See what I did there up above? Did you see what I did in the blog before I went away? Yes it was stereotyping. In a way it’s funny because they’re essentially describing exaggerated truisms about a race of people. But they’re also unhelpful. People are individuals as I’m all sure we think we are ourselves.
Take bike shows. Bike shows in the UK are often overly-regulated, boring, uptight affairs. If you want to serve people beers or some snack on your stand you have to get a special license. You can’t just have a spin on a bike around the show on a bike without a security guard shouting and threatening to help you leave the building. And heaven help you if you’re caught standing on a stool to fiddle with a poster on the wall. Health and Safety will be down on you like a ton of bricks with yellow safety tape cordoning off you and the next three stalls in case of an accident.
Eurobike? Yes it’s very efficient. It runs like clockwork and the infrastructure around is stereotypically Germanic. But inside the show it’s another matter. Kids fly through the crowds on BMX’s, Extrovert recumbent owners are clipping ankles as they try and get the bike on to two wheels and all of the hipsters are using the crowd as a impromptu constantly moving slalom crowd and there is beer a-plenty!
On the stands so you can share a drink with an old industry friend or maybe a new customer. In the restaurants you can eat, drink, smoke, look at beautiful young people. All without feeling like you’ve been robbed. And with a good-natured crowd around you doing just the same thing. It is a celebration of biking as well as a trade show and to be that some of the exuberance of the joy that is cycling has to be shown. Riding fast through a crowd of like-minded people slightly squiffy and distracted by the Show Girls is surely part of that.
So keep your stereotypes. The Germans know far better how to have a good time at shows and that’s by being relaxed about the little things and doing the big things well
Posted on: September 8, 2009 by singletrackmatt