Seven issues… Hot damn! With a full year of existence behind us, I’m left wondering where the time went. There’s been a lot of cause for celebration and a little bit of turmoil, but reflecting on our first year mostly gets me thinking about the people I want to thank. Friends for their encouragement, advertisers for their support, colleagues for their advice and a business partner who works as hard as anyone I know. I sincerely appreciate the contributors who make Urban Velo the diverse and inspiring publication it is. And last but not least are the readers, because without an audience we wouldn’t exist. Their kind words and enthusiasm inspire us to keep going.
Surprisingly, we’ve received very little criticism thus far. I say surprisingly because being a critic is perhaps the easiest thing in the world. After all, it’s just a matter of giving your opinion. And I’ve got a saying that goes, “Opinions are like assholeseveryone’s got one.” As mundane as it may be, there are still legions of critics out there. Haters…all ready to rain on your parade at a moment’s notice. Quick to jump to conclusions. Eager to trash talk what’s different, or what they don’t understand.
While the zine itself has managed to elude the mudslingers, a fair amount of this issue deals with some oft-criticized aspects of bike culture. Why anyone would chastise another rider for his or her choice in bicycles is beyond me. The only thing such criticism accomplishes is a division within the community. Meanwhile, everyone knows that what the bicycle scene needs to thrive is unity.
Personally, I’ve got a basement full of bikes. Some are for roads, some are for trails, some have gears, and some don’t coast. I ride them with people from all walks of lifefrom starving artists to wealthy professionals, from political activists to servicemen. Black or white, fixed or free, road or mountain…what really matters is that we all ride. And we’re all hoping for a world that’s better for bikes. Until the streets are clogged with bicycles instead of motorcars, we should focus on encouraging on another, not squabbling over petty differences.