This very interesting article came across my feed over the weekend:
This is from a UK-based industry insider publication. If you care at all about the future -- of bicycling, of consermer markets, and very likely of the world (yeah, I know, kinda dramatic) -- read it closely.
And then you'll perhaps understand why I think I got out of the industry just in time. Perhaps then you'll understand why I have no love -- or pity -- for manufacturers whose corporate bosses decided we needed TWELVE-speed cassettes, or electronic shifting, or any of the other doo-dads that have served to dumb down cycling so that people think they need a new bike every two years just in order to ride to the damned grocery store.
(Photo: yes, Virginia, that's a TWELVE speed cassette. Utter stupidity.)
End of rant.
THE quote from this article for me was this one:
"Life is not like the movies. I’m not going to get a call from any of the
senior execs in the companies I’ve been talking about asking me for
answers. And even if they did call, I don’t have any. There is quite
possibly no solution to this. Maybe lower consumption is a permanent
thing now. Given the state of the planet, maybe that’s what we are supposed to be doing."
If you dream of a future in the bicycle industry, here's the real future: scavenging, rebuilding, repurposing. Based on what I've seen in the junk piles behind bike shops around town, you're probably too late for anything else.
But that doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom. It just means that the real action in the bicycle industry will happen more and more in an increasingly larger underground bicycle economy, one where cash isn't always king and where those with tools and skills will be alright for awhile yet.
(Photo: the latest in stupid: a folding mountain bike with carbon-fiber, tri-spoke wheels. WTF?!)