Tuesday, June 28, 2011
An open letter to The Age: "The Cycle Section"
An open letter to The Age,
I have included a picture of the cars section from your website. No doubt you recognise it. I can understand you having a cars section. People like cars. Top Gear is a pretty popular show. There are famous movies about cars such as Herbie and Cars (whoever came up with that title deserves an Oscar). There are big car races and car shows. People spend a lot of money on cars and take pride in their vehicles.
Cars interest many different people from various walks of life. Some people like sports with cars such as F1 and rallying. Some have specials interests, like vintage, drag, hotrod, lowered, raised, stretched and fizzed. Some people just use their cars to get to work.
And of course, people often buy and sell cars which is why you have a section where people can do just that. You make a little on the side, which is only fair.
So, yes. A cars section makes sense.
Can you guess where I'm going with this?
I like bikes. I think they're great. I have race bikes, mountain bikes, a folding bike, a touring bike, a pub bike, a tandem bike...bikes, bikes, bikes. I race bikes, I mountain bike, I fold bikes, I tour on bikes, I go to the pub on a bike, I ride a bike with a friend on the back...race, ride, fold, tour, drink, socialise.
Bikes interest all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons. People like bikes. Cycling Central is a pretty popular show. Sooty Park less so, but it is on TV nonetheless, which is pretty cool. There are famous movies about bikes like Breaking Away, Bicycle Thieves and Quicksilver. There are big bike races; some of you may well have heard of le Tour de France (which roughly translates to the Tour of France). People spend a lot of money on bikes and take pride in their rides.
Bikes interest many different people from various walks of life. Some people like sports with bikes such as Grand Tours and Mountain Bike World Cups. Others have other interests, like BMX, track, trials, dragster, fixed, street and dirt jump. Some people just use their bikes to get to work.
And of course, people often buy and sell bikes. In fact, for the last few years, bicycles sales have outnumbered car sales. You could have a section where people could buy and sell bikes. You would even make a little on the side, which is only fair.
I am confident it would quickly become a very popular section of your newspaper. Sure, you may get a few grumpy motor-heads complaining about "cyclists taking over our newspapers" and "you're quietly reading about the new Porsche GT3 and suddenly out of nowhere this article appears about Alberto Contador", but they'll soon learn to share the newspaper. They'll just have to become accustomed to it. For example, if they see an article about bikes approaching, they can quickly scroll past it. Also, you could help to ensure no mishaps occur by making sure the bike articles are clearly visible so that no one gets a surprise.
In this way, I am certain that cars and bikes could coexist cosily in your newspaper.
I hope you like my idea.