spend a lot more than I can afford to. Rivendell recognized this awhile back, and in order to stay in business and be located in an expensive East Bay suburb, they had to cater to an ever higher-end clientele. In the process, more and more riders like me got sort of left behind. On a smaller side-note, their advertising and product lines seem more and more geared to promoting a rough-and-ready -- and very male -- image that I find I am less and less interested in supporting with my money and time. I am a woman -- a rather androgynous one, admittedly, but still a woman. I would prefer to simply ride my bicycle and not worry so much about whatever image I project (or help any company to promote).

It's been fun and I have no regrets. And now I'm ready to move on.

I am sitting on a small pile of Rivendellia and related items that I will be finding new homes for over the next few weeks. The fact is that I don't really need any of it anymore, and I'd rather see it go to someone who will love it and appreciate it more. Stuff like jerseys, MUSA shirts and woolen slipper socks, an unused RBW water bottle, and various printed materials that I am finally ready to let go of. I still ride a Rivendell bicycle, but honestly if it got stolen (heaven forbid) I would replace it with someing far cheaper and equally durable. Because I've moved past the time in my life when brand names and their reputations really matter quite so much. Stay tuned and check out eBay now and then in the next few days or weeks. and above all, Happy Riding.

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