Why Cycling Really, Really Is The New Golf...

Berk on a Bike

Veteran
Location
Yorkshire
Article from Business Insider with insight from internet squillionaire Max Levchin

In Silicon Valley — and the East Coast as well now — there are lots of successful companies with younger executives. The sport of choice where deals are made and ideas are thrown around and relationships are forged is definitely traditionally golf. That's where you don't have to sweat — you just walk around with people you like, and occasionally pretend like you're doing something physical [...] but it's not very quantified. It's just kind of aim, hit the ball, and pray. I'm sure the skills involved eventually remove the prayer necessity, but it's pretty open-ended.

So you have this current generation of young executives, and they're not particularly interested in walking around slowly. They want to do something physical, especially outdoors. They are very quantified, because that's definitely a thing now: It's not so much fitness as they are interested in fitness that they can measure. So the blooming of the Fitbits and Misfits the Jawbones of the world is all about people saying, 'I don't have to go to the gym, feel crappy for an hour, and be thankful that it's over.' You can actually see what you've done. The quantified-self stuff has perforated the popular conscience.
(emphasis is the article author's own)
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
Let's not reduce cycling to golf, no matter how ''new'' it is said to be.;)
 

paddypete

Guest
Location
cumbernauld
golfers useually buy the best clubs,shirts,trousers jumper,rain gear,balls t's.trolly,glove,shoes, ect and go to pose on some course,talk about all they have and what they are going to get,yet most cant hit a ball to save them selfs,and then they decide they dont like golf and the clubs gather dust in the garage,yes i supose it is like the new cycling,or cyclist
 
Location
Loch side.
I agree with the topic headline and for all the reasons given in the article. Quantifiable fitness, bragging rights that comes with equipment that has lots of known value elements, prestige events and, event organisers' clever mix of pro's and amateurs in the same event. Not to mention the aggressive, hard-core image of mountain biking, especially cross-country multi-stage events.
The Tour de France of mountain biking, arguably the section of cycling where most money is spent, is the ABSA Cape Epic. Professionals and amateurs rub shoulders in the same event and corporations spend millions on hospitality for their high-profile customers who compete in these prestigious events.
If you combine all the factors, golf doesn't stand a chance.
 

bianchi1

Guru
Location
malverns
I keep hearing this "cycling is the new golf thing" but I'm not sure.

Unless you are rich enough to do all your cycling on private roads with all your rich mates, chances are one day you are going to be made to look a bit foolish by some young upstart overtaking your 7 grand custom carbon steed on a chopper.

You don't have that problem with golf...just buy yourself into the most exclusive club and you never have to compete against poor people, women or ethnic minorities.
 
Why can't you do both at the same time? Those bunker things look like they would make good areas for jumps, with nice soft landings. Have to be careful on the greens though, perhaps a fatbike for riding across them - could use it to tow a golf trolley in a Burley Traveloy style too.
Do they sell cake in clubhouses?
 

Flick of the Elbow

Full time cyclist of leisure
Location
Lothian
Back in the early 80's I bought my first 531 bike second hand from a former club rider who had enjoyed racing in his younger days but now in his 30's and with a young family had taken up golf instead and was selling off all his cycling kit. No doubt that would have been a common scenario in those days, but it's nice to think that nowadays he would keep riding.
 

Phyllosc

Active Member
Location
Coastal Suffolk
Over the years golf has changed somewhat. It was seem as an elite middle class game and thus those further down the social scale with aspirations to climb higher wanted to play it. The market has responded to this and hence we see lots of places where a someone, and his similarly aspirational friends, can turn up, hand over the cash and play a game. What hasn't disappeared are those exclusionary clubs were a person would need good references in order to become a member. Hence, those working class guys with plenty of cash to conspicuously slash about will never get to T-off in such places. But I suppose they can feel they achieved something by playing a game, once the preserve solely of company directors and the like.

As for comparisons to cycling? Well it's always looked stylish and a great place to spend bigs bucks if you want to impress the neighbours. But the road is free and class-less space and no amount of Rapha or carbon is ever going to reflect your status. If you've ever been caught on a hill by a young lad on a bike from Aldi or out sprinted for a village sign by an old boy on steel bike with rolled up cape strapped to his canvas saddle bag, then you'll know where I'm coming from. In our world it's great to have the best kit you can afford but what will always Top Trump the material stuff is fitness, stamina and skill.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
I posted this elsewhere but... I've always believed that sports like golf and cycling answer a deep-seated primeval human need. Plenty of commentators have likened golf to the "prey-chasing" game where packs of (mostly) men chase a prey around a landscape that's been modelled on the savanna where Mankind first began to hunt. Humans also have a deep-seated need to patrol their territory and during over 20 years of mountain biking I was always struck by the pack behaviour of a bunch of mountain bikers, popping wheelies and showing off then racing around their territory, stopping occasionally for a relaxed pack chat or a meal or drink. The same patrolling behaviour happens in road riding and in both sports you've got the showing-off of better equipment and fitness or strength and online boasting sites like Strava are just the logical extension of that. Cycling offers a better opportunity to show off superior fitness than golf, which explains why, despite the ridiculous cost, plenty of cyclists prefer to pay and enter a public sportiff than to practice their sport alone and unseen, so spectator events like cyclocross races or (in running) fell races are massive public demonstrations of strength, agility and fitness. For a young city businessman or woman to go out and buy the team colours then join the pack and race around the territory comparing kit and fitness then stoppping every now and again for a self-congratulatory meal or drink just looks so obviously like pack behaviour to me.

Of course we all enjoy cycling for more aesthetic reasons too - for me it's the engineering of the machine as well as the landscapes, the fresh air and light, the sensation of speed and of balancing and handling the machine and the pleasure of being out, self-sufficient, enjoying the adventure and the companionship of a couple of friends or my own son. The great joy of this sport is that it's the only pleasurable way I know of keeping fit and healthy and slim.

Golf is also declining in the UK - membership is down by 20% in Scotland and English clubs are suffering as well. There's such a difference between the fusty, traditionalist, rule-ridden formality of the golf club and the informality of cycling with its coffee culture and freedom from rules.
 
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Arrowfoot

Veteran
I keep hearing this "cycling is the new golf thing" but I'm not sure.

Unless you are rich enough to do all your cycling on private roads with all your rich mates, chances are one day you are going to be made to look a bit foolish by some young upstart overtaking your 7 grand custom carbon steed on a chopper.

You don't have that problem with golf...just buy yourself into the most exclusive club and you never have to compete against poor people, women or ethnic minorities.
The move is more than perceptible.. The one time golfers are indeed crossing over across the age group but it does not mean they have to join the usual clubs. Unlike Golf you do not need a course or follow a set of club rules. You can take to the roads. They cycle with their peers and corporate kinfolk. You see that in Surrey and the South. Hopefully like Golf's early years, the sponsorship money starts flowing into cycling as well.

The PM of Australia cycles daily with his group and not with a club or formal group.
 
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