“pro” vs. “euro”

it has been said on many rides and in the context of any cycling accessory that happens to be white and clean. for some reason the word “pro” has popped up again and again on rides and in conversations at the local coffee shop before a weekend spin into the hills. it is a theme in a city full of roadies, cross racers, mountain bikers, commuters and zoobombers where it seems everyone is looking for something to set them apart while on the saddle.

maybe it will turn into the “pro” zoobomber look? come on we have all joked about riding a 16 inch wheeled chopper in a livestrong skinsuit, right?

the other day i was flipping through cyclo cross magazine reading an article about molly cameron, when i noticed that brian vernor also has a good write-up about his new film, the cyclocross meeting. bv has done some incredible things in the last couple years but what struck me in the article was his attitude about a community of cycle racing vs. the “pro” idea. brian is anti-pro. this is what makes cross so successful in a place like portland where the general cycling community is so strong. the idea of pro is insular and exclusive for the average person getting into cycling looking for encouragement to keep pedaling. i love embrocation, tubulars, hairnets and long rides all winter long but i would love to see people start using the term “euro” in place of the word “pro” to describe flashy lycra or big white glasses.  having been to europe last year for the first time,  i had a first hand chance to see how cycling culture works in europe as opposed to the states. “euro” is a bigger term grouping together commuters, racers, racer style, some 80’s bands and even dutch cargo bikes but it easier to feel a part of this group in cycling than wanting to chat it up with shaven snobs who blow by you without lifting a finger to say hello.

the bike isn’t as “big” in italy or france but everyone rides there making it a more viable way to get from one side of town to the other. integration into everyday culture will eventually lead to more tourists, commuters and maybe roadies and racers but they might loose some of their exclusive style. portland is well on its way to being a bigger cycling city but it will come at the cost of portland cycling scene. bikes and riders will just be everywhere and no one will even notice. there will be “pro” style too but the “pro” attitude doesn’t mean you are too cool give the right of way to fellow cyclist on a cargo bike.

invite everyone to ride even if it isn’t a white ridley cross bike. this is what keeps me going.  even if portland cyclo cross is one of the biggest in the world, underneath all that mud, we are all riders and racers having a good time and enjoying the culture that we are all a part of.

thanks brian.


2 Responses to ““pro” vs. “euro””

  1. matt hall Says:

    “PRO” is returning to save your friend from a horrible destroyed rim in the middle of nowhere Scapoose……”EURO” is riding away without any care at all.
    There’s a distinction

  2. Wool, Embro, Mud Guards, and Rain Says:

    […] put “mud guards” (here’s why I no longer refer to them as fenders) on this bike a month or two ago and they have served me well as the snow melted off the roads and […]

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