Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bicycling: The New Golf?

In New York (and Provo, and San Diego, and San Francisco) they are saying that Bicycling is the new golf. I'm not quite sure about that, and I don't think bicycling could adequately replace golf. I'm not a golfer, I've been golfing a handful of times, but I do think there are some fundamental differences that won't allow for one to replace the other. I do however agree that bicycling is picking up in popularity while golfing is declining, but it's not quite the same. So I've made a few comparisons (without addressing much in the article which talks more about the social aspects of golfing and networking):

Outdoors: Both "sports" happen outdoors, one in a very specific place that I find to be redundant and also not very conducive to the diversity of the environment. The other can happen almost anyplace at anytime.

Danger: Cycling is much more dangerous you cold get hit by a car! Though golfing DOES have its dangers.

Shoes: You can really golf or bicycle in almost any time of shoe. However, serious golfers and serious cyclists both have their own versions of cleats.

Clothing: I probably will not be wearing lycra anytime soon. Look at that style on those golfers though, I love it. Knickers also make perfect sense for bicycles. They'll keep your pants out of the chain instead of having to roll up your pant leg.

Folks early on seemed to recognize that golf clothing would work great for cycling. But somewhere along the development of bicycle clothing, clothes became geared only towards those who love spandex.

Fortunately, it looks like there are some folks who hate lycra as much as I do. This looks like a viable option, but i think there's still a ways to go.

Skill: Both Cycling and Golfing take adequate training. I know there are some people who teach their kids how to golf early on in their lives, but I still don't think it's as common as being taught how to ride a bike as a kid. One can learn how to bike in a day, it's much harder to learn how to golf in a day.

Transport: As we can see in this exhibit, it takes a bicycle in order to bicycle, and in order to golf one either needs to walk or use a golf cart. ALSO in order to GO golfing one needs to drive to the golf course with clubs in hand. In order to bicycle one just needs to jump on a bicycle. So you inevitably are being environmentally friendly, and with being environmentally friendly you are going to save money.

Here's a great article from Health & Fitness It talks about some more differences from golf and cycling. Things like Health benefits, Family time, Cost etc...

So is bicycling the new golf? I think it can be a viable way for execs to network over golfing, I think it's a better "sport" than golfing is by far. If I want to play a game that puts balls in holes I'll go play pool down on second street, (that guy really takes care of his tables AND cues they're PERFECT) and I'll bicycle there.

Bicycling is the new golf in that it is taking the place of many social aspects of golf while the popularity of the sport declines and while cycling ascends. But cycling will never take the place of the type of sport that golf is (for old white and asian men, which I will be one day except not plural)


Ed said...

In the mid to late 80s, the surge in cycling was compared to the upswing in tennis in the 70s. Hopefully, cycling will not always struggle with being that NEXT fad, but with little interest on the part of cities to make the streets safer for cycling, I'm not very positive.

Btw, I've had the opportunity of using old wool shorts and know exactly why lycra is the material of choice. I was even grateful to see the demise of the old leather chamois. Thank God for the synthetic chamois.

Most 'cyclists' would take exception to your distinction between learning to ride a bike in a day and learning to play golf in a day. In both sports, the skill level is commensurate to the practice time.

I haven't seen how the city was planning to accommodate cyclists on the Mission overpass. If you hear/see anything please post.

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