They Always Forget The Sherpa…

Background Reading




Just a little thought for you. Virtually every climb up K2 has a contingent of sherpas who carry the gear and food. The Europeans whose gear they carry often get rewarded with titles, like Sir. In fact in one instance a female climber pooped out and had to be carried on the back of a Sherpa to the summit!

But like the Sherpa lots of others do not get their due. In the cycling world Urban Cyclists have been known to claim (with accompanying Venn Diagrams) that their lot as daily commuters is far worse than anything that happens on a Tour de France race.

Hey, I am not making this up. Some of these yokels actually believe they are better than the guys who ride and win the Tour de France. I guess that having motorists pass you too close (assuming that they are accurate in their assessments) or being honked at for a full 5 seconds is a lot more crushing that you might expect.

So rather than argue the point let’s just assume that when it comes to some far less taxing than the Daily Urban Cyclist Commute you might have to settle for those ‘sissy‘ events like the Tour de France and its equally easy romp the Race Across America. As it turns out both of these rides have something in common. You could by the way also add in the Tours of Spain and Italy. Any idea what that is?

The Sherpa Always Gets Forgotten

The thing you can’t seem to get is that all of these events rely on the automobile! Think about it.

And in fact when you think about the RAAM race you will realize that you could not hold this race which crosses steam desserts and requires food and drink service by the riders (not to mention a place to sleep) if it were not for the sherpa.

Bicycles are toys. Pure and simple. Yes, some cost a fair amount (especially if made of exotic metals). But if you need to support an across state ride you bring motor vehicles. In fact trying to support any of these rides/races would be nearly impossible were you to attempt to do it using a cargo bike.

So The Next Time You Hear A Hater of Automobiles Griping…

Remind him:

  • that his local bike shop gets its deliveries by motor vehicle
  • the distribution points for his parts supplier are serviced by motor vehicles and airplanes
  • when his favorite racers gets dinged up in the Tour de France he gets serviced by mechanics and doctors leaning out of automobiles to do their work
  • and I could go on…

Let the idiots who hate the automobile ‘stand up and take one for their team‘ by refusing to be driven to the emergency room in anything other than a bike ambulance. And while we are at it, demand that in the winter they never resort to the use of the bus (another motor vehicle) just because it is cold and icy.