TCI Friday

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Like you, I’ve been inundated with desperate exhortations from companies wanting me to buy stuff from them. This is, as I understand it, the current state of the “spirit of Christmas.” I don’t blame them. I understand. Once it was decided that the holiday season was a commercial exercise, the logical conclusion was a full-on capitalist onslaught, next stop Valentine’s Day.

Click the image for information on Shimano’s own multi-pronged advocacy efforts.

Part of the problem is me, of course, because I want a lot of that stuff. First, they show me colorful photos of it. Then they discount it, just in case the obstacle is the thickness of my wallet. Finally, they dispense with the stuff altogether, because none of it can be hurled across the void to my home fast enough to make sense anymore, and resort to pitching gift certificates.

Again, part of the problem is me. I have helped craft these campaigns for consulting clients of mine. Once you’re on the bus, you don’t suggest alternate routes, right? Or do you?

As this week’s TCIF is arriving on Christmas Eve Eve, what I’d like to do is poll you, our kind and sensitive readers, for directions to the off ramp. The marketers might still be snapping at your digital heals, but it’s not too late to enjoy the gift of real giving. A few weeks back, on the Paceline, I pitched the idea of donating to World Bicycle Relief. I even put $50 where my mouth is, which made eating lunch a challenge, but was still worth it, I think.

This week, let’s call out some other worthy places to donate money (or time) in the cause of furthering our cycling cause. Have you contributed to any good local cycling groups lately? Who is worthy and why? Because I suspect most of us don’t need more stuff (despite talking about it constantly (again, I’m part of the problem)), and we’d feel better about this whole consumerist boondoggle with a dose of charitable giving, if not a morning of hill repeats to atone for our sins.

TCI is supported by its generous subscribers, but we don’t have a pay-wall. It’s all voluntary and open and honest here, we hope. And so, if you find something on TCI you like or that inspired you in some way, please, please, please don’t hesitate to share it with someone else.

Join the conversation
  1. johnrom719 says

    Hey Robot and Patrick, thanks for another great year of TCI. As it appears that you aren’t particularly profitable, I consider TCI support to be a charitable act. Though admittedly I do receive several utiles of enjoyment in exchange!

    Here is anothet suggestion: become a member of a local bicycle club. Even if you never ride with them or show up to a meeting. Having more paying members give the club leaders some very inportant political capital when they talk to government officials in charge of public lands, public access to those lands, non-motorized infrastructure and the like. Imagine this conversation with a city planner: “Hi! I represent 750 local cyclists who pay annual dues, receive my monthly newsletter, vote, and care a lot about expanded access to that big chunk of land under your care.” Now imagine the same conversation if the number is 42 members. It makes a teal difference! Our community has 2 bike club members on the five person county road commission. And our county spends 8X the state average on non motorized infrastructure. Coincidence? Nope. Membership and dedication.

  2. alanm9 says

    What Johnrom said! Also I just watched Biking Borders on Netflix about two German guys raising money to build schools in Guatemala. Seems worthy.

  3. jmelnarik says

    I’m a big fan of Buy Nothing for Christmas. Money goes to various charities and justice groups, WBR now included. I’ve practically convinced most adults in my circle to also adhere to this (kids still get gifts)!

    I’ll take my xmas bonus check straight to the bike shop in January tho so…

  4. albanybenn says

    Agree with Johnrom719 above and suggest going one more step. Volunteer for something your club is doing. Staff a rest stop for a club event. Give up one ride to help many others. Stuff envelopes for a mailing. Visit legislators.

  5. TominAlbany says

    Donate blood, platelets, etc. It’s irreplaceable

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