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Contrarianism

December 11, 2009

I have often been accused of being argumentative or disagreeable.  There is more than enough evidence to support these claims, but I prefer to think of myself as “giving voice to the minority opinion in order to promote dialogue.”  It’s just sounds so much more virtuous that way.

In the spirit of promoting dialogue I have recently become fascinated with bicycle publications that subvert the proverbial dominant paradigm.  Namely, back issues of  Bicycle Quarterly have been at the top of my magazine pile.  They have a very clear agenda and I don’t necessarily buy into all of their conclusions, but I am totally drawn to the dialogue.  Their fundamental stance is that a lot of component characteristics that promote comfort on a road bike (flexible frames, wide tires, etc.) can also make a bike faster.  It’s a stance that is entirely contrary to mainstream road racing technology, but it’s an intriguing concept and they make a very strong case.   In large part, the discussion is more intriguing to me than the outcome.  Regardless, it’s good reading and a very unusual perspective.

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