Thoughts on Boycotting Cycling Brands Mar 2, 2018

A few years ago, in an attempt to expand their outdoor market, a large umbrella corporation, based in Utah, purchased a number of cycling companies based in California. This news was anything but private. In fact, many cycling news sources covered the purchase and the information has always been public. The people working at these companies had no control over this move and since it happened, there has been all kinds of upheaval at each brand. It marked a sea change for everyone involved.

Since the latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida, there has been an outcry towards a few brands we all know quite well and their parent corporation. This company owns manufacturers of both bolt-action hunting ammo and rifles, along with various other outdoor brands. Most importantly, in this particular scenario, is also a supporter of the NRA. In attempts to vote with their dollars, various members of the cycling community have called for a boycott of all the brands associated with this parent company.

So what does this have to do with the Radavist? A lot actually, and we’ll get to that shortly, but first, these brands under the boycott have been a part of the Radavist long before they were sold off to this Utah-based umbrella corporation. Personally, I would consider many of the people who work at these companies to be good friends of mine, who truly love cycling and are aiming to make the best products on the market. They’ve used their spare time and energy to work with trail stewards, increase awareness and access for women in the industry, and other actions that without this current boycott, I wouldn’t even have to mention because doing good isn’t about patting yourself on the back.

It’s a sticky situation. I have nothing against responsible gun owners. I grew up hunting, have friends that hunt and respect everyone’s second amendment rights, along with their first amendment rights. You can’t mute people, or delete comments, or try to sweep this issue under the rug. I’ve remained silent on this matter for the past few weeks because honestly, I didn’t know how to talk about it and I’ve been trying to figure out how to address this boycott and your concerns as readers. Not to mention in the past I’ve dealt with unproductive and negative reactions when trying to tackle complicated issues online. But this is important, to myself and you, so here’s my take on this whole thing.

People are angry, I’ve received emails from readers and fans, saying they will never visit the site again, as long as ads are present from those companies. The question I would pose back to these people is similar to what someone who has a terminal disease faces. You can absolutely kill the disease by killing the host, right? The goal isn’t outright death to these bike companies, it’s evolution and change. No companies of this size, especially those owned by a larger entity, can pivot immediately. The smart thing with a boycott here is to send a message to facilitate change, right? Not to destroy the company, its work, and the lives of the people trying to do the right thing from within. People’s position of all or nothing cannot exist for the majority of people on Earth.

The majority of the individuals who work at these cycling companies do not love the NRA, they do not love school shootings and honestly, they’re all taking this very seriously. They do not enjoy the position they are in and are scared for their jobs, their well being, their families, and the future of the thing that they’ve given their blood, sweat and tears to make great. All their combined efforts have made these brands what they are and boycotting them only hurts the local bike shops, the brand reps, and the cycling industry as a whole. Keep in mind, the percentage of sales combined from all these brands, under the umbrella company is so minuscule that a boycott, in any capacity of them, will barely cause the host to flinch. The only way to stun the host is to go after the ammo and firearm market, whose total sales are responsible for the corporation’s well being. These other brands are just there for diversity’s sake.

As a business, with bills, and contributors to pay. I cannot remove ads, not this late in the year. If I did, it would be the end of the Radavist. As a friend of the people who work at these brands, as a lover of local bike shops, and a believer that through cycling, we can make this world a better place, I do not believe boycotting and thus harming the lives of the individuals at these companies will do anything but harm the cycling industry as a whole.

If you’re concerned with making a true change, it has to happen through legislation. There’s a bigger conversation here and this account barely scratches the surface, but I wanted you all to know that I care about you, I care about your constructive opinions, I care about the Radavist and I care about the cycling community as a whole.

Thanks for your time,

John Watson, owner of the Radavist.

  • dc

    2c on an idea for change – host parties monthly at your home and write letters into your elected representatives at all levels. Town, State, Country. It won’t change the world overnight, but it will do much more than posting angrily on facebook. Plus, you get to enjoy food and drink with friends.

    • Matthew J

      Or join Moms Demand Actions, a group that has pushed Red Flag Laws on the state and federal level along with other sensible gun control. They welcome guy even single guy membership.

  • For what it’s worth, the brands released an official statement to retailers today.

    • zosim

      As someone who doesn’t live in the US, doesn’t shoot and don’t own guns, my only option to send a message is to choose where to spend my money. I used to work in the defence industry and more than once heard how I was supporting the military-complex; despite the fact I was an IT admin in the PR department of a division that made radios for the forces, police, ambulances and fire fighters. As silly as it sounded then I’ve grown to appreciate that sometimes even though you don’t support something your employer does, there remains a moral element you have to learn to deal with. Sometimes, working for a benign division of a military contractor or a cycling brand owned by the biggest ammo maker in the US means you have to take either a moral stance or take the rough with the smooth. I appreciate the time you took to post you opinion (too many cycling sites asked the question rather than answered it themselves) but if I want to let the parent company know how poor their choices are my only option is to tell them I’m no longer supporting their properties and then do it.

  • TuTh Rider

    No one loves school shootings. Not the NRA, Not conservatives, Not liberals – no one. When the terrorist used a car to run over people in London, was there a backlash against car companies?

    I get the initial outrage – everyone feels it. People want action – someone to blame. I have a high school aged son and this stuff scares me to death. But there are precautions that need to be taken.

    Parents/guardians who let their obviously troubled son purchase ANY weapon is irresponsible. We have seen how irresponsible the school was in handling the problem child. We saw how irresponsible the police, sheriff and FBI were in this and those in the wrong want to cast the blame away from themselves.

    Knee jerk reaction is understandable, but once the details come out – focus your anger where it belongs. Hold those who are truly responsible and could have changed the situation accountable, not some faceless organization because that does not change anything.

    I like how John noted his relationships and the real concerns of those in the bike industry would be impacted by a boycott. Where does this blame game stop? Most people who use cycling related products would be disappointed to know what other things are made in the factories where their aluminum or carbon fiber parts are made. You going to stop buying bikes? Or parts? Stop shopping at REI because they sell products by a company that sells to the military? No more Oakley shades because they support police departments? What about Patagonia? If they use Polartech fabrics, you going to stop buying their gear because Polartech makes gear for the US Military?


    • zosim

      i Agree with the last part but something in America has to change. It’s the ONLY country in the civilised world with this problem. People where I live hunt and own guns but there’s no school shootings. No shootings at medical clinics. No shootings at nightclubs. The fact that the NRA is pushing back at concepts that will improve background checks tells you all you need to know about them. The NRA funds politicians to make sure guns and ammo companies still get their slice of the pie. They don’t truly believe in the will of the people and don’t operate in their (yours I assume) Best interests.

      • ozren0

        This is getting into a whole other things that’s so far removed from what this boycott is about.

        The point of this boycott is that people want the option of being able to consume in an ethical and transparent way, and with a company in a VERY controversial industry being an owner of cycling companies, it makes this difficult.

        Lots of NRA types have said they intend to only purchase Giro/Bell/Etc products, however I think this is not what should happen. They should want (as much as anyone else) their companies to only be in the industries they support through the purchase of that product.

        They shouldn’t (as an example, I’m sure this doesn’t happen) be supporting a birth control company (if they are against that) if they are purchasing their barbecue. Those two companies are in different industries, and should be separate.

    • dang3rtown

      “NO ONE LOVES, SUPPORTS or PROFITS FROM SCHOOL SHOOTINGS.” Well, except gun manufacturers which see a jump in sales after shootings…

    • Matthew J

      “We have seen how irresponsible the school was in handling the problem child. We saw how irresponsible the police, sheriff and FBI were in this and those in the wrong want to cast the blame away from themselves.”

      This NRA spin is not all that accurate. First, the kid was expelled from the school. Not much more it can do than that. Incredibly enough, schools do not have legal authority over young adults who do not attend.

      And Cruz was an adult – without living parents at the time he bought the gun he used to kill 17 people. Not sure what you mean suggesting his parents were to blame.

      Second, Florida does not have a Red Flag Law. Red Flag Laws allow the state to take guns from owners whose family, guardians or others close to them have concerns based on their behavior. California, Indiana, Oregon, Washington and Conneticutt do have Red Flag Laws. The NRA of course vigorouly opposed the statutes in each case.

      Without a Red Flag Law in Florida, at most the State could have brought Cruz to a mental hospital for 48 hour observation. Unless Cruz demonstrated behavior suggesting he was unable to differentiate reality from hallucination, he would have been released. Under no circumstance could Florida have taken his guns.

      Of course there is one other thing Florida could have done to stop Cruz – not allowcivilians to buy guns more powerfull than, say, all but specially trained law enforcement agents are allowed to carry.

      • TuTh Rider

        I don’t want to go back and forth and I do appreciate your comments. I was not aware of the Red Flag Law and that is something I will look into.

        With the shooter, I had seen an IG post when he would have been 17 showing 6 firearms, include the AR. I did a quick Google search just so see what those kind of weapons sells for – minimum I saw was of $500. I realize his birth parents were not around but he had a guardian of some sort. Who was monitoring his activies? Where was he getting the $1500-$2000 to purchase that many guns? I have a 16 y/o and I monitor his phone, IG and Snapchat accounts. We as parents and those charged with taking care of children need to monitor what they are doing.

        Last thing – I am not a NRA member, I do not own any guns, but I do not gun control is the issue. Only those of us that follow the rules would be penalized. Criminals do not follow the rules. The city of Chicago has not allowed hand gun ownership for over 20 years and they had over 400 gun deaths in 2017. All sorts of gun laws there and they do nothing.

        Have a great weekend. There needs to be a lot more discussion around this.

        • Matthew J

          Hope you do look into and support Red Flag Laws. They appear to provide a very strong tool.

          Cruz got his gun money the all to real American way. He clerked at a Dollar Store after getting kicked out school.

        • zosim

          Ah. The old if we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns bullshit. Most of these school shootings are carried out with totally legal firearms not ones bought on a dirt road in the desert from a mob arms dealer. The sooner people understand this the better as suggesting otherwise leads to people assuming that legally held weapons aren’t the problem. They are.

          Look at Australia, decades ago they made private ownership of weapons nigh on impossible, there’s been no spike in crimes with guns because the population is armed and they still have regular amnesties

    • Jeremiah

      “When the terrorist used a car to run over people in London, was there a backlash against car companies?”

      Well, you don’t see Ford selling a car specifically designed for running people over, and then lobbying to keep it legal.

  • Hi John-

    I haven’t posted on your site for a few years, but I’ve been reading it daily. I love the incredible images you share and the depth of the content you and your contributors post. My own builds have taken great inspiration from the builds shared here. I’ve appreciated so many helpful answers you’ve provided when I’ve had questions, as well as a forum for others to share their insights.
    Thanks so much for running such a great site.

    You’ve typically avoiding being political, which I respect, but when you have made political posts I’ve typically agreed with you. The above post is the first exception.

    I am writing to present a counter opinion to your post. I would argue that boycotting does work and, in my opinion, it is the best way to make change in a neoliberal economy. Gun-control is not a new issue, there have been arguments over legislation as simple as the Brady Bill going back decades. Many of us, particularly in the last year, have lost faith in our lawmakers for many reasons, and boycotts present an opportunity to pressure the manufactures of gun products to change their business models directly- in fact, you could argue that as consumers it’s more than just a choice, it’s our responsibility.

    Will this hurt people you know at bike companies? Of course, and for that I am sorry. But think of those who had so sacrifice so much more to protect the lives of others as we have made social change over the course of our nation’s history. Choosing to not shop at Hobby Lobby or Chick-Fil-A because you don’t agree with their politics, you are hurting their employees as much as a boycott of cycling companies would hurt your friends. Even choosing to ride our bikes instead of cars hurts people who work for Big Oil, but that’s the choice we make to support some industries and not others, some umbrella companies and not others. But true change will come when those companies loose employees, as well as customers, as a result of their policies.

    I’m also writing you to let you know that I won’t be reading your site any further. Maybe it’s just because I’m in between builds, but I can’t support a site that fuels this particular economic engine.

    I’ll keep my eye on Disqus, send me a ping if you change your position. Best of luck.

    Reader since the Prolly Is Not Probably days.

    • Thanks for sharing. My intent with this post isn’t looking for agreeance or understanding necessarily. People asked for my personal opinion on the matter and that’s what this is. I respect all’s views here and like I said, it’s a complex issue. Thanks, J

      • Daniel in Hawaii

        John, I join Alexweb4 in leaving this site. I know it doesn’t matter to you. Bottom line. I care more about children not getting slaughtered, than I do about your livelihood or the jobs of people at Giro, Blackburn, or Bell. Since voting against pro-NRA politicians does not work, and since I can’t see a viable way to physically destroy the NRA, my only recourse to show that I am against the slaughter of innocent children is to boycott the blogs and companies that seem to care less about the lives of children than I do. It’s not much I admit…but what else can I do?

        • You should know that it DOES matter to me but I can’t stress about it any more. If I did, my health and well being would decline even more. I can’t sleep at night and I’m riddled with stress pains. Everyone can say whatever they want, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. Personally, I can’t even begin to try to put myself in the mindset that would make someone want to stop going to a website that has done so much good for people/cycling/brands/organizations over the years, but that’s probably due to my subjective views.

          • detleftwood

            You failed to support the boycott man. You maintain loyalty in the name of consumerism instead of ethical and political ideals. You are supporting the gun lobby, as many people have clearly seen, and are proving to you by abandoning your site. In fact, the Radavist has played an important part in depoliticizing cycling culture in America for a long time now, but that’s a whole different can of worms. Maybe you are losing sleep because you know you made the wrong decision and you regret it. I suggest you change your position, issue another statement supporting the boycott, and show a little solidarity with the people who are trying to change things in America.

  • JeffW

    Boycotts are a blunt instrument. There are other boycott movements that I oppose for one reason or another. To me, the distinction here is that the NRA does not, and never will, represent a majority of gun owners. It has become a highly political organization operating at the extreme. It can and should be an easy decision for a corporation to stop supporting it, because it does not in any way imply that they don’t support and cater to gun owners. They can simply take the position that the NRA’s political positions are inconsistent with their corporate philosophy, and move on to supporting sporting and other organizations that serve the same market.

    In this case, there is collateral damage if the boycott is effective. The cycling brands aren’t supporting the NRA, but it is also disingenuous of them to claim that they are independent of Vista. Their profits are Vista’s profits. It is precisely because these brands may be impacted, which impacts Vista’s bottom line, that the boycott may be more effective. If the CEOs of these brands go to their board and say “this is killing us,” the board can make the easy decision that continuing to subsidize the NRA is not financially sound.

    John, you’re in an even tougher spot. You’re twice removed from the offending party. My personal opinion is that you don’t need to be part of the boycott. Your business should not die because of Vista’s politically unpalatable actions. Consumers participating in the boycott can view these ads, which costs the companies money, and not purchase their goods, which hurts them more, in a way. But if Vista doesn’t change its policy, and the boycott continues, it would be reasonable for your readership to expect you to take steps to replace them as advertisers.

  • ozren0

    I think the benefit, take away and result from this should and will be two things:

    1) Transparancy in the ownership of companies that we support with our money. If I purchase a product, I want my money to stay with and be for that company. I don’t want my money from purchasing a vegan product (Field Roast) to benefit and make profits for a company that slaughters millions of animals (Maple Leaf Farms) if that is my reason for purchasing vegan products.

    2) Industries that are boycotted against (Military, Guns, Leather, Oil, etc) will be less likely to diversify into other industries, as their involvement in those industries by purchasing other companies will have negative impacts on these companies. If Vista knew that if they purchased Bell, Giro, etc that their doing so would cause those companies profits to plummet, it would not be a sound investment for them.

    There is an argument to be made that ethical consumerism is difficult into days climate, however for some people it plays a role in their decisions to purchase a product. Companies that do ethical things have a competitive advantage in my eyes, and as long as their products are in the ballpark of quality and features of a company that does not meet my ethics, I will choose the more ethical company.

    The impact of these companies being owned by a NRA/Gun company are no different than the impacts of Shimano underselling through online shops. I will not purchase any of their products unless those things change.

    If the value of Bell, Giro, etc plummets, this will make their purchase more likely by a more ethical company with no ties to gun manufacturers.

    tl;dr – If I buy a helmet, I don’t want it to support guns. Even if you want to support guns, it should be done by purchasing guns, not anything else. There needs to be this separation of companies in order to allow the market to decide. Companies shouldn’t be able to hedge their bets without boycotting/impact to profits.

  • An important reminder: “There’s no such thing as ethical consumption under capitalism.”

    • Brian Richard Walbergh

      Its not just a meme kids!

    • ozren0

      These sorts of boycotts hopefully result in companies not being tied to gun companies.

    • AntiPoliticallyCorrect

      yes, there is. Or we wouldn’t still be infested with hipsters everywhere. they’d have died out long ago.

  • Peperbek

    I fully agree with you.
    The cry for a boycot is understandable as a first emotional reaction but also narrow minded atmo. Beside the companies you are refering to there are a lot of other manufactures of bike parts that are very close to arms manufacturing. For example a parent company of a well known carbon fork manufacturer that produces rpg barrels and other products that are used in wars. But also thinking that cnc manufacturers can exist by selling a relative few bike parts makes enough money to keep large plants open isn’t realistic. Take this further to cars manufactuers and you could start to boycot several brands because they benefit from selling cars to terrorist groups. Actually I should boycot my own car brand because it has the same brand as all these pick ups used in the middle east to carry IS murderers around. So, what I want to say is, people should first take a very good look at themselves before they are demanding a boycot of a company and put their energy to start to create a positive movement by electing the right persons who want to make a difference and have them carry out the legistlation to make the change you think is right.

    • Matthew J

      Unless there is evidence the companies you reference make amo for the military and civilian use, you are straying wide from the point. The issue people have with the companies in question here is their affiliates manufacture weapons available to civilians and support the NRA which does its best to make sure no constraints are put on the sale of those weapons to civilians.

    • Sascha

      Well it’s obvious that voting hasn’t worked in the past with so little voter turn out in previous US elections?

      It’s not narrow minded to boycott particular brands, people do it everyday? As a consumer I read and look up who makes the products I buy, whether it’s food, clothing or bicycle items…and this is what people do these days so why would it be any different with Giro, Camelbak etc? If investigations into a particular brand reveals they’re all poor ethically then buy “the lesser of all evils “?

  • Matthew J

    Uvex, Kask and BiOs are all closley held European companies that make nice helmets in Europe. Kask also makes some of the new Brooks branded helmets.

  • JT

    The shop I worked at abandoned the offending brands when they abandoned us and started selling to online retailers who were charging little more to a lot less than we were at wholesale. They were dead to me before this, but they’re a bit more so now.

    • brandon kline

      This ^

  • Anvil

    So you’re saying you host cancer companies and have no choice?

    As far as I understand this comparsion, people with actual cancer dont really have choice to opt out of it, I believe you have to agree to host ads which ultimately is a choice?

    Your letter reads as this to me: “Sorry guys I have no choice but to take this companies money, because you know, bills”.

    Now if you wrote that you had no clue of money source and will be willing to do your best about getting rid of the “cancer”, rather than try to pick apart and challenge peoples philosophy and then go on to suggest a solution to such atrocious problem (putting your self on a pedestal of “rightness” by goving away that you think you’re the right one here), that would be a different method of damage control. This letter is a rookie mistake on your part, despite owning this site for so long.

    By the way whats the point for people to kill a host with cancer? It only kills the host, it doesnt really transfer. No motive here. I think you wholesomely misunderstand that you’re just a cog in an income machine, which is a replacable part in a long run.

    • You’re missing the overarching point of this letter by picking apart my writing / choice of metaphors and getting hung up on something everyone already knows: writing is not my strong suit. If you want to make this boil down to finances, so be it, but that’s not what I’m saying here.

      Also, please note the inclusion of “Not to mention in the past I’ve dealt with unproductive and negative reactions when trying to tackle complicated issues online.” I never, in the entirety of the letter put myself on a pedestal, so perhaps there’s another issue here with me, not the words herein.

      • Anvil

        This does signal that you ride more than write, thats good and geniune. Subjectively opininon on others people opinion is unprofessional outside personal corcle, if we could only use words to talk people out doing non ethical shit, that be tite.

        Just build 100% non NRA money bike out of your own pocket and post it here.

        It will explain everything you feel and then some.

        • Francisco Alvarez


          I couldn’t agree more with you about your interpretation of the post.

          I think this could be an excellent avenue for readers and riders to be exposed to more properly sourced biking accessories.

          John has done a great job in highlighting domestic goods. I think WI, Paul, etc which are hard goods. Maybe the next step is to find or be a part of creating/replacing the goods that the lines of Giro, Bell, Blackburn have brought to market. Smaller shops tend to have higher prices but consumers can be assured that the money goes to funding our bike community.

  • George T Rosselle

    Just as I did not renew National Geographic (as a 50+ year subscriber) when it was bought by Fox, I will no longer purchase products from companies owned by Vista. I hope the affected employees can find work elsewhere, the job market is good right now. I find the NRA reprehensible and will not fund any business that chooses to help them. Many companies have decided to dump them, even with all the heat they are taking for doing it. Here in Georgia Delta had a thirty million dollar tax break yanked out from under them by our crooked Lt Governor because of their stand. Since our legislators don’t have the gonads to do anything about it, it seems that the businesses do, and this will likely be how the change is effected. I enjoy this website very much, and understand that advertising drives it. I hope you can find replacements, failing that I will still enjoy the site. But I won’t spend any money with the offending businesses. This is the only control we have over these businesses.

  • FF

    Already boycotting Giro & Camelbak because of this. They make products I like but from now on I have to find a replacement.

    The other brands are meaningless to me so don’t have to do anything else than continue not buying them.

    • FF

      “If you’re concerned with making a true change, it has to happen through legislation.”

      In US with all the lobbying done by NRA and such with bottomless pockets and 2nd amendment craze and all?


      Boycotts work as they hit where it hurts(cashflow ofc) and make true change. Everyone can participate from the grassroots level and make change happen one purchase made elsewhere at a time.

      • detleftwood

        Second that. It’s like a cruel joke for someone to suggest, in the age of Trump, that true change comes only through legislation. It would almost be cute or endearing if such political naivete wasn’t so incredibly dangerous. It’s our very legislature that is controlled by reactionary corporate lobbies like the NRA that is precisely the issue in all this.

  • AntiPoliticallyCorrect

    If you dig deep enough, you will find a skeleton in every closet. To all the people boycotting this brand, great! now prove the new brand your supporting isn’t any worse. Maybe that new brand has nothing to do with guns, maybe it just sources its plastic from a company that poisoned the water supply of a third world nation, then changed its name so you can’t trace it back. Does that make it a better helmet? Does it make you a better person? Does it actually change anything? Would it have prevented the latest tragedy? No.

    This knee jerk reaction to companies that had Nothing to do with this tragedy while not going after the ACTUAL INDIVIDUALS who could have prevented it is mind blowing.

    • Matthew J

      Many people, rightfully in my opinion, believe the NRA bears responsible for the rash of public mass shootings.

      The NRA gets most of its known funding from gun and ammunition manufacturers.

      Unless your point is those who want change should be going after Wayne La Pierre – or more likely just doing nothing – boycotts may well be the only resource available.

      • AntiPoliticallyCorrect

        Full disclosure, I’ve never shot a gun or held a gun, let alone owned one.

        That being said, Did the shooter yell, “NRA, NRA, NRA” while he was firing? Did La Pierre shoot those people? Does the NRA sell guns?

        How about we look at the guidance counselors in the the school, the local law enforcement that had run ins with the shooter, how about whoever gave the order to the first responders to stand down and not enter the school, when they could hear shots being fired? Every one of these people is far more responsible for what happened than the NRA………………let alone a company that makes cycling products. Where is the outrage for this?

        Nothing about these boycotts makes any sense. Why don’t we boycott car companies when someone intentionally drives into a crowd of people? Why aren’t we boycotting Apple for the Foxconn deaths?

        What’s really appalling about all of this is that most people admit a boycott will do nothing except maybe hurt the bottom line of an LBS or of some poor guy working the line at Giro. He may lose his job, the local bike shop might have to lay people off, (radavist has to find new advertisers, which isn’t easy and could result in it shutting down) but according to people on this board, that’s okay. Go after the people actually responsible. Instead of going after a company that has no real say in what its parent company does all to prevent a few pennies from maybe sorta kinda ending up with the NRA. while you type on a device that is likely done far worse for people and the planet.

        • Matthew J

          Cruz is an angry young man who likes guns. Until he shot up the school, nothing that he did or said was a crime or could have prevented him from legally buying a gun in Florida nearly equivalent to those used by our military.

          The NRA with Wayne La Pierre at its head is a lobbying organization that more than any other has pushed the legal framework to the point where there is no legal basis to stop angry young men like Cruz from getting such guns. As long as the NRA has millions to play with, it appears quite poised to continue pushing this line.

          • WHY!?

            Cruz was involuntarily committed when he was under 18 and his record was not reported to authorities. Cruz had been reported to the local sheriff more than 30 times for discharging a firearm in a residential area, and shrugged off. He was reported to the FBI for commenting with his real name on youtube that he wanted to be a school shooter. The FBI determined he wasn’t a threat. You can blame the NRA all you want, its easy, but the system failed dozens of times.

          • Davin Dahl

            Unless an individual presently meets the threshold for civil commitment or probable cause exists to arrest the person for a crime (and they’re unable to bond out) there is no “system” to stop mass shootings. People can have their suspicions that someone will harm others. Individuals can purchase guns when those suspicions swirl. But there is no systemic means that should have stopped Cruz. There is only the vague notion that law enforcement should have intervened on some nebulous basis before the killing. The idea that the civil commitment mechanisms and the criminal justice system failed disregards reality. His access to semi-automatic weapons is what created this tragedy.

          • Matthew J

            None of what you cite is a crime in Florida, or, more importantly, a basis to either stop Cruz from buying a gun or to take away guns he legally purchased.

            The system you think should have acted does not exist. And when it comes to guns the NRA is a major reason why.

          • AntiPoliticallyCorrect

            The FBI is literally at fault in this case more than the most outrageous claims against the NRA.

          • AntiPoliticallyCorrect

            Cruz was an angry troubled kid that was mentally unstable and would have killed even if guns never existed. there were plenty of signs and many actual individuals to blame for this, He being the most at fault. There is no law that can prevent this. Nor should there be. Going after the NRA is a stretch and arguable at best. going after a cycling company that has no control over its parent company is pure insanity. The fact that so many here are willing to do this while admitting that it will not do anything except hurt the lowest workers and LBS’s is BS fascism.

        • Kjellterskelter

          You sound like me, except I do have guns.

    • Kjellterskelter


  • Masshoff

    I think it is less about supporting/not supporting companies with ties to firearms, and more about forcing Vista et al. to say and DO something. The Government – this Government – is not going to legislate change. It’s only going to come from the companies that produce these goods stepping up, acknowledging there is a problem, and actively working to get some changes made.

    What MEC, REI, LL Bean, Dick’s, etc are doing is going to be noticed, and they did what they did because consumers have spoken and applied pressure. Other large retailers will feel pressure soon enough and have to act – Cabellas, Bass Pro, Gander – they are going to have to address the issue somehow. They must and will lead, one way or another, and we have to hope that common sense trickles down to smaller gun retailers.

    I use and love Giro products and I am sure there are some really great people working there. They might suffer as a result of this, but this really isn’t about cycling. It’s about a culture that is out of fucking control on guns and violence, and us little people trying to make our voice be heard, SOMEHOW. And while it sucks that some great people might be affected within the bike business, the wholesale cultural shift is more important.

    • Zac Stanley

      Yes. Thank you.

  • pedallinsquares

    I hope all of the people boycotting cycling brands are going to boycott holidays and travel too. Every major aeroplane manufacturer has links to the military and therefore thousands of civilian deaths.

    As mentioned in the original post the boycott will hurt the people who have the least control over corporate decision making at the brands the most.

    • Gregory Ralich


    • zosim

      Aha, the rule of false equivalence. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING at once in order to do SOMETHING. As others have said as much as I’m for banning the majority of guns, that’s probably a longer game. However, getting corporate entities to stop supporting the NRA seems an achievable goal.

      • pedallinsquares

        There’s nothing false about the equivalence of a boycott targeting the manufacturer of a product used to kill civilians in America and civilians of a foreign nation.

        This is a political problem and while a boycott sends a political message to those at the top of Vista it hurts employees at Giro, Bell, Blackburn etc who have no control over who owns the company they work for.

        This boycott is a symptom of America’s slack laws around influencing and lobbying politicians. It would be better to change these. The boycott also sends a message to politicians that they can keep ignoring the will of their constituents and get re-elected.

  • Patrick Murphy

    I’m not as versed in the nuances of corporate america and business ethics as some of your (former) readers clearly are, but I wholeheartedly support you, your stance on this, and will continue to read regardless of my distaste for the NRA and gun culture in the US. The depth of the layers one has to pierce to connect the folks at Giro or Blackburn (let alone our dear Radavist) with the NRA is, in my opinion, too thick to make any damn sense. If you dig deep enough, every entity eventually connects to something unsavory – to boycott a select few is sheer hypocrisy.

    Keep flying ads of companies that have put out amazing work for years and will likely continue to do so – their guilt by association doesn’t change that.

  • Josh

    What will Vista give up by discontinuing NRA support? What would they lose by taking a public stance against the NRA? It’s important to keep in mind that this boycott is not about cutting into the profits of fire arms; it is specifically about a company that gives money to the NRA.

  • tatdaddy69

    as a gun owner and someone who worked in the cycling industry for 10+ years this is my first time hearing about this. And since there are obviously people more aware than I am I can only think that the only people really participating in a boycott are the core cyclist. Not the everyday consumer or parent buying gear for their kid, the commuter, or recreational cyclist halfway in the know. The people actually keeping these companies around. I agree with john and that the energy should be focused more positively where it can create more impact. but thats just my 2 cents

  • Jeremiah

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I have no sympathy for these companies for getting themselves into this situation.

    Vista can stop supporting the NRA this afternoon if they want to, but they’re not going to. Instead they’re going to continue lobbying politicians (via the NRA) to keep ridiculously powerful and dangerous weapons legal and available for purchase.

    And saying legislation is going to fix the problem is a joke when you’re simultaneously suggesting people keep handing money to the companies are lobbying against that legislation.

    I would love if voting were going to fix this problem, but it’s become obvious that’s not going to work by itself.

    • “I understand where you’re coming from, but I have no sympathy for these companies for getting themselves into this situation.”

      Just to be clear, these companies had no control over who bought them. Anyone from Nike to Disney to Nabisco to Monsanto could have bought the companies…

      • Ian Connelly

        What’s your point, here? That they should suffer no negative effects?

        • No, I’m just addressing one part of Jeremiah’s comment… No judgement here, no opinion, just clarifying facts.

          • detleftwood

            The only reason any of us are here is because of your very clear negative judgement of everyone who supports the boycott. And of course Giro, Blackburn, etc., had and still have control over their activities, unless you are just referring to some kind of abstract corporate entity and completely ignoring all the people who actually make it run at the everyday level (which is the whole basis of your argument.) No real human person was coerced to do anything in the merger, anyone could have quit, they could still do so, or better, go on strike. Of course, they didn’t back then, and have been comfortable all this time. Also, do you really know that it is a fact that they had no “control”? To what extent in a public forum do you feel comfortable with just “clarifying facts” that are confidential matters dealing with the upper-level corporate administrative deals of BRG Sports Inc, all its subsidiaries, and Vista back in April 2016? Were you privy to any of this? Making the corporations that you support to be victims is worse than disingenuous. This was a strategic corporate merger, and these things don’t happen without massive increases in profit margins.

          • It’s not a clear, negative judgement. Nothing negative is in that statement, it’s pointing out the complexities of this and it is MY perspective, not THE perspective. There’s no sense in having everyone agree on everything.

            That said, your points are your points and I don’t agree with them, because my experiences in life have created my views and your experiences, or even projections, have formed yours.

            I know the people at these companies very well. I spent two weeks on the road with some of the best of the best there, right after the VO purchase, doing nothing but talking about the whole thing. My views were formed from those heart to heart conversations and yours are formed from speculation. “they could have…” Could they? Do you know all the details? Have you talked to them? What were their options? Or are you just speculating?

          • detleftwood

            You literally said that you do not believe the boycott would do anything but harm the cycling industry. You have not removed any of the ads. You are arguing against people who do support the boycott. It’s a clear negative judgement. Unless you think saying “I don’t support the boycott” actually means you do support the boycott…

            If my points are just my points, or you can’t see their logic, or they are just projections, i.e., if everyone on here with whom you don’t agree can just be muted out because of some trivial point about how everything is relative, then why are you doing any of this? If you aren’t willing to try to understand what all these people are trying to explain to you, why go to the trouble to shoot yourself in the foot with this statement? Did you just want to trumpet your conservative position and then enjoy the backlash?

            There is no speculation to say that someone who works for a guns manufacturer could stop working there. You just stop, walk away, and no longer directly contribute to death. This is like a basic existential option, you know, choose, live an ethical life, sacrifice the given for a possible better. It is never an excuse to say I had no choice. I don’t know, go read Sartre or something. It’s a real slippery slope of an argument you are relying on there, and everything I am saying applies beyond a merely personal context. I don’t have to know anyone to judge their political actions clearly; those speak for themselves. As I mentioned in another comment, given that your entire business is directly dependent on the ads of a company that sells weapons, you seem to be in the same boat as the people in the companies you defend. So all the same questions apply to you: Do you have a choice in life, could you do something other than deliver an apology for these companies? Do you want to be the one, at this moment, right after the shooting, to be saying that a boycott of weapons manufacturers along with their subsidiary companies is wrong and harmful? And all to defend what, Giro?, a handful of your friends? Everyone on here trying to argue against you isn’t arguing with you personally, you are just an organ, an outlet, a space where the cycling community has a public forum. There is much more at stake in all this than you, your “subjective position.” the Radavist, or your friends at these companies. This is one of the most important political topics of our generation, and cycling has always been political. You should really think about the kind of politicization you want to give to the way of life we all love.

          • detleftwood

            Deleting the old response again eh?

      • Gregory Ralich

        I agree with JW. I wear Lazer helmets but effectively only by chance. There is no control and it truly just as easily/randomly could’ve been Nabisco. That’s a super valid point. Are you scrutinizing every other purchase you make with similar holistic due diligence? Glass houses. Simplifying it down to a one-off boycott is useless. You want to make real change then vow to never buy anything new again.

  • JLN

    As an Australian who is old enough to remember our only mass shooting, and the subsequent gun control… I can’t belive that people can buy high powered assault weapons from regular stores and certain people don’t want this changed. It blows my mind.

  • chris mcgovern

    Well said John

  • Nick Erickson

    I love this article! I work in education as a substitute teacher and am pursuing a career as a teacher. Cycling is a great way to bring about social change and help heal our communities. Cycling also does great things for our social and mental health. There are so many effective ways to pursue legislation on gun control boycotting cycling companies is not one of them… Blasting politicians via social media, phone calls, letters etc etc. It is an election year, hold our ‘leaders’ accountable for their positions on gun control. Troll articles and news agencies that you oppose.

  • Alex

    Boycotting the Radavist isn’t going to get me what I want. Radavist promotes a healthy lifestyle, culture, and is a net positive for the community. While I would say, in the future, when your bid for ads is up again, consider a pivot to be supported by brands that are less tangled up in this.

    Also, before anyone raises a shitstorm in your LBS, picture this: you’re a small bike shop that supplies Giro, you buy a bunch of helmets for spring, and then everyone decides to boycott Giro. As a bike shop you’ve already spent the money, and yet people expect you to pull all your product. You can tell your customers that you’ll make no further purchases from Giro, but you still have all the helmets you’ve already paid for. The operating budget for small shops is often tight enough that an event like that could be a death sentence. So I’d say, before you boycott your favorite LBS because they happen to have one of these brands in stock, ask them if they plan on continuing to order from them and make your decision then. If they are pivoting away from the Vista brands, maybe even help them out by buying up some of the stock that is from Vista so they can restock with other brands sooner.

    • Gregory Ralich

      Yes. Especially the last piece, describes my tiny-ass LBS I love dearly so well. I would absolutely consider buying Giro just to help them go away from Vista. It’s NEVER black and white, it takes work.

  • meaty_urologist

    i wonder how many people here saying a boycott isn’t the answer, believe in protesting.

  • benreed

    I’m boycotting! Never again!!

    …well, at least until Monday.

    Actually, I’ve got this thing on Sunday. Going to be boring as shit. I’ll probably be back Sunday.

  • PNW Cyclist

    I’ve just sent John the following in response to the above post, as well as an email I initially sent him on 2/22/18 (below), I’ve no idea if it will remain here or be removed as a comment or not:


    Far too little far too late; you’ve done nothing but solidify my resolve to not only boycott the contested brands and your platform but also double down on efforts to evangelize others as to my reasons why.

    I find it troubling that it’s taken you nearly 2 full weeks to respond as you have; which, in my opinion, reads as a purely apologist excuse.

    It took significantly even less time for litanies of smaller LBSs, as well as both MEC and REI, both sizable entities, to demonstrate a willingness to openly engage with their members, customers and the public in general, communicate their concerns, options, and potential consequences, and demonstrate bold leadership by implementing decisive and forward thinking decisions regarding their further business relationships with Vista held entities; virtues I appreciate, respect, and will go out of my way to support via my spending.

    Setting aside for a moment the contentious issue of gun control, which I freely admit is outside the general purview of a bicycle blogger such as yourself, you’ve constantly and repeatedly utilized your reach and platform to advocated for the protection of public lands:

    Your implicit and continued support of Vista Outdoor held companies is not only disappointing, it directly contradicts many of your stated values.

    “Vista Outdoor… also run their own SuperPAC to make contributions to political campaigns. The two members of the U.S. House of Representatives who appear to have received the most money from Vista Outdoor PAC in the last two election cycles are Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Chris Stewart, both from Utah. Who are these guys?

    Well, Rob Bishop is the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Outside Magazine calls him, “Public Lands Enemy Number One.” For years now, Bishop has been the driving force in the privatization and exploitation of western public lands for mining, drilling, grazing and motorized recreation. You might call Rep. Chris Stewart, “Public Lands Enemy Number Two.” He was the legislative hatchet man behind the Trump Administration’s two million acre dismemberment of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in December 2017.”

    Just today, the NYTs published an article, Oil Was Central in Decision to Shrink Bears Ears Monument, Emails Show, outlining how the interests of coal, gas, and oil industries were placed above public interests in recent decisions to illegally curtail the scale and scope of established National Monuments and public lands.

    Your positions are hypocritical at best and I will no longer have anything to do with your site or advertisers so long as they continue to undermine the values I, and millions of others, hold dear.

    I would love to be surprised to learn of a change of heart and a true demonstration of leadership on your behalf in the face of clear and potent threats to many of the things I hold most dear; unfortunately, I won’t be holding my breath.

    -A former Radavist reader, going all the way back to the prollyisnotprobably fixie freestyle days in NYC

    The email exchange precipitating this response is as follows:

    2/22/18, I wrote:


    From the onset, let me commend you for the long standing efforts to highlight, feature, and promote independently owned and managed companies producing ethically sourced products.

    The ability to vote with my dollars and support such entities is one of the many elements of cycling I appreciate and respect most.

    With that said, in light of learning today, via this article, that several prominent cycling brands are owned subsidiaries of firearm and ammunition manufacturing company Vista Outdoor, I will no longer use or purchase any of their products.

    Not only was I disheartened to learn of this revelation, but my disappointment was compounded by the fact that no mention of this news can be found on your site.

    I realize you’re winding down, and likely exhausted, from covering NAHBS, but a complete dearth of acknowledgment of this company’s practices, policies, and the subsequent boycott of it’s products is dispiriting; particularly when the effort was found to post a NAHBS epilogue and ads for both Giro and Bell are still prominently featured.

    You’re site fell far short in my view today, I’ve deleted my bookmarks, unfollowed you on all social media platforms, and will stop viewing and visiting all together.

    I’ve come to expect more from your coverage, advocacy, and platform; I’m thoroughly let down.

    So long as your site continues to provide a mechanism to advertise and promote the products of companies which financially benefit the arms industry, I will not only stop patronizing your site, will boycott all products, and never miss and opportunity to share with others my reasons for why.

    If nothing else, I hope you pass this feedback along to the companies advertising on your site and owned by Vista Outdoor:



    -A former Radavist reader, going all the way back to the prollyisnotprobably fixie freestyle days in NYC

    3/2/18, 10 days later, I received:


    This has been a rough time, but I’ve finally put my words down.

    Thanks for your support and I hope you’ll return.


    • JEFoust

      What’s remarkable is that there was no outcry against this company from the outdoor community before. It’s a clear sign that a business is just that, they are not your friend, even if you have friends working at said company. And if said company/ies under the Vista umbrella have any power to do anything, why aren’t they?

  • Kjellterskelter

    Thanks for posting this John. I respect that you had the balls to say it, knowing full well there would be push back. I’ve heard a lot of comments and discussion regarding this boycott maneuver, and it’s silly. It’s emotional, rather than rational. I get that the people who want to jump on that bandwagon want something to change. WE ALL DO!
    However, as you stated there are a lot of innocent people caught in this crossfire(yes, I’m aware of my word choice) and that was a big point of your piece here. People have a right to exercise whether or not they wish to purchase products from these brands if they wish, but to orchestrate a witch hunt against Bell, Giro, or Camelbak is extremely short sighted, and fruitless.

    • Daniel in Hawaii

      What’s wrong with jumping on the “bandwagon” against people who facilitate the slaughter of children? I will gladly participate in a destructive “which-hunt” against any organization that is part of the assault-weapons complex that facilitates the slaughter of children. I hope the brands in question are destroyed and go bankrupt. And perhaps the good people in them can go start or work for companies that don’t support leaving guns in the hands of insane people who slaughter children.

      • Kjellterskelter

        I just explained what was wrong with it, and so did John. This boycott is not a boycott of the NRA. It’s a boycott of cycling brands, and that makes no sense. If anyone thinks that by boycotting these cycling brands because at some point the previous holding conglomerate (BRG) was bought out by a new conglomerate(Vista) that supports the NRA, will ultimately destroy the NRA, is incredibly short sighted. It won’t change a thing. Vista doesn’t own the NRA, nor will it likely stop donating because of this, and if it did, it wouldn’t matter.
        I don’t have a dog in this particular fight, but I have friends at some of these brands, and they are worried! They had NOTHING to do with the shooting, and some of them are anti-assault rifle. To punish them through an action that is ineffective, is irrational, and YES you are punishing them, they are the ones who lose in this fight.
        You say
        “Perhaps the good people in them can go start or work for companies that don’t support leaving guns in the hands of insane people who slaughter children.”
        Do you see how distorted that is? They aren’t just going to walk across the street to new, equal employment. They have families too.
        I understand that not everyone has an understanding of the business structure and methods for holdings companies, and I take it you don’t either. I do, because I’ve spent years working for some much larger than either BRG or Vista. Bell Giro, Camelbak, Blackburn etc. etc. Operate independently as their own “Entities”.
        Would it be fair to you, if you were charged and arrested because your crazy “Uncle Al” was implicated in a murder? Probably not. So how does this same logic apply in this case?
        Everyone agrees that something needs to be done, something must change. For once, we need to really focus on the real problems if we are going to get at a solution.

        • Daniel in Hawaii

          Nope. I’ve been deeply imbedded in the corporate world for years, specifically focused on communications. I know how corporate structures work, and I know what pressures work. You might not though, if you are analogizing corporate structure to family structure with the hypothetical “uncle Al”. What you are missing is that this “boycott” is not intended to have a direct dollars and cents impact on the NRA and their supporters. That would be naive. It is intended (in as much as it’s anything more than just inchoate rage) as a part of a larger strike-back against the merchants of death. It’s a way to move the narrative and the momentum. And yes….it will punish some innocent people in the biking industry. I’m sorry for them. And they should be worried. In fact it’s good that they are. They need to apply pressure up the corporate chain as well. There are clearly many of us who care more about finding a way, any way, to make sure that the murder of children with assault rifles stops. So again, since it appears there are going to be innocent victims in this war, I’d rather it be the jobs of people at Giro and Blackburn, than the bodies of children in Newton and Parkland.

    • thepinkservbot

      It’s clearly not fruitless. You can argue it’s shortsighted if you wish, but this is having an impact.

  • Such a complex situation is almost beyond words, but I think what you’ve written is as close to a clear perception as possible – so good on you for taking the time to diligently write something. ‘Boycotting’ these brands won’t change anything, unfortunately. As someone who works in the cycling industry, with friends working at some of these brands, they in no way support what some other readers are suggesting. Your site spans far and wide, and remember your opinion is valued by most readers. Thanks for continuously publishing content and pushing cycling worldwide. I’ll always be a reader.

  • TH

    I have been following The Radavist since the prollynotprobably days as well. My expectations were that since the guys running The Radavist are pretty smart and savvy, that they would have known about Vista Outdoors political support of people not sympathetic to the issues most of their readership are concerned about. The letter posted here sounded very wishy-washy to me and didn’t really draw a line in the sand. Whoever said running a business was easy? Maybe Tim Ferris I guess. So, the fact all those pertinent little issues were left out makes me wonder. Hope this is addressed in a more forthcoming response to something that concerns many progressives. And, voting with our dollars is about the only thing that works anymore.

  • Zach Windsor

    For one of the most positive website out there it still bums me out that it’s so hard for us the readers to give each other and John a charitable interpretation.

    And before we get crazy upset that The Radavist has ads for companies we may or may not support, we should probably look at the easy solution. Pay for the Radavist (not necessarily advocating for this). We get to consume some of the best content in the Cycling industry for free everyday and then we get all upset when there are advertisers we don’t agree with. Things like this aren’t free, but in this world we have come to expect them to be. If we didn’t expect free free stuff, then there would be no need for outside advertisers. Just another way to look at it.

    • Gregory Ralich

      This is the correct answer ATMO

      • Gregory Ralich

        THE best content. No need to mince words or play it safe. This site is what it is because the content is second to none.

    • Daniel in Hawaii

      If John puts this site behind a paywall, I will pay for it. Anything to not support the NRA.

  • James Walton

    Thanks John.

  • WilliamWL

    The issue is real but I’m not sure what a boycott of Giro, Bell, Blackburn, etc would do. The bike side of the business is about 1/4 of the guns and ammo side. A boycott would hurt the guys that work at those brands. Keep in mind that they are still separate business and the guys and gals that work at Blackburn will get laid off if they’re products are not selling.

    • Daniel in Hawaii

      And if Blackburns products are not selling….it will hurt an umbrella company that makes weapons that slaughter American children in their classrooms. I’d say that’s a fair trade.

      • Will it though? Where are the numbers you’ve used to calculate this assumption? Care to share?

        • Daniel in Hawaii

          There has to have been a business reason for why Vista for acquired Blackburn. What we read is that they did it to diversify in the face of sagging gun and ammo sales. But whatever the reason, it can’t be a positive for Vista to have a portfolio of wounded bicycle companies, with bad press, and demoralized employees. All that distracts from selling.
          As for the numbers you asked for, of course it’s too early measure or even forecast actual financial impact. But then, we don’t need too. This is not strictly a business gambit…it’s more akin to a protest, a revolt, an asymmetrical attack on an entrenched and methodical beast (gun lobby/industry). And, as we know from observing revolts, revolutions, successful protests, you seldom act based on numbers. You go after soft targets, you appeal to people’s emotions, you drive wedges between the truely vile and those who are side beneficiaries (even and especially unwittingly.) But in the end, I’m just a guy angry at the gun industry and the death of children, looking for all the ways I can make an impact. Success is not likely. I know this.

        • detleftwood

          Where are your numbers?

  • WHY!?

    Virtue signaling doesn’t have grey areas, no one who is for a boycott is going to see a middle ground for you without being a hypocrite.

    I use adblock anyway.

  • ED Caliper

    Here are a few scattered thoughts and opinions relating to your post:

    1) I respect you for speaking your mind even though I don’t agree. You seem thoughtful and transparent.

    2) Every venue, movement, company, organization, group, etc has a few or more “good people”. The big picture is more important.

    3) One of the best ways to affect change is via spending or lack thereof. Boycotts are absolutely crucial for everyday people to make their voice heard.

    4) Sidebar: The cycling world is unique for having large companies that really connect with their customers on a level that’s usually only seen with boutique brands. With that tighter connection there’s going to be more accountability. Perhaps this will act as a cautionary tale for smallish companies who are approached by larger conglomerates to sell majority stakes.

    I enjoy the Radavist and will continue to do so.

  • Shyone

    I really appreciate what you’ve written and it has made me think about the boycott more deeply. I wholeheartedly supported the boycott before, but having read this, I’m not so sure. However, when I look at all the failed attempts over the years to do anything to control gun violence or defang the NRA and see what appears to be momentum building for the first time, I ask myself what happens if people stop boycotting these products. Perhaps the boycott is an essential part of the growing movement. Perhaps it is an effective means to channel and focus the anger at the NRA that has been building over the years. Boycotting could well give people the experience of effectively doing something and inspire them to keep working and do more, and this ultimately could have a positive impact on gun violence. Lots of “perhaps” and implied “what ifs”, but maybe it’s about more than who happens to lose their job. I wish I knew the answers.


    If you boycott Giro, you are not allowed to come have fun at Grinduro.

  • Alexandre Thiboud

    Well said! Long life the radavist! Cheer from France!! World is grey not black or white!! Just as life.

  • Tom Greek

    @pnwcyclist:disqus In a certain way, John is low hanging fruit here – someone easily accessible, and yet, involved with the manufactures in question. Is he / the radavist the right target though? Hey, cool if you don’t want to check out the content anymore. I guess I just didn’t expect him to have to kind of response some did. It is a grey world and sometimes dancing with the devil is the price of admission. To expect a mom and pop like the Radavist to cancel the revenue that pays for both content and provides the platform to advocate for equality, a better environment, localized investment, oh, and general bad-assery, is unrealistic.

    Our voices are important and are definitely a part of the calculus big and small companies use as they plan for the future. We make relationships in life and need to give one another at least a little room to breathe and adjust to changing realities. Pivoting as an individual is a lot easier and faster than it is for a business – especially ones that aren’t big corporations with marketing departments and reserves that don’t have an immediate impact on the bottom line. We’re all better off working with like minded people, however imperfect we all are.

    I don’t agree with all the opinions and content on this site – but generally find a similar world view with common interests and goals expressed here. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water seems the appropriate expression here. I know it is an emotional subject. I’ve hard a hard time getting past my three friends killed by gun violence (in separate instances). At least we are now trying to address it more seriously as a country. I thought for sure Newtown was going to be that moment…

    • Thank you. Like I said, this was a difficult thing to put on paper and it’s been grating at me since it hit.

  • Daniel in Hawaii

    I would pay for the radavist if it meant destruction for the terrorist organization that is the NRA. My life is bicycles. If I had to give bicycles up to keep children from being slaughtered, I would. But I would at the same time wish to have a hand in destroying anyone and any organization connected with the NRA, be it Bell, Giro, or Blackburn. I’m sorry, but the people who work for those companies, work for an umbrella company that supports a terrorist organization, and creates weapons that slaughter children. They can choose not to. If we want to stop the slaughter of children in their classrooms, we have to be ok with some cycling people losing their jobs….temporarily. I’m sorry they were bought by an evil company. I’m not going to support them while children are slaughtered. And to Alexandre Thiboud from France…death is black and white, and we have children dying in America because people don’t have the courage to stand against the vile murder cult that is the NRA. -Daniel in Hawaii

    • Gordon M

      I’d pay too!

      • I would love to operate that way, and it would require complete restructuring. I’ve thought about implementing other means of generating income, rather than ads, but ads also help the small companies out there. Giro / Bell / Blackburn and other larger companies make it possible for me to be able to have smaller companies sign on for ads. All this allows me to pay contributors better than most other web sites pay theirs, even sites with 200% more traffic than this site, and cover events, promote small frame builders, etc etc. My end game is to have more voices contribute, of all gender identities, walks of life, races, etc. If I could snap my fingers and find a solution immediately, I would have done so a long time ago, but unfortunately, running this site, shooting all day every day and doing my best to edit content, it leaves me with very little free time to ride, be with my loved ones and rest. Not looking for sympathy here, just transparency and a bit of context.

  • Dave Whiteway

    As a retailer of some of these brands (in Australia) can I also throw light the plight of bike shop owners, who may or may not support the NRA, into the situation. They do not have long standing relationships with the parent corporation. They sell quality products to you the consumer and there is no denying these are all quality brands.

    It seems to me (from the other side of the world) that you have more problems with your gun regulators (or lack thereof) than your gun manufacturers. Don’t make more innocent victims in the situation, focus your rage on your elected representatives who could quite easily regulate your gun industry if sufficiently motivated.

    • zosim

      So the question is, what do you say to your customers who are horrified by the ongoing spate of shootings and want to put pressure on VO to stop supporting the NRA? I appreciate the plight of the small store owner but likewise, as I’ve said repeatedly, as someone who doesn’t live in the US my ability to influence is not buying from those brands (which is a shame as I like their stuff).

      • I don’t think you understand that VO doesn’t need these brands to survive. What’s the end game anyway? Giro closes down and they keep making ammo?

        • zosim

          I don’t know what your corporate experience is but I have spent the last 10 years in M&A (in an unrelated sector to this). Trust me when I say that if Giro suffers, people on the board of VO will pay attention. You don’t buy companies in order to watch them tank due to poor management, and there is always someone who pays for that failure in the management team.

          Rapha are one company considering cutting ties with the VO properties. Whether that’s for PR or because of conviction I can’t tell you but their statement was far less weasel-y than yours.

          Your solution is to wring your hands and say you can’t do anything… I get you have friends and money tied up in those companies but sooner or later you need to ask whether you’re supporting VO or trying, however successfully, to change their approach. You’re an apologist for VO, however well meaning, so I guess we know what side of the fence you sit on.

          • I’m not an apologist for VO.

            I hope you’re taking a long, hard look at everything you “support” and examine possible ties to not only the NRA, but the military – the AR15 was developed by the military. Remember, the VO purchase of Giro / Bell happened two years ago, and where was the outcry then? We’ve been running ads that entire time. I’ve also never seen you comment here. Only on CyclingTips, so I suspect you’re probably not an active user of this site.

            All I ask is that you and others examine everything you purchase and you’ll be shocked. Does that plastic in brand-x’s helmets come from a company that poisoned the waters from a village? Where does the rubber in your tires come from? What about gas’ ties to the military. The web of influence and web of denial is all balanced by how much people are willing to boycott one thing and turn a blind eye to another. Amazon, Apple, FedEx… You’re clearly opinionated and aggressive about this subject. Where does it end?

            I also see you’re from Europe, so maybe that has a lot to do with it.

          • zosim

            I don’t spend days investigating every single thing I buy but when I do encounter something I disagree with for whatever purpose I vote with my money. In a small way it’s often the only thing I can do. I worked for a military contractor and left that job as I decided I couldn’t work for a company who sold their services to armies around the world despite the fact they only sold radios. I hadn’t worked there long and for years I had to explain away a short stint with an employer but it felt like the right thing to do. I’ve left other jobs where I considered either what we did or how we did it as “wrong”.

            So I would ask you, what are YOU doing to change the broken gun culture and lobbying system and what would you suggest others do given a lot of your readers don’t live in the US?

          • So you still worked for a MC? Why would you do that? It’s a military contractor, not an elementary school contractor. What did you expect? What’s your name? Want to open up even more? Share more details? Or hide behind a pen name where it makes it easy to spin doctor views aggressively. See how easy it is to pick apart one’s motivations when they put it out there?

            What am I doing? I’m not sure yet. All of this has happened suddenly and it’s taken me a lot of time to put my thoughts down on this open forum, knowing what it’d mean. I live and pay taxes in California, a place that I believe is the petri dish for social change in America. Sure, it’s not perfect, but I feel good being part of an economy that cares about the environment and the safety of its citizens with stricter gun laws. California needs to address social issues such as gentrification and the resultant homeless population.

          • zosim

            Why did I work for them? Easy. I needed work, the job was a good one and they weren’t making guns, tanks or bombs. As it turned out, the sum of the whole wasn’t anywhere near as wholesome so I left (they mostly sold to the British Army which was, largely, fine but some of the other countries, less so). I am a regular on several cycling forums where the views are varied on this subject as here but I don’t think people looking at where they spend their money is a bandwagon, people I know have been doing it for years. Sure, people may find something out several years after the fact which changes their opinion of a company but it doesn’t necessarily make it less valid an opinion.

          • You summed it up and I think your words are probably what people at Giro told themselves: “Easy. I needed work, the job was a good one and they weren’t making guns, tanks or bombs.”

            You also exposed the truth there. Which is helpful for discussion, learning and education. Thank you.

          • zosim

            Also, I have been following the site for a long time (prior to the Radavist incarnation in fact), I just haven’t felt the need to comment.

          • Apologies for assuming anything. I’m basing my thoughts off the information I have access to. Cheers.

          • RHE

            Uh, sorry, but hi, also a long time follower of your site from way before the radavist [ie yr fixed gear days which were 30 years after mine]; the comments here are my first foray into commenting, and i am grateful for your intelligent writing on bikes of course, but also this, and also for providing a reasonable forum for a reasonable discussion.

            Not everyone is as articulate as they would like (i’m looking at me here, but also some other bombast-ers); and i just wanted to say i think you’re doing a fine job esp in comparison w a lot of other arenas where people are going insane. Which is often the point of all this kind of thing, deflection; it’s not some massive deflection conspiracy [like, uh, i dunno, carbon fiber bikes?), but it’s an outlet for our frustration. Which leads to very little change. Which is how we keep the status quo, and keep on going, us frogs in the boiling water.

            I said elsewhere, and my experience is, that the best way to make change, especially in this internet era of sending an email = action – is to show up / to go in groups of 5 to ones officials, particularly at the local level – IE your local town boards – and say what you want, what you feel. And then they go to the next level, state reps, but you go too (you’ve gotten some experience in talking to your local boards); go to one official per week, or every other week, all 5 of youse.

            Sure boycotts = useful. But showing up = action.

            And if we look at ACT UP as a template – it’s not a bad place to start.

            And if you use your Radivist to make some activist – that is also within the scope of riding ones bike.

            Thank you John,



          • detleftwood

            You are literally an apologist for Vista. You just issued a statement condemning their boycott.

  • AdamC

    Why the sudden boycott? Surely all those calling to boycott have already been checking up on the ethics & ownership of the products they’re buying to make sure they aren’t supporting something they don’t agree with… Furthermore that money saved not buying anything is going to be used to support government reform & petition politicians too? Not getting fries at McDonalds isn’t going to stop them making burgers.

  • Ive never purchased products from any of these brands. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ does that make me a boycotter? I understand the point of boycotting within a capitalist society and that pressure can work for certain goals, but this feels like multiple steps removed boycotting. What will it accomplish beyond stroking your own ego? You want to see real change, then target the actual companies that can actually make a difference to something. Better yet, get your ass out in 2018 & 2020 and vote, because that’s the only long term solution to this problem. Everything else is just low hanging fruit. It’s all temporary and doesn’t solve the bigger issues. I’ll keep reading The Radavist

    • thepinkservbot

      Doesn’t an administration who has shown just how useless the legislative process is in the face of blind power sort of put a sour sheen on this “don’t vote with your wallet, vote with your ballot” argument?

      • The logical conclusion to that argument is that democracy is a failure and we shouldn’t even try. So no, I won’t go down that road. My point is that a boycott can be effective in certain ways, I don’t deny that. But the only long term solution is legislation. Boycotting won’t stop the next mass shooter from killing. Taking down the NRA won’t stop the next mass shooting either. Legislation. From the local county to the state to the federal government. Put as much time, energy and passion into votes and legislation as boycotting then we can finally affect lasting change.

        • thepinkservbot

          Heh, doesn’t an administration whose victory has shown the utter failings, fragility, insecurity, and fundamental DISINTEREST in the democratic process, sort of suggest that democracy is something of a failure?

          I’m not sure where your logic is as to why those two won’t stop the next shooting, but legislation will. Legislation to do… what now? Stricter gun control? Kind of makes going after the NRA a priority, doesn’t it?

          I also wonder about the theory of punching the direct owners of a gun manufacturer that makes up a significant portion of lobbying activity right in the wallet as being too far removed from the situation. How more direct can you get, if you’re going after guns?

          • Your logic is constrained my friend. Democracy is larger than a certain administration. As far as I’m concerned, your argument is a fallacy.

            My logic is simple. Boycotting these companies does exactly zero to limit a potential mass shooters access to guns. The laws of the land will still be the same, boycott or no boycott. Can’t buy your AR15 at Walmart anymore? No problem, just go to a gun show. Easier still, buy one in a private sale. Care to explain how boycotting changes that fact? I’m all ears.
            You either believe in democracy and the legislation necessary or you don’t. And if you don’t believe in the underlying democracy, then what’s the point of boycotting? Going after the NRA is a priority, and as a gun owner I’m all for that. And just like the NRA has and will continue to do, you use legislation to make the gains binding in law. The end goal is legislation, and you do that through democracy. You carry with you the banners of social and cultural change and you get the support needed to get legislation passed.

          • thepinkservbot

            Democracy may be larger than a certain administration, but when a country that has held itself up as a shining beacon and example of a democracy has a series of cataclysmic failures relating to that system, well, it has a way of opening people’s minds, comrade. Anyway, I wasn’t too serious about all that, I was just mocking your fetishization of the political process.

            I think you fail to understand the theory behind the boycott. Okay, I go to a gun show to buy my rifle instead, but how much of Ruger’s profits were coming from Walmart’s wholesale purchases? Or DICK’s? Or any big box retailer that buys guns by the palette? So now we’re strangling Ruger’s bottom line. Now there’s less money to pay for lobbyists, less money for lobbyists to pay politicians, and of course the NRA is funded by gun corporations so they get fucked too.

            It’s not so much that I don’t believe in democracy (I kind of don’t) as much as I believe that when your salary reaches a certain level, you lose all humanity and care only about your bottom line, and the only thing that will reach you is when that is threatened.

            It’s a belief that has proven quite accurate.

          • I resent wholeheartedly the accusation of having a fetishisation of the political process. I live in a democracy, it’s the means by which things get done. It’s not perfect, and I’ve at no point in my life claimed it to be or been under any delusion of that. Doesn’t change the reality. Flawed as it may be it’s the vehicle for long term change.

            I understand the point of and process behind the boycott. It seems to me you fail to see the larger, or rather the more long term picture here. Will constraining ruger suddenly stop arms manufacture here in the states? Not likely. More importantly, will it stop the next mass shooter from legally purchasing an AR15 or equivalent weapon of war? Nope. Because there are already tens of millions of guns in circulation and the lax laws will make it all perfectly legal. Just like Parkland. The only way to stop that is legislation. If you don’t believe in democracy, that’s fine. You believe in communism? Socialism? Anarchism? Makes no difference to me. But I live in the US. And while it may be deeply flawed, democracy is still how things are done. So I’m not interested in a debate over that.

            I agree with your last point, I totally agree. And looking at the larger picture, the entire idea of selling weapons of war to the civilian population is as morally bankrupt as we can be. But selling them shrouded in the vile hatred and fear mongering as used by the NRA to sell more of those weapons is beyond disgusting. So if all of these people, organisations and corporations of manufacture are already morally bankrupt, what will boycotting do long term? It’s traditionally been a short term solution because of people’s attention span and lack of drive to change their everyday lives. So in what scenario do you see this all working? You going to boycott every arms manufacture out of exisistence? Not a chance in hell. The tide is turning against the NRA and it’s message. That’s a fact. It’s entire base of power falls flat, if that message stops working. So in that, I’m all for the boycotts and I say keep it up. But long term you need to follow it up with changing the laws. I fail to see why you don’t think that’s a necessary or useful path. I’m advocating both, I’m only saying boycotting has its limits of effectiveness and doesn’t address the laws on the books.

          • detleftwood

            “what will boycotting do long term? It’s traditionally been a short term solution because of people’s attention span and lack of drive to change their everyday lives.” I’m not sure that is an accurate description of what boycotting is meant to be, or even what has actually been the downfall of most boycotts. Are you saying that boycotts just die out because people have a short attention span? Some of them don’t. Example: the most famous and effective American boycott ever, the Montgomery bus boycott.

      • RHE

        Vote with your direct actions, show up in person at the offices of every local and state official you can with 5 other constituents and a prepared brief conversation; and f the rest of it. Boycotts are effectual only with other more powerful tactics. Discussion of boycotts on the internet is as useful as riding your bike on the internet.

  • detleftwood

    What makes the situation appear “complex” is when one just keeps repeating things like “there are good people working at these companies, so they can’t support gun violence.” The inability to scale out and think critically at the level of population and global capital flows is the only thing that makes any of this murky or grey. It doesn’t matter at all who any of these people are who work for these companies, their personal opinions, morals, values, mission statements, or whatever. It’s all completely irrelevant, or at least irrelevant to a situation–mass death through gun industry/policy–whose only true complexity is structural. These companies are owned by Vista, their production is part of the value of Vista, by their own (dissimulating) admission they are merely sub-segments of the same corporate structure. As if Vista, who owns them, doesn’t profit from their sales? As if anyone who buys their products doesn’t contribute to the same domestic arms trade whose result is a bullet that kills a kid? What is really ironic about all this is how American cycling culture in general–and Radavist in particular as an important representative–has consistently ignored the radical political stakes of cycling for so long, or, even worse, consistently argued for some kind of diet nationalist consumerism–only buy local, only buy extremely expensive local, etc. And now this, just a straight-up admission that one of the central organs of contemporary cycling culture will only provide an apology for a section of the cycling industry that is literally owned by war-mongerers? What? I can at least respect the cynicism in saying “hey, it’s my job, my money, I’m not just going to tank my website,” or even (although this wasn’t said) “I understand the stakes of the issue, I wouldn’t dare to simply discount the political logic of thousands of people, and yet, these are my friends and I can’t turn on them.” Here’s some questions: what if the Radavist did support the boycott? What if the public responsibility and power of opinion-setting were taken seriously? How much of an impact would that have, even symbolically? What happened to the political oppositionality, the anti-authoritarian passion of cycling? What happened to the feeling that riding a bike is the biggest middle finger to a
    global consumer capitalism that runs on death, the death of humans and the environment? There are literally car ads in some of the Radavist’s content now. I mean, come on, is this what cycling is about? Does the soul of cycling depend on Giro? In the era of Trump, is it really perceptive at all to say true change “has to happen through legislation?” Don’t boycott the weapons industry alongside all its subsidiaries? Really? Right now? After the latest shooting? Is this supposed to be a joke? Atavism, I would remind everyone, isn’t about some kind of primal play drive, but about a pathological recurrence of traits and symptoms that died out long ago with earlier generations. Here’s to hoping that the cycling community doesn’t become any more atavistic, and that all those who live off speaking in its name can see their way to a more responsible, realistic, and above-all modern understanding of cycling today.

  • BufChester

    I’m not sure how the boycott will hurt bike shops. I’m not say I won’t buy any helmet, just not s Giro or Bell. My LBS sells other brands. The bike shop will still get my $$$. And I call BS on the “these companies are totally separate from VO’s gun business” argument. The whole point in VO’s purchase of the companies was the get the money they make. Money is fungible. If guns have an off year and bikes make money I find it impossible to believe the bike $$ won’t prop up the gun lines, or help pay for gun lobbying, etc.

    • Your shop orders helmets and shoes at the beginning of the season. They have full stock, which is their money tied up, then a boycott hits and they’re left not being able to sell the products and thus, make their money back.

      • thepinkservbot

        If the sensitivity of the egg shells that we must walk around is down to THIS point, concern for stock inventory that LBSes have already purchased, then I’m not sure how what you’re preaching is anything less than a plea to sit on one’s hands.

        • detleftwood

          Your points are all entirely correct. Even the argument that boycotting spells the doom for one’s LBS–perhaps the only one any of us should actually care about–just doesn’t hold up. Giro and Bell and the others simply don’t equal the entire domestic cycling industry. Nor is the sole reason for the success or lack thereof of your LBS their back stock of helmets or other products. On the other hand, there is no point in denying that a boycott won’t have some negative impact on shops, but that’s PRECISELY the risk that boycotting takes into account. The shops will have to respond to the ethical and political demands of their customers, but that sort of shift in supply and demand is part and parcel of the business. On the other, other hand: why should anyone be held hostage to the demands of other people to make profit? I demand, right now, that anyone and everyone stops supporting the weapons industry because thousands of people are being murdered, and then someone comes up to me and says, “yeah, but we have to make more money.”? That seems totally whack.

      • BufChester

        If that’s the case, then that will definitely impact the shops. I guess it’ll remain up the individual consumer to decide. VO could get some good PR by offering to buy back any overstock at the end of the year and/or give the LBS credit for it and have them donate it to local non-profits. Or the LBS could rent a booth at the next local gun show and sell their VO products to folks who want to support VO. “Buy the helmet the libtard snowflakes are afraid to wear!”

        I appreciate that this is a bad situation for the LBS and the great folks who work for Giro, Blackburn, etc. who are guilty of nothing but helping their companies be great enough that VO decided to vacuum them up to help their bottom line. But at the end of the day, they are now part of the VO family and VO has only one obligation, maximizing shareholder value. They will do whatever they have to to make money, and guns/ammo are still their main money maker.

        I know this is implausible almost to the point of fantasy, but there is nothing stopping the employees of the bike companies of VO from quitting and starting new companies, or actively looking for work with the other companies in these sectors that don’t have this issue.

        I love a Blackburn light I have, and I had fantastic customer service when I had an issue with it, but I don’t want even the tiniest faction of a nickel of my money going to support gun lobbying, so I won’t be buying more products.

        Finally, since VO is really only interested in the bottom line, maybe if a boycott dents the bike companies’ value they will look to sell them off.

  • detleftwood

    “You can’t mute people, or delete comments, or try to sweep this issue under the rug.” Are you deleting my comment?

    • Yep. Which is why I never delete comments. Unless they violate our comment policy or readers flag them multiple times.

  • Sascha

    I enjoy theradavist immensely and can understand the difficulty it must be as an employee of one of these umbrella companies but I’m totally opposed to guns and the carnage they cause in the hands of people.

    I live in Australia so there’s no way for me to make a point to Vista Outdoors other than boycott the products. Ethically I cannot purchase products that contribute to the bottom line of this company…I’m speaking with my dollars. I have previously left employment of a company due to their lack of ethics, not everyone can do this but unfortunately us little people this is where it can begin. All I can say is what a mess the gun issue is in the USA…

  • Jono Mitchell

    Sorry, I don’t understand how leaving this site supports the boycott.

    For every $1 that Vista spends on John via advertising, that is a $1 they aren’t giving to the NRA.

    Not buying Vista products makes sense, not visiting this site: (1) is damaging to John, and; (2) is damaging for your mental health, as everyone knows that visiting this site from their office-prison is a lifeline.

    • detleftwood

      You got that a bit turned around: web advertising via this site (such as in the Blackburn banner that ironically adorns this very page) helps Vista grow. In turn this allows Vista more capital to put where it wants, such as into the gun lobby and the NRA, which receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from Vista. It is no great leap to therefore say that the Radavist supports (directly, indirectly, structurally, unintentionally, however you want to say it) the gun lobby via its apology of the subsidiary companies in question, not to mention its outright attack on their boycott. One could even say that the Radavist itself is dependent on Vista, which Watson freely admits above by saying that the whole site would tank if he removed their Giro, Blackburn, etc., ads. Furthermore, given that revenue spikes for weapons manufacturers after mass shootings (as it has in the past for Vista), any defense of their economic base (like Watson’s above) can only amount to one thing and one thing only: a defense of war-mongering and the right of private companies to capitalize off of death. Watson obviously does not know that he is perfectly playing into an ideology that allows these war-mongerers to thrive. He is obviously very confused by his personal loyalties. That is perhaps forgivable on a personal level, but this isn’t personal, this is an influential public platform. The real question is what the Radavist’s position means for American cycling culture more generally, and what kind of politics we want to have associated with riding bikes. The Radavist is an important spokesperson for cycling, for good or ill. Telling us that politics is murky or complicated or grey is one thing. It is a quietist response, and one we have grown used to hearing from people who want to defend the status quo in all its horror, to be sure, but not unsurprising given the Radavist’s general depoliticized and consumerist stance on cycling. But to then argue that we should support companies that directly fund domestic terrorism is another thing entirely…

  • Andrew Deane

    Yeah…unconvinced. I am
    Sorry about your pals but I am much more sorry for the people who’s kids will
    Never come home. Looks like
    My current pair of VR90’s is my last. Continued visits here will depend on how things go but this is not an auspicious start. I think you were a bit late to the party and your plea to help your buddies ignores the greater good. Boycott’s work.

  • Johnny Rhubarb

    Thank you John for this statement. It’s immensely refreshing to read something on the internet that doesn’t portray something as the absolute truth. There are many ways of seeing things and most of them are valid.
    If I were allowed to own a gun I most certainly would. Shootings suck but the cause for these lies elsewhere I think, not in the availabilty of firearms. If you really want a gun you can get one almost everywhere.

    • Andrew Deane

      Not Canada, Australia, the UK etc…and magically they don’t have this problem (or at least not 12 school shootings in just ove two months)

      • Johnny Rhubarb

        I meant it’s possible to obtain firearms via ‘unofficial’ means. It’s certainly true that the areas you mentioned don’t have that problem, but I like to give in to the idea that the social cleavages in the US might be more severe.

        • Andrew Deane

          Why? Do other countries not have mental illness? ‘Social decay’ is not the problem. Guns are the problem (and those that promote, she and lobby for them). Does the gun lobby knows Canada exists? We have way more atheists, we marry any consenting adult to any other consenting adult, we are legalizing weed, we are pretty ‘socialist’, we are not unreasonably terrified of our government, we let our kids drink at 19 (18 in the lucky provinces), and we welcome and value the contributions of immigrants from all over the world (including the ‘shit hole’ countries!). We are the christian right’s very picture of ‘social decay’ yet still we manage not to shoot each other in alarming frequency. Weird.

          • Johnny Rhubarb

            The examples you mentioned represent the exact opposite of ‘social decay’ for me, I think we are almost in the same boat

          • Andrew Deane

            I agree. That is why I Ike it in Canada, but these are the same things that have been cited over and over by those who blame the rise in gun violence on ‘social decay’ (and why I put the words social decay in quotation marks)

          • Johnny Rhubarb

            yeah I understand, that’s not what I meant. I think I would love living in Canada

  • Are the same people boycotting this site and the bike companies also boycotting alcohol companies and junk food and news media outlets? Heart disease is the biggest killer in the USA due to vascular disease and diabetes. Alcohol is a huge killer in liver disease/drunk driving. It seems we are letting the sensationalism by the news media of these tragic acts to glorify these killers and drive a political agenda. Maybe the true solve is passionately caring for those that have no one. Maybe if someone would care for these kids/people in a genuine way they wouldn’t feel the need to take out anger on masses. Doesn’t this site support that greater message?

    I agree with many others we can destroy a lot of good people in trying to prevent a few bad ones from doing something bad. I don’t have the answer but boycotting this site feels way off the mark. I can definitely support some kind of gun reform but the irony and hypocrisy of our decision making in who we boycott and who we don’t leaves a need for inner reflection and focus on matters that effect everyone not just the hot popular political topic being over exposed by the news media outlets.

    • Mark Rothschild

      Fake-FOX TROLL ALERT!!!

  • Mark Rothschild

    Was going to say something about La-La Pierre,” Dancing on the Graves of our Children”..but..”If I ride a Mormom Bike, can I Marry 9,FAT-Bikes”???

  • Hunter Armstrong Brankamp

    Thank you. Plain and simple. Thank you. For speaking honestly about the implications of jumping on a bandwagon movement that’s not grounded in rational thought. Guns are NOT the problem, but rather an unfortunate symptom of a rampant mental health epidemic.

    Compassion and understanding of the REAL root problem is needed, which means taking the vastly more difficult road of asking the questions, but more importantly speaking the difficult truth that boycotting the NRA at the expense of an unfortunate business tie-in and subsequent rich and vibrant cycling publication, is the reality of the situation.

    The Radavist, in putting your OWN values first above a pervasive self-aggrandizing freight train of a belief system, highly tainted by media influence, you are staying true to your own causes and operating in faith that is so absolutely needed. You have a reader for life.

    • zosim

      Everywhere in the western world has problems with mental health. Name one other country where this manifests itself it in the form of mass killings? Not saying nobody should address the health issues but suggesting it is the only reason for school/club/workplace killings is sticking your head in the sand. Guns are a significant part of the problem.

      • Hunter Armstrong Brankamp

        Hi Zosim,

        Thanks for your points and your calm and respectful response, it’s much appreciated.

        If I could speak to the level of “certainty” you paint in your own views.

        I first would like to point out the difference in the level emotional difficulty in considering a point like my own as potentially true vs. your point, which falls very closely in-line with mainstream thought.

        If I could pose a question: When has positive change ever come easily? Let’s apply the mental and emotional implications to our points. The solution you present received 4 upvotes while mine, I’m sure, is fairly unpopular. I’m wondering how many people gravitate towards the thinking you’ve offered because it “feels” right based upon the rhetotic we’ve been inundated to respond to and told to believe as true?

        Likewise, with my line of thought being tougher to swallow, therein arises a far greater opportunity for deeper discussion, albeit feeling greater feeling of discomfort with the potential for truth along my lines.

        You see, there is a great divide forming in between peoples needs to feel comfortable and their ability to consider other viewpoints. If the answer is so simple as “guns are the problem,” then eliminating all the guns would be the answer right? Have you considered what eliminating EVERY gun would entail, or even an impactful reduction? It would require forceful takeover, and you can’t possibly think that is even remotely safe for our collective rights as U.S. citizens. I’ll say again, I’m a pro-gun person who also wants the violence to stop, does that exist as possible in your mind?

        Consider this: I absolutely believe in the heavy restriction of gun regulations. It should be difficult to obtain a gun, very difficult. Do I acknowledge mental health issues exist elsewhere? Of course. But in order for your point to hold any weight, you’d need to provide data about the prevalence of mental health concerns in other countries versus their gun regulations or lack thereof.

        You paint your point as “certain” and “final,” because it feels comfortable to be “right,” but this is a very quick path to eliminating any possibility of productive conversation from happening, which is the absolute underlying downfall of this emerging “identity politics” epidemic. I.e. “I believe” guns are a significant part of the problem, is what your response should have been. The Radavist is spot on with their decision to continue to sell these brands.

        • detleftwood

          Sorry, just because you say something that doesn’t make sense doesn’t make it deeper, more profound, or really anything other than non-sensical. It’s tough to swallow the way something you shouldn’t eat is tough to swallow. The entire world, except for American gun supporters, sees things in exactly the opposite way as you do and have taken measures to restrict gun ownership. The direct result of all that has been the great disparity between gun violence in America and everywhere else. The data is out there, no one is required to do your homework for you, the burden of proof is on you if you want to make fallacious arguments. But it is interesting that you equate the Radavist’s statement againt the boycott with support for selling guns though. Just goes to show who and what kind of logic finds a friend in Watson’s position.

        • detleftwood

          Just out of curiosity, what do you think any of this has to do with identity politics?

  • black cat bicycles

    man, this situation is sticky. i don’t think anybody comes out of it clean, as our world is beyond what one could consider entangled.
    if you are going to boycott vista, your lbs, the radavist, and other outlets, make sure to throw into that pile your local chain grocery store, your local chain hardware store, et all. bell is a huge company that sells a massive amount of simple bike locks, tubes, tires, helmets and more through these stores. in fact, that probably makes more money for vista than all the vr90s ever sold.
    as a society we’ve asked for all the convenience that a deeply interconnected world gives us, but often overlook the tentacles that keep it all together or pull it apart. this is a very complex issue, even if a boycott of vista sounds like a good, easy way to make your voice heard. even a true boycott of vista outdoor is a lot more complicated than not buying a giro helmet.

    • detleftwood

      It’s actually just that simple, don’t buy any of their products, like giro helmets. What is the complexity here? How exactly is a boycott of vista a lot more complicated? And I’ll tell you the one person who comes out clean, squeaky clean and not covered in blood: the person who doesn’t support weapons manufacturing or any of their subsidiaries. Does your local grocery store directly fund domestic terrorism? Then yeah, you should boycott them, because, well, you don’t want to directly fund domestic terrorism. Sounds like you have a really good point about Bell as well. Maybe Bell should be boycotted. Good thing it is being boycotted.

      • black cat bicycles

        bell is under the vista umbrella. if you’re going to extend your boycott to those who distribute, advertise for, or in anyway support vista products, then yes, you’re going to have to dig deeper than your local lbs. i think your choice of the words “directly fund” is where the rubber hits the road. how many degrees of separation is ok? 1 degree? 2 degrees? 3?

        and while we’re at it, dig a bit deeper into the other products you are using as well. for starters, by participating in an online conversation you are tangentially supporting the mining of coltan, mined in africa under slave conditions, for use in the circuit boards that bring your comment to me.

        see? you’re starting to stink a bit yourself.

        as i mentioned in my earlier comment, our world is so interconnected, there is blood on all our hands.

        if we’d like to boycott these brands for these reasons, go ahead. i think we should have every right, and perhaps we are more than entitled to do so, to make our point and our voices heard, but don’t think that because we won’t be buying next years giro product, we are squeaky clean. the world is far too grey for that. there are bad repercussions for every choice we make. thinking otherwise is naive.

        i think we are on the same side here, let’s not confuse things anymore than we need to. i’ve done (what i hope is) my best to limit my stink, but i also think people should know what they are signing up for and make decisions based on more complete information, hence the comment.

        maybe you are hecka more smarter-er than me, but i see a complicated world, with few black and white questions or answers.

        • Thank you, Todd.

        • detleftwood

          Let’s say you go kill someone. You would then be guilty, or stink as you say, and you would feel guilty. Then the next day, when someone messes with you and you want to kill them too you say to yourself: “I should definitely not kill that person. It is completely clear to me that I should not do that because there is already blood on my hands from yesterday and I feel guilty.” “I know,” you tell yourself, “that even though I am already involved in all sorts of things that are bad and that I am already guilty, it is nevertheless completely clear that to further do something bad is not good.” One can be caught up in all sorts of bad, stinky situations and still have a clear moral compass without claiming, or even needing to be, a perfect person. In fact, no one is not somehow involved in stinky business, as you rightly point out with the zoltan example. What that fact has to do with making ethical decisions, or how one allows that to cloud one’s judgment or even create a kind of complexity where suddenly one can’t even do anything, well, that is something else entirely. I think this analogy kind of applies to the choice to not support weapons manufacturers even though one is otherwise a completely guilty person in all sorts of other ways.

          • black cat bicycles

            i think you have missed my point completely. i am not defending giro, vista, bell, mr watson, those not protesting, or those protesting. what i have mentioned is that one should endeavor to engage in something like a boycott as evenhandedly (therefore most effectively) as possible. if one is going to burn their giro shoes, and wring their hands over the radavist’s supposed complicity, yet not press the other advertising and income streams to vista, via usa today, your local hardware store, local drugstores, etc, than the goal cannot be accomplished. one should decide how many degrees of separation is tolerable to them, vote with their dollars, and be directly vocal to those organizations why (not in the comments section of a bicycle site) they are being boycotted and have a clear path of “redemption” for them. with no way to make it back into one’s good graces, there is no point in them making any changes whatsoever. if your goal is to smash the nra, well, not buying a helmet is only the tiniest of first baby steps.

            when one oversimplifies a situation or a perceived foe, offers wildly inaccurate analogies, and speaks in hyperbole, as you’ve done, one is practicing exclusionary politics. exclusionary politics shuts down conversation and debate. common ground is found through nuance. we need common ground to smash the nra. for each and every hysterical liberal there is a stuck-in-the-past conservative willing and able to counter your boycott, and send money to the nra. that needs to end. the way to end it is through inclusion and common ground, not eating our own and wedgeing ourselves into smaller and smaller groups.

            this is not easy shit. we will have to compromise and do things that will make us feel gross because we have been playing this “my way or the highway” game for a generation. oversimplification, sound-bite politics, and playing to the fringes have gotten us here, with wayne lapierre and donald trump as only the inevitable answer to what we’ve all been asking for.

            no one is, or will be, clean. don’t fool yourself.

          • Public_Parent

            I think the above covers it.

          • detleftwood

            I think you’ve missed my point as well. What exactly is complicated or not easy about any of this? How does one evenhandedly engage with a boycott other than boycotting? Of course one should boycott anything and everything else worth boycotting. Everyone should do that. Obviously not buying a helmet is a tiny step, no one is saying its the biggest step either. (And I suppose we both find ourselves commenting in the comment section of a bicycle site for that matter.) I also don’t think you can simply the situation enough. The situation must be simplified to allow people to see their way to the right choice when there are voices claiming everything is “so complicated”: there is a company that sells weapons, there are sooo many dead people because of them, there is another company that is their subsidiary. There is a boycott of that subsidiary. One should obviously support that boycott given the above. I can’t imagine having common ground with anyone who thinks otherwise about this incredibly clear situation. I would certainly not want to have common ground with those who support continuing funding for the weapons industry. But what is this common ground exactly? Do you think it is a sound-bite to say that it is important to support the boycott of a company that directly supports the NRA, mere weeks after a horrible mass shooting of children? Is “mass shooting of children” hyperbole? What “fringe” do you think I am on? My exact point is that no one is clean, but that also doesn’t mean you can hide behind the sheer amount of dirt out there, personally or otherwise, by way of justifying not taking decisive steps to change things (not that you are necessarily doing that). But then it’s worth asking, since we are debating the point and you are a framebuilder, right: Do you support the boycott?

          • black cat bicycles

            i’ll take your transparent bait and expect the holy denunciations.

            as a frame builder, i have no professional dog in the fight. i don’t sell their products as they don’t relate to my business at all. i don’t sell bullets, or guns, and i make zero money off of their business. do i (or will i) support in any way what vista does in word or deed? hell no. i have said (a couple times?) that i support anyone who wants to take this on in any serious way.

            do i stand by my very close friends who work there, through what can only be described as a personal crisis for each of them? hell yes, i do.

            this office of vista outdoor, housing giro, bell, blackburn, etc, is where i live. the people who work there are good friends of mine. have been good friends for a long time, and have supported me when i didn’t deserve it. they make my town a better place to live. a bunch of them have left vista because of the obvious. some people haven’t because they have families to raise in one of the most expensive places to live in the world. one of those good friends needs the great insurance other local places don’t offer because his daughter was born with a birth defect. do i blame him? no. it’s his decision to make, not mine. i’m glad it’s black and white for you. it’s not so easy for some, and that doesn’t make them bad people. in fact, some of the best people i know work there, stuck in a bad situation, that only very recently got bad when vista purchased brg. if my empathy for people who are caught in the middle qualifies me for your boycott, nuts.

            yes. you speak in hyperbole and false analogies to make things easy to digest and judge. simple analogies require false assumptions, which leads to poor decisions, but it feels good to have the moral high ground. every wise human, religious and secular, from the beginning of time warns about taking it, but still we do it. the moral high ground is relative, my friend. when you find yourself on the losing end of a bad situation, i hope you haven’t pushed everyone away because of their lack of purity.

            if we find no common ground with our perceived boogeymen, then we are destined to repeat the same shit over and over and over. it’s what we’ve been doing for the last generation and will continue to see as long as we’re stuck in this feedback loop. the only way out of this is empathy. it’s the only thing that washes any of this mess away. you seem to be having trouble finding common ground with people that have the same agenda and the same outcomes in mind. how do you think it’s going work with anyone else?

            we seem to be stuck in that aforementioned loop. by all means have the last word, i’ve had mine.

  • m f

    I’m pretty sure that OD Giro product will collect dust at the Angry Catfish and others shops too. The LBS industry thrives on the theory that you should ‘take care of brands that take care of you’ (Frostbike 2018). If brands come within 2 degrees of separation from organizations like the NRA, I don’t see how the LBS industry can align with them. Especially when plenty of great alternative product exists – brands they can represent without holding their breath.

  • TravisT

    The only effective action in the attempt to restrict access to guns has been on the commercial side rather than public policy side, either through companies getting ahead of public opinion (Dick’s deciding not to sell a type of gun) or reacting to public pressure (REI dropping Vista products). It’s empirically wrong to say legislation will change the level of access to guns in this country. Lobbyists like the NRA stop public policy from being enacted.

    “Some of my friends were in that Death Star.” Is not much of a excuse for not doing the right thing.

    • ““Some of my friends were in that Death Star.” Is not much of a excuse for not doing the right thing.” that would imply my friends at Giro work for the NRA. Poor comparison, IMO.

      • TravisT

        Do the right thing son

        • Do what you feel is the right thing? Or what I feel is the right thing? Or what society deems as the right thing? The right thing is subjective.

          • TravisT

            I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything gun related as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed that’s gun related. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.

          • detleftwood

            The right thing is subjective? You are hiding. Do the right thing means stop supporting arms industrialists! There is no grey room here. Kids are dying, your website generates ad revenue for Vista!

      • Andrew Deane

        No, but where is the line drawn? How many degrees of separation is ok before we ignore the fact that the parent company is a big-time funder of the pro-gun lobby and NRA? I feel bad for the people at Giro if they are truly non-gun bike types with no part in this fight, but the greater good is limiting Vista’s reach. Not buying Giro/Bell/Camelback is really one of the few ways to exert pressure if you are not a gun owner/consumer.

        • David Schindehette

          There is not a lot of degrees of separation for a lot of companies or a lot of people commenting on this thread. REI has a large portion of their 401k plan with Vanguard Funds. Vanguard is a large investor in Vista and other firearms companies. Maybe put pressure on REI to divest themselves of there funds as they are having a lot bigger impact on the gun industry than not buying a Giro helmet.

          • detleftwood

            That would be a good idea as well. Obviously both are not mutually-exclusive. The cycling industry is tied up in the arms industry just like a lot of other sectors. One wants to see all of it end.

          • David Schindehette

            I think that is were a lot of people (and companies) will draw the line. It is easier to pick the low hanging fruit but making the effort and changing your 401k is a little different. BlackRock and Vanguard did stand up to the Oil companies years ago calling for them to be more socially responsible and it worked.
            I believe in Giro and the people working there and will always support them. They are all good people and do more for the cycling industry and the local scene than most ever will. I now they are owned by Vista but that wasn’t their choice and now they are being punished for it.

      • detleftwood

        Yo, how can you not see this? Your friends at Giro literally work for the company that supports the NRA! It’s not about their feelings or morals or whether they hate guns or not. There is no getting around this fact: the employees of Giro are structurally positioned, whether they like it or not, to do one thing and one thing only: create surplus value for their employer, who does the same for their employer, and then ultimately that is a Vista which takes all that money and does what they want with it, which is donating to and supporting the NRA. Giro is literally part of arms manufacturing once you stop talking about feelings and all that.

  • veryreverend

    Kudos John for sticking your neck out and providing your perspective, knowing that it’ll earn you some flak. Just to elaborate a bit on the activities of these companies being targeted by this boycott:
    Bell Joyride: “The Bell Joy Ride is designed to inspire and enable female mountain bikers with regular, structured, fun and social rides that appeal to all levels of riders. We enable female riders to enjoy both challenge and camaraderie in a non-race oriented environment.”
    Bell Built Trail Grant: “The Bell Built grant program strives to identify, fund, and ultimately create new, accessible trails within bike communities. The program seeks to inspire new and existing riders to come together for their community, learn what it takes to fund and build a legal riding destination, and ultimately build a trail never ridden before.”
    Giro Grinduro (California): All proceeds go to Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, a non-profit organization building trails and boosting tourism in the economically-depressed areas of Qunicy CA.
    From these and other activities over the years, to me this is ample evidence that Bell & Giro have a larger mission in mind, doing what they can in the bike sector to promote stewardship of the environment, gender equality, and battling poverty, all of which I can fully get behind. The positions of their parent company are an entirely different matter, and I would love to think that somehow I could influence them. However, this boycott seems entirely ineffectual & naive, since as a holding company Vista will simply unload any assets that are underperforming and keep on doing business as they always have. In the meantime, Bell & Giro will be significantly damaged and these laudable programs affected or even eliminated. No, I’ll not be boycotting, and yes I’ll continue to give these brands — and the Radavist — my support and business.
    To those who claim that boycotts are the only remaining tactic, I’d encourage you to try — and think — harder. If this is truly a matter that you care deeply about, then perhaps take some of the stridency and energy put into these misdirected, defeatist posts and use that to apply pressure on your elected officials, or post up on pro-gun forums to engage debate, or send a check to Moms Demand Action, or take a trip to NRA HQ in Fairfax and make some noise. Such actions are more difficult and require more effort, but ultimately contribute far more to moving the dial on this problem than effete “opting-out,” particularly when the target is so far-removed from the source.

  • James Liepolt

    Thanks John for your statement.

    I’m conflicted about this as well. Giro and Bell have long been two of my favorite brands, and I have no desire to boycott either. But, at the same time I do believe that a dollar spent on Giro will benefit Vista, which in turn will put more bullets on the street and more money in the NRA’s pocket. What I hope Giro et al. eventually does, would be to draft a statement coming out against the gun lobby, and choose a worthy anti gun violence organization to donate to. If the corporate structure is truly separate then there shouldn’t be a problem doing this as it would prove their desire to be part of a solution.

    lastly on an unrelated note. I feel it is offensive to call this a mental health problem. The people that commit these crimes may very well have some mental illness, but the majority of people with mental illness in this country would never do anything as violent as the atrocities we’ve seen recently. These events are caused mostly by white men who have been filled with hatred and made a calculated decision to act. High powered weapons (not just assault rifles, but any weapon designed for combat) are the fundamental tools that make these acts possible They need to be regulated.

  • Mike

    yes! boycott giro! and bell! and other brands that serve a sport literally 98% of the population and 99.9% of insane gun nuts already think is a joke and roll coal on you for participating in! that will show them.

    (people actually believe this)

  • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

    It’s like boycotting Lady Gaga. No meaningful end, and the fans get confused as in “why?”. Boycotting safety equipments to reduce guns? Let’s step back for a minute, ATK (vista’s granddad) is a defense industry. While it manufactures ammunition for the military, it also makes fuel and satellite elements for the space industry so global communication (like GPS and internet?) and future space voyages can happen. Boycotting positve, aspirational brands like Giro & Bell (and Radavist!) is akin to boycotting positive aspirational organization like NASA or SpaceX because $1 spent in rocket fuel is $1 spent into “guns and ammo”. Though that’s not how it works in business finance (sigh), sudden emotional trauma and the ‘urge’ to respond can easily sway one to over-simplify the context. In the meantime, we should focus on the most critical issue; the NRA and it’s dangerously divisive rhetoric.

    • TravisT

      Your deflection to an aerospace boycott doesn’t address a commercial boycott to affect corporate policy regarding gun access (eg Dick’s, Walmart, REI, LL Bean)

      • No but it points out the vast network and reach of the reality of this situation and I think, puts people who want to simply boycott one small sector of this organization on the defensive because they’re not willing to sign it all over, just the section they’re comfortable with.

        • TravisT

          Or at least aware of. As a principle when making buying decisions I’m perfectly comfortable in not giving money to companies who’s practices I don’t agree with. A good decision is not the enemy of a perfect decision in this case.

          • Totally. I agree. My point is, all it takes is a little more peeling away at the layers to reveal more and more.

          • detleftwood

            It sounds like you might be on the brink of something like a dawning political consciousness. Indeed, there are many layers, indeed there is always more and more corruption and deplorable activities at the very heart of the things we thought were so wonderful, like democracy, or cycling, for example. The real point is to not use that as a justification for complacency. The fact that you can see many layers of evil does not mean that you should ignore them, or throw your hands up in the air saying Oh No, It’s All So Complicated. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should ignore the evil right in front of your face, which is your complicity in supporting Vista.

        • thepinkservbot

          Mr. Watson, have you considered the possibility that there are far more people willing to sign it all over than you might be aware of?

        • thepinkservbot

          In fact, dare I suggest that the Trump presidency is itself a symptom of a lot of people being totally willing to sign ALL of it over?

      • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

        If the expectation is to affect retailer’s corporate policy regarding gun access, wouldn’t all around firearm boycott be more direct? The logic in commercially boycotting auxilliary, non-related segment to make a blanket statement about gun-access specifically is too far removed IMO. I have to ask, if the boycott is an attempt for an answer to an ethical matter/question. If it is, there are plenty other means to regulate and discuss firearm corporate policy. The commercial market – I assure you, is not the litmus test for the change you hope to effect. As boycotters stopped considering Giro/Bell purchases, thousands of firearms enthusiast are now panic-buying and creating a surge for demands. Only then we’ll realize that our ‘helmet boycott’ sarifice is actually not at all related to where the problem lies.

    • thepinkservbot

      Or maybe the problem is capitalism?

      • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

        lol @ your username! are you a russian-bot? but jokes aside the problem is and always will be greed (gluttony & pride comes with it sometimes). Capitalism is just an enabling system. There can be greedy element in socialism and other system that can f*** with the well being of the people too.

        • thepinkservbot

          well yes, but socialism and other systems are not the singular driving force of American culture, destroying social bonds and working people to death the way Capitalism is, so I’m not particularly concerned with the fully hypothetical evils of socialism and other systems.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            Sounds like you’re implying that capitalism is the driver of negative consequences tearing up American social wellness. You are right. But its also the driving force of accelerated innovation and economical growth, and it influences globally. If US democracy is still intact, it should be the visible hand that regulates the macroeconomy of this country. But its not, and that’s why we’re seeing struggles in Washington over multiple social issues against corporate interests. It’s going to go on, and that’s why consumer feedback (like boycotting) can work, ONLY IF it is relevant to the subject matter. In this case, we are forgetting the other loads of Americans who are whole-heartedly provides positive consumer feedback (buying guns in droves due to fear) at their local gun stores! not REI, Dicks, etc. That had happened over and over, and that’s why I don’t see ‘bell boycott’ affecting the bottom line meaningfully. Best case scenario, VO splits the outdoor segment, and that’s a bargain goal if what we are concerned about is firearm regulation.

      • m f

        The solution is rooted in capitalism. Buy a different product. VO made their bed, its up to you if you want to jump in it.

        • thepinkservbot

          I bought a different product and then it turned out the company was owned by Lockheed Martin. Whoops. Now what?

          • m f

            You own it, so, whatever you want

          • thepinkservbot

            ? Why did I bother buying a different product if the effect, my unwittingly supporting something I found reprehensible, ended up being the same?

          • m f

            Sounds like you’re trying to participate in socially responsible purchasing, but you’re just bad at it. Learn from your mistakes, educate yourself, and I’m sure you’ll get better. Keep hustling and stay in school…

          • thepinkservbot

            Oh? Was everyone who bought a Camelbak hydration pack or a Bell helmet just bad at participating in socially responsible purchasing, too?

            Maybe there’s no such thing as “socially responsible purchasing”? :)

          • RHE

            Buying / not buying of material goods is a diversion, a sideshow from the bigger issue of deal with the murder by gun insanity head-on. As consumers, we are all complicit no matter how ‘cleanly’ we think we live. Anyone with a 401k, anyone who works for a dogood nonprofit with a TIAA cref plan – if we measure by the ‘pure/impure’ metric – has blood on their hands. Unless you live like Ted Kasinsky, you contribute your monies (and Ted wound up making some bad decisions; i do not suggest any piece of him as a role model).

            So // set the boycott issues aside temporarily and demand change from your [so-called] elected officials. I respectfully suggest that the best model for activism was ACTUP. We didn’t back down then, and we should NOT have backed down with regard to guns so many times already.

            What we buy / don’t buy is how our consumerist corporatist oligarchy diverts the conversation. What you buy is not really who you are, what you buy or dont is not activism. ACT UP.

            I’ve been a long time reader here, and I’m an old cyclist without a beard [50 years on the bike, slowly)

    • detleftwood

      Sigh? Can you deny that overall capital gains in a subsidiary do not benefit the umbrella company? Every single argument brought against Giro and Bell and Radavist, i.e., that they support the weapons industry both through revenue and ideology, MUST also be brought against NASA or anyone else whose investments and operations are tied up in blood money. It is precisely recourse to their “aspirational” status, or “how much those good guys down there at Giro don’t support guns” that fuels the inability to see that this is a structural issue based on capital flows and the ability to restrict them, to whatever extent we can. You can be as aspirational as you want, like Bill Gates for example, and still participate in some of the most evil things in the world. Doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for your own actions and the company you keep.

      • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

        Im going to throw a super cheesy one at you :) But it is the reason why a single aspirational brand can change the course of an entire industry’s ideology from within.

        An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

        “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

        The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

        The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

        • detleftwood

          Well I guess we should stop feeding the arms industry through its subsidiary companies then.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            You are free to stand by your conviction Mr. Wood.

  • tylernol

    how many people actually work at Giro? Not that many I suspect. I would wager fewer than the number of children killed by the latest gun violence in Florida. As far as I can tell, Giro, Camelbak, etc are typical sports brands that design/specify products that are made elsewhere. This is not a knock on that business model, but it is the reality of business today, and the reality is that most of these brands are purely marketing and are very sensitive to public perception. If Vista wants to preserve their investment in these brands, they have to quickly act and do either one of two things: divest/sell/spin them off, or divest their gun business holdings.

    • It’s a bigger company than you would think – more than 17 and then you’ve got the reps, the sponsored athletes, etc. It’ll be interesting to see what comes from all this.

      • rularula

        Let’s avoid comparing murdered children to Giro employees, shall we?

        • detleftwood

          Yeah, this is shameful and disgusting. Watson: holy moly, I know you use your bad writing skills as some kind of defense, but really, did you even read Tylernol’s post or think about what you would write in response?

          Tylernol, admittedly, does not have a great argument. Saying that there are more murdered children than employees at Giro is supposed to say that the cause of the murdered children is more important than the likes of Giro and the gun lobby. This is a kind of moral calculus that I think most people would find distasteful, but at least he’s making an argument on behalf of the murdered children and not weapons.

          But then you, Watson, say that actually there are more people that work at Giro than murdered children, that there are more than 17. So we should support Giro because there’s more of them than the murdered children in Florida?!


          Let’s be really clear, because I don’t think you actually understand this yet: your friends at Giro are not more important than the children in Florida. I know that might be shocking to you because there is no way to say that’s grey or complicated or full of many layers or whatever, but there you go. Of course, one could even counter your unbelievably offensive comment with the same unbelievably offensive logic: it’s long since been more than 17 children who have been victims of gun violence, and Florida undoubtedly will not be the end of this mass death either.

          Again, I encourage you to actually think critically about what you want to say in a public forum and do the right thing. Rescind your statement. Support the boycott. Listen to all your readers who find all this wrong.

        • I didn’t. Tyler did.

  • TheGerman

    Buying products from a company that funds the NRA in its lobbying efforts against gun control is something I ethically can’t support. I will not buy any more Giro, Bell, Camelbak, Blackburn products, including those co-branded by Rapha as long as Vista Outdoor supports the NRA. I hope John Watson takes the right decision to stop any collaboration with these brands until this changes. The Radavist was part of my daily reading, but I won’t come back until this changes. I am also immediately making a statement on the few Giro products I own to clarify my objection.

  • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

    Bell/Camelbak/Giro/Bolle/etc. are organizations of a handful hundreds at most. But remember the positive impact these companies had over the years for millions of individuals in the community and sport they serve, and to an extent, all the lives they ACTUALLY saved! Some brands, take Giro for example, went as far as creating a culture within the community by sponsoring positively charged events like Grinduro – that’s the kind of spirit these groups have. And yes, they accomplished that by purely marketing the good message. The Radavist had been a proxy to this positivity for years, amplifying the good, and kudos for standing by that pure, unadulterated spirit, I hope these brands stand by you for a long time to come. The recent negative fly-by is invalid, came unjustified (no one even close to supporting the NRA or its toxic message) and will soon be forgotten. The greatness that was built and accomplished over decades will not tarnish in a day of surface, misguided slander.

    • Also, Amazon and Apple support the NRA by broadcasting their tv channel on their streaming services, by advertising on right wing news channels like Breitbart. I hope everyone is also looking to boycott their iPhones, Macbooks and Prime subscriptions because… well. You know.

      Reading worth everyone’s time:

      Not deflecting here, I just found the articles interesting.

      • thepinkservbot

        I think you’re both overestimating the energy of this boycott against VO and severely, SEVERELY underestimating the amount of criticism/energy that has been directed at Amazon and Apple for a multitude of things. Like… FOXCONN?

        • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

          “Will people pursue the boycott of these companies with the same energy or choose to ignore because of the convenience factor?” that nailed it. I am personally more concerned about Apple-Youtube/Google-Amazon/Twitter being the medium of seriously harmful messaging under the umbrella of the 1st amendment. Can’t yell fire in the theater if there is no fire. It’s one thing to stand for the 2nd amendment, its quite another to be exclusive and demonize others. Bu tat the same token, I feel like the moves to boycott unrelated brands or point fingers is the opposite of an inclusive approach to a mature discussion.

          • thepinkservbot

            Should mature discussion be prioritized?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            Yes, definitely.

          • thepinkservbot

            What about the possibility of “mature discussion” being seen as tolerance, or the very least, an inference that the issue at hand is not a life-and-death matter?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            mature discussion is my inference to a considered, objective discussion including the holistic context and parties of the subject matter without resorting to narrative framing. It should have a concrete goal in the end whereas point of views are measured against that. The issue at hand IS life-and-death, but I’m afraid we’re in the middle of a confusing narrative noises that detracts from even isolating the crux of the issue.

          • thepinkservbot

            Would you describe the tone of discussion around gun rights 10 years ago as “more mature” compared to how it is in this given moment?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            10 years ago, no. But counting the Clinton administration, yes of course. The objective was met. The legislation against semi-auto assault rifles and instituting 10-round magazine limit? That’s concrete progress back in the 90s. We are now almost 30 years later and our president is suggesting that we arm teachers? and corporations are JUST NOW are scrambling their focus group to be politically in tune? Plus a single agenda, inconsiderate narrative framed by the NRA that has little to do with neither protecting the 2nd amendment nor public wellness, and has a lot to do with perverting the idea of sporting firearms ownership to defense firearms ownership in the hands of civilians using zombie-fear rhetorics. When it comes down to it, Americans has too much guns, glorified the use or ownership of it, and the machismo culture in itself must stop. VO doesn’t gain its biggest cash from the outdoor segment, and yet we are punishing the outdoor segment simply because they were acquired last year as an overall diversification strategy to move forward to something else BESIDES guns and ammo? please tell me we can be better than this.

          • thepinkservbot

            Then let’s count the Clinton administration. You say that objective was met — if it was, why are we here?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            that legislation expired and the following Bush administration didn’t vote for it. So the legislative progress was halted.

          • thepinkservbot

            So then, it seems like mature discussion has its limits. This being an era without mature discussion, but seeing corporations as large as Walmart and DICK’s Sporting Goods responding to criticism by outright removing firearms (in whole or in part) from their store, couldn’t one get the impression that it mature discussion is impotent?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            IMO, when the subject at stake is about ethics and public wellness, no. Given past precedence, corporate policies may respond to critics, but the issue at hand still stands. The other side of the market will simply not buy at DIcks or walmart, and will now purchase more elsewhere out of fear. Semi auto assault weapons are STILL available in any mom-n-pop gun store. The firearm regulation conversation is about principle and need to be adressed at the highest level and implemented as a law. The critics is now facing actual market demands for guns, and the other side can ALSO vote with their wallet. That’s an impasse only a government ‘ban’ can handle.

          • thepinkservbot

            How big is the other side of the market? Let’s talk less about “access to guns” and more “how gun companies are going to be impacted.” If all the big corporations stop buying guns, what does that do to a gun company’s bottom line, and can they survive at the size they are purely on mom and pop sales?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            Hard question…VO is slightly different bc they also own Federal ammo. Its biggest customer is the US government for military and LE. That’s a hard distinction as ammunition is a more costly consumable commodity. For large firearms manufacturers only (like ruger or Smith& Wesson), I can’t postulate, but I’m sure its been declining in popularity for years, though other smaller ones survive as purely mom and pop sales as novelty firearms. So in the end, it may also just be the machination of mass manufacturing of weapons going awry, and no one really understood why it needs to stop and how to stop it.

          • thepinkservbot

            Sure, but if VO starts finding that their consumer firearms business is beginning to atrophy, why would they maintain it at its current pace with funds from their revenue-providing business?

            “Mass manufacturing of weapons” is a great point, and I would say that the idea is a whole lot less tenable for the consumer market once you restrict mass DISTRIBUTION of weapons. What’s the point of being able to pump out so many products in such a small amount of time if the outlets aren’t there to move them? Who’s gonna buy a Walmart-sized batch of guns if Walmart isn’t picking up the phone?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            “What’s the point of being able to pump out so many products in such a small amount of time if the outlets aren’t there to move them? Who’s gonna buy a Walmart-sized batch of guns if Walmart isn’t picking up the phone?” Yeah, we are probably a lot closer to the lobbyist ‘motive’ from here.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            But if I am VO, that would motivate me to diversify the consumer market and streamline the firearm business to government only…

          • thepinkservbot

            And then less consumer guns get produced. Ding.

            And that’s only ONE thing. What about the ambient effects of this? I’m a homosexual, one thing that helped me through the initial periods of Dealing With That as a kid is watching TV and seeing Pride Parades and certainly seeing people out and proud, but also seeing McDonald’s and Budweiser and Hewlett-Packard. I hate corporatism, I hate consumerism, but seeing that shit was the ultimate Tell as to whether or not society and people actually within their hearts considered it wrong to be gay, because if it REALLY was, there’s no way a company would allow their brand to be associated with the concept, not for the cynical interest of maintaining their image, and thus their revenue.

            Let’s look at the flip-side of that. You take the country’s BIGGEST retailer, both grocery and general, a store with a ubiquitous presence, that EVERYBODY shops at, that has a viscous reputation for shuttering any competing business, and suddenly, that company drops selling a product as if word got out there was listeria outbreak.

            What does that communicate?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            I get it. You need corporate policies to invalidate consumer behaviour and perception for the public good. If this was easy to do, it’ll be done a long time ago. Here in ‘Murica the people who purchases guns don’t look to walmart or REI as much as they do online, and if brick and mortar, maybe BassPro and Cabellas. I’m not deflecting, but I’d like you to see that we are preaching to our own choir and patting ourselves in the back. Walmart, the country biggest retailer, unfortunately was no longer the indicator to gun access for a long time. And nobody, I really mean nobody goes to REI to look for guns either. All the bell boycott doing is barely strengthening one archetype that is already standing opposite of the issue, and not engaging directly at the toxic cause; the NRA’s agenda combined with firearm manufacturer’s drive to profit.

          • thepinkservbot

            ? What’s motivating these changes to corporate policies if not consumer behavior and perception? And buddy, “easy” doesn’t enter into the equation — your idea of focusing restriction of access to guns through legislation is the REAL impossible thing. Nobody is going to be able to trace or collect this shit to the efficiency that would make going by your way, or rather ignoring others, worth it. The better plan is to keep defining the Gun Audience as a smaller and smaller portion of the country that, though quite active, doesn’t command nearly the size of the economy or potential customer base as they puff themselves up to be. POLITICALLY ACTIVE gun owners become perceived as too small of an audience to specifically cater to anymore, certainly not worth paying lobbyists over. This has nothing to do with impeding DIRECT ACCESS to guns, DIRECTLY, so whether or not Walmart or DICK’s (or REI?) and everything to do with market indicators and conditions.

            Are you an American? You sound like you don’t know any 2A guys.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            hi bot.
            “focusing restriction of access to guns through legislation is the REAL impossible thing”. Well this is today.

            “The better plan is to keep defining the Gun Audience as a smaller and smaller portion of the country that, though quite active, doesn’t command nearly the size of the economy or potential customer base as they puff themselves up to be.”
            Sure. Do you have a concrete plan to curb American apetite for guns? As a Californian, I’ve also lived in Nebraska, New Mexico, and Oregon long enough to know that guns are as much a part of anyone’s household item. You plan on evangelize-ing the millions of 2A supporters to diminish their lifestyle choices? I’d like to hear that.

            Also, do you realize that the biggest gun industry revenue isn’t even coming from the sales to civilians?

            Another thing, bot. Whether or not I am an American citizen has little to do with the basic humane principle I present. Fact that I am, and do know the industries and the people intimately – has a lot to do with acknowledging the nuances and reality on how to navigate around this mess.

          • thepinkservbot

            “Well this is today.”

            Great. Literal drop in the bucket and minimal impact to the problem at hand, for the reasons you did not quote.

            “You plan on evangelize-ing the millions of 2A supporters to diminish their lifestyle choices? I’d like to hear that.”

            Uh, homie, you better come up with an explanation of how the example in Florida you linked to isn’t far, far greater of an example of evangelizing 2A types.

            “Also, do you realize that the biggest gun industry revenue isn’t even coming from the sales to civilians?”

            Irrelevant to my point, if not outright supporting it. Oh, Ruger doesn’t even get most of their money from civvie sales? Why stick around in commercial sales if the space around them gets more expensive to maintain than it’s worth?

            “Whether or not I am an American citizen has little to do with the basic humane principle I present. ”

            What the fuck are you talking about.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            Wow bot, maybe I can’t find what you’re pointing out. Sounds like you’re going around and around this time.
            But seriously, you seem very easy to invalidate the success in passing a very important step for gun legislation cornerstone in Florida today. That was a hell lot more concrete progress IMO.

            Also, legislation is not evangelization. It’s the law. “evangelizing” implies to a method to satisfy your desire to “define the gun audience as a smaller and smaller portion of the country”.
            To me, that sound no better than the NRA desiring to define “liberal” audience as an enemy to the 2A and what have you.

            And “homie” you don’t know what humane principle means? Come on.

          • thepinkservbot

            If the problem we’re trying to address is gun crime, this legislation has nothing to do with the guns that are already bought and owned, and the impact of this on mass shooters will be mitigated by, as you have said, the sheer ability to just go fuckin’ elsewhere. No impact on either unique aspect of the US, which is the number of guns already in existence and (more importantly) the culture around them.

            Perhaps the more accurate term, then, would be “radicalizing.” Approaching this legislatively is what does this, like for instance the panic buying that occurs under Democratic administrations. If you make that audience seem smaller and smaller, though, less presence in the places where we ALL go, well, then you change the culture.

            I don’t know what “humane principal” means in this context. It sounds like what you’re making is some sort of Libertarian argument about not respecting consumer agency, maybe? Personally, as a consumer, fuck the consumer.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            I hear you. Existing assault guns may be untouched by a legislation but without it the production continues. We may not impact gun crime, but it will reduce the possible amplification of mass damage. My original thought is that this boycott is a hypothetical solution to a very complex problem. There was a concrete solution to it, and we need to get back to it ASAP as step 1.

            What you are talking about next is enacting cultural change and shifting consumer behavior by diminishing instigating presence. I agree. Just like how the KKK was diminished in form, but somehow lives in spirit to this day. The question is, why is their worldview so hard to stomp? Because in order to culturally ‘convert’ a gun owner (or KKK member even), not only that we need to first remove the source of the instigator (the NRA for example) we must then engage, and EMPATHIZE in order to fully understand the very structure of their worldview, then educate/offer them an alternative activity. Without real commited engagement like this, forget any reconciliation.

            After that, only when demand for guns are so low for so long that the manufacturers will cut production and make something else. Until then, we are not going to change the consumer’s behaviour through stifling just that one manufacturer.

            This approach takes us somewhere else though, definitely beyond helmet boycott and more into social movements, outreach-rehabilitation program status and direct engagement with the NRA. If that’s what its really about, then I’ll buy it.

          • detleftwood

            So it’s ok if you contribute just a little bit to the arms industry, but not a lot?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            I’m thinking that you’re going for an absolutist stance. But face it, the firearms industry existed because the government needed it for war and profit. We all pay taxes for this. But as my personal stance, whether the arms industry should be capitalized at the cost of kids getting killed, absolutely not, nor here, nor elsewhere on the planet. That’s why I wrote to my state’s representative and senator Feinstein lengthily about the ethics of war profiteering and it’s morally devastating effect which is now reaching home. However, even at that I understand that the good that these umbrella corporation are supporting cannot be eclipsed by the bad. Even big corporations need a recourse in order to shift into something better in time.

          • detleftwood

            I guess I just can’t understand how anyone would support, even a little bit, weapons manufacturers when you just don’t have to. I think it is horrible that my taxes go to war and profit. What do you think the arms industry is going to shift into in time? Giro helmets?

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            “What do you think the arms industry is going to shift into in time? Giro helmets?” And why the hell not? That would really be awesome! Heckler and Koch, used to manufacture sewing machines before it was called into war production. Same with Husqvarna. I hope you’re not driving General Motors, Volkswagen or Mercedes products, because they’re for sure contributed and profiteered heavily during wars. Manufacturing facilities ARE flexible. Why can’t we entertain the potential to go the other way around?

            But let’s get at this one at a time – the issue is about arms industry that capitalizes on civilians. If its to continue to serve the American public demand for sporting guns, its use must come with zero-tolerance accountability. This is a radical, but discuss-able change in legislation for both sides of the parties. And yes, one can hope for a transformative era where gun industry eventually makes less guns and start making something else.
            The other, larger scheme of things – our taxes are not only paying for American war machine, but it’s also feeding multinational corporations globally. That’s a whole high level discussion worthy of another thread elsewhere.

      • detleftwood

        That’s actually textbook deflecting in the service of Ahadin’s textbook deflection above. What are you now arguing for?

        In your original post you have fallacious economic arguments that the companies in question don’t even matter to Vista, which is woefully naive. You also say they are just for “diversity,” which is correct, but for all the wrong reasons. They are indeed part of a diversification strategy, as such they are really important to any mega-company like Visa.

        Then you have spurious political arguments that even shade into the reactionary: boycotts don’t work, and only legislation does, so you say. Of course anyone who says that legislation is the answer at this point in Trump’s presidency, given the status of an increasingly jingoistic Congress and the issue of corporate lobbying, is delivering a very clear message: the status quo, including the situation that allows school shootings, is just fine with me.

        Now you are deflecting and saying: well you use an iphone so that means your guilty, so even while I’m guilty for supporting Giro, it isn’t as bad as your guilt for using iphones or Amazon or whatever. In sum, all of this shows what is called overdetermination, which is a textbook example not of deflection, but of someone who is feeling seriously divided about what their actual stance is.

        You can still support the boycott. You can still use your influence to help cycling politics down a better path than just its relentless consumerization. If you dropped Giro and Blackburn, everyone would support a reboot of this site. It would be a very human thing to do, to change your mind, to have listened, to have chosen the greater good over the limited interest of what is closest to you.

        • All I’m doing by pointing out the Amazon/Apple boycott is showing that the issue is bigger than a boycott of Giro. Your view of this being for the “greater good” is subjective to your beliefs as someone who doesn’t live in the US, far away from the issue. I’m here, in the same state as the issue. Right next to it and my beliefs are the result of that. It’s easy to be in Germany and command that I do as you say, but it’s not where my mind is right now.

          • detleftwood

            I’m from North Carolina, sound close enough to home for you? Aren’t you from NC? Thought I remember you saying that at one point (I’m a long-time reader.) Lived my whole life in NC, went to school there, still work there right now, will be back there soon enough. I grew up with a KKK shooting range in the woods right behind my house. Got dead friends (American ones, not that it matters) who would be here today if it weren’t for gun violence, been shot at myself. I’m straight up as much in this shit as anyone is, and have every right to speak out on behalf of the anti-gun lobby. But of course it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from if you have the ability to think critically about an issue. That’s the wonderful thing about education, it creates a universal, cosmopolitan public. By the way, even if I were German, I would still be right.

          • Your IP came from Germany, which usually means the person is in Germany. Apologies for assuming.

          • detleftwood

            I am in Germany, but I’m not German, I’m a North Carolinian. I flew here on an airplane.

          • Yes, I’m from NC and the same with all the other contextual stuff. My best friend shot his pregnant girlfriend and then shot himself. I hunted, but mostly with bows and arrows.

            You’re assuming one thing here: there is a right and a wrong. I don’t view the world that way anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned a lot over the past three years, but I try to see and engage with people, who have different opinions than mine and understand where they’re coming from. If you say “they’re wrong” “I’m right”, you don’t grow as a human.

            Being aggressive and honestly, kind of being an asshole in this whole conversation, people just want to shut you out. This whole thread was constructive – albeit heated – then you came in and changed the dynamic. I’ve received emails from people saying they’re afraid to chime in because of you.

            Is that really what this world and this discussion needs? Dominance? I’ve stayed out of a lot of the back and forth here, and stepped in on valid points…

          • detleftwood

            I am sorry if people are becoming afraid. And I’m not surprised if people want to shut out the things I am saying. This is a super scary debate. They should be scared. But you can’t just respond to Florida by saying we have to turn to our legislators. I know you know that is not realistic, given the overwhelming acquiescence of our legislature to Trump’s new state. That has to be on your radar, it has to be: the government is easily the scariest thing in America right now. This boycott is hopefully the beginning of one of the only real non-state responses to our culture of violence that we have yet had, and yet you are saying we should turn away from it. The only reason I have spent so much time and effort commenting here is that I understand that the Radavist has a wide readership, and enjoys the position of being an important organ of what is effectively the renaissance of American bike culture. I want to see a better politics for cycling in America, I had hoped it could start here. If my aggression, which is a targeted rhetorical move, is actually just making you or anyone too afraid to be pushed to think more critically about this debate, then I think I can say that I’ve made all the points I want to make and am done.

          • Keith Gibson

            This thread is rivaling the Epic Urban Racer Thread!

          • Matt Costuros

            I stopped renewing my amazon prime for other reasons. (Dislike of how they treat employees, emissions from shipping stuff to my door vs me walking to a store). So I’m ahead of the curve on boycotting amazon for their support of the NRA!

  • Richard Sachs

    John I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    • detleftwood

      So are you also going to issue a statement condemning everyone who is trying to boycott the arms industries?

      • Richard Sachs


        • detleftwood

          Why not? You explicitly condemn the boycott by supporting Watson’s statement here. You too represent an important voice in the industry.

          • Richard Sachs

            Since this ordeal began, my conversations have been directly with people at Giro, some of whom are my pals. I began using the brand’s items in 1985. To be honest, I’d never heard of VO until last week. I didn’t know Giro wasn’t Giro, but a subsidiary of another company. I am still digesting these facts, and contrasting my points of view about the relationship (many decades long here) with Giro against the news that VO is an entity whose leanings I have no synergy with. Maybe I can’t have it both ways, and won’t. But I’m not about to unring a 30+ year bell that quickly. Many people are, or do. I wonder if any of them have actually called Santa Cruz (or wherever the office telephone is) and asked these people, people invested in our sport, our trade, and who may be completely detached from the issue – asked them how they feel, or maybe what they’ll be doing to fight this battle.

            I wrote my own piece here two days ago. It’s similar to John’s, but maybe different:


          • Richard Sachs
          • detleftwood

            Unfortunately, the appeal to personal loyalties and the whole semantics of feelings and values and morals and tradition and all that can’t really make up for the fact that we have an objective reality here. This reality is called mass death by guns: Giro and the others are owned by Vista, and Vista supports mass death. There is nothing “sexy” about this fact, and it is not a fabrication of some internet-trolling-left wing media hot to jump on the bandwagon. It is sobering and sad (but definitely not surprising) to know that the cycling industry–which otherwise is the very definition of an anti-capitalist, pro-environmental way of life when it isn’t being mercilessly commodified as a lifestyle brand–is so deeply entwined in profiting off of this mass death. That is a real bummer. But now, only now, we all know this fact, and only thanks to the boycott. There is no going back just because of one’s personal ties. And there is really no point in asking anyone how they feel, calling up some office, or anything like that, unless their answer is that they will immediately be going on strike or quitting because of the pressure from the boycott. And we know that that is probably not going to happen, unless people like you and Watson stop trying to hamstring a legitimate political cause.

          • detleftwood

            I call on every frame builder and bicycle company out there to publicly state their position on the boycott.

          • Richard Sachs

            My position is that I am still listening to people at Giro to see what path they might take, hopefully (to suit my wishes) that they denounce or separate themselves from the company that owns them. They know I feel this way because it’s part of the conversation I’m having with them all week.

            Separately, the anonymity thing isn’t working for me. If you’d like to further engage, the screen name thing has to go.

            Thank you.

          • detleftwood

            My name is literally Detlef Wood. But, of course, my whole point is that this is a situation that has nothing to do with subjective personalities, opinions, or anything like that, but rather with real world choices in response to an objective conditions that we all now know about.

          • Richard Sachs

            Thank you

          • detleftwood

            Can’t really say you’re welcome. I’m literally trying to argue objectively–or at least shame you personally–that you should put your not insignificant social influence and money where your mouth is.

          • Richard Sachs

            That is why my first step (still being taken) was to go to the from door of Giro (via the telephone and email) and have the conversation with them that I am having. I am using my position (I won’t qualify it the way you did) as a concerned person and trying to affect change. When I sense that the conversation isn’t going the way that suits me, I’ll walk the other way.

            In the meantime, I’ll assume you’ve contacted these cycling brands and spoke with/emailed them? Or do they all of the sudden no longer matter, and you go directly to public outrage?

          • detleftwood

            Of course I go to public outrage. I immediately go to outrage. Everyone should be outraged. Outrage is the one thing this country has shown itself to be incapable of mustering and transmitting into a real effort, like a boycott. Why do you think America is positioned as it is today in the first place? I would argue that it’s because of complacency and precisely the absence of outrage. Are we not numb to the mass death of children? Are you suggesting that we shouldn’t be outraged at the mass death of children? Is it not a problem for you that our money as cyclists directly contributes to this? Are you saying that you aren’t outraged at the way you now appear to be personally connected to one of the most malicious organizations in the entire world via the proxy of Giro? Again, everyone should be outraged. Outrage is the affective motor of precisely the kind of resistance that begins and keeps boycotts, among other forms of opposition, going. Your rhetorical question “do you go directly to public outrage” is transparent and shows just how defensive you are about your political choice in this matter. And I would just say to anyone and everyone reading this: if you aren’t outraged and want to do anything and everything you can to stop events like Florida, including a boycott that represents the only real opposition that has ever taken place in America to such events, then you have no heart. We can only hope that this boycott will go wildcat, expanding beyond bicycle industry to an extent greater than it already has.

            The companies everyone is wringing their hands about–and especially the feelings of the people that staff them–are completely irrelevant when the sheer scale and magnitude of the contemporary crisis is examined. This is a structural issue. Emailing Giro is as irrelevant as emailing your failure of a congressman. Do you really think it matters if Kevin or Suzie at Giro care about the children? What would that actually do for anyone except emphasize what we have always known: to do the right thing, good people have to be prepared to make sacrifices.

          • Richard Sachs

            “Emailing Giro is as irrelevant as emailing your failure of a congressman.”

            I consider this issue as I do voting. I’d prefer to know as much as I can before I go to ballot.

            For me, this story is less than a week old.

            How long ago did you know that Giro et al was brought under the VO umbrella?

          • thepinkservbot

            Richard, I found out that Giro was bought by VO exactly 45 milliseconds ago and I have already sold all of my items from them. Where is my error?

          • Richard Sachs

            There is no error. That is your option. It may be mine too. I simply haven’t chosen it in 45 seconds. VO is (essentially) my enemy too. More to the point, all of these weapons are as well. I’ve never held a gun in my life. I have trouble even with the gun as a tool for hunting or target practice. I am beyond irrational when it comes to my points of view regarding the Second Amendment stuff, the NRA, and anyone who even thinks guns are cool. I am the anti-that guy. But the current story regarding the brands and the folks I know who work there has struck a nerve. I’ll allow myself more than 45 seconds to make an informed decision.

          • thepinkservbot

            Nobody thinks you’re a gun nut or even pro-gun. But, the point of my remark was effectively, “what does it matter whether I found out about VO today or I found out five years ago when I went to buy stock in Camelbak”?

          • Richard Sachs

            Hey one thing I gotta ask – you left the fold after 45 seconds once you found out about VO. But you sold (as in accepted money) for your Giro branded items? So that someone else could use them and keep the brand moving along, with others able to see the logos you’d no longer sport? That’s odd. Why not simply dumpster these items rather than take money in their place?

          • detleftwood

            Do you wholeheartedly defend Watson’s position, after everything you just said?

          • Richard Sachs

            You edited your text and are now trying to make this personal, against me.

            I never used the word defend, I wrote agree. So no, I won’t defend John’s position. But I am comfortable that he made the correct one for John.

            I haven’t concluded a position; if you read what I posted, you’ll see that.

          • detleftwood

            If you haven’t landed on a position (which is deplorable, given that you know what everyone else already does) then take down your comment saying that you wholeheartedly agree with a guy who wholeheartedly has condemned the boycott. We aren’t idiots here, everyone can read. And of course this is personal, you are a widely recognizable personality from the cycling industry, and here you come out simply negating the political will of thousands of people. Did you think there would be no consequence?

            I ask all readers whether they think that cycling industry leaders should show such a callous disregard for the lives of murdered children, or hide behind arguments about the unculpability of companies that are directly funding the NRA. We know that Watson, and by your own admission you as well, have personal and business ties to the companies in question. Given your responsibilities to cycling culture, given your social capital and clout, do you really think it is right to hide behind those ties and condemn the only movement that is actively fighting back against death culture?

          • Richard Sachs

            I’m not going to edit my OP but I will rewrite it more clearly for you here:

            John’s decision is the right one for John, and I respect his right to make it.

          • detleftwood

            Mark which applies for you then:

            a) The boycott against Giro and other companies, designed to oppose weapons manufacturing, is right and justified. I support the boycott.

            b) The boycott against Giro and other companies, designed to oppose weapons manufacturing, is not right. It is unjustified. I do not support the boycott.

            c) I refuse to comment either way, because at this advanced point in my life I still don’t know where my politics lie, or how capitalism works clearly enough to make a judgement. I refuse to take a stand on this important issue.

          • detleftwood

            Do you or do you not support the boycott?

          • thepinkservbot

            Oh lord. Okay, fine, I set them all on fire as an example like Disco Sucks Night. (I do not actually own a hydration pak and my helmet is by Bert)

            The point of an expression like that is the repulsion. I was a customer, now I cannot bare to support your company because of x. How do you think a company reads that? How is that anything more than an alarm bell? Do you think that company is really going to prize whatever the ambient benefits of that second-hand sale are (“keep the brand moving”?) over the benefit of a longtime customer that buys at MSRP and Believes In Your Business™?

            What does it matter whether I found out about VO today or when they first bought Bell?

          • Richard Sachs

            You didn’t set the Giro items on fire, you sold them. So the brand lives on. How does that help the boycott?

          • thepinkservbot

            Buddy, I’ve never owned any goddamn Giro or otherwise VO company items, the point was to get you to say what the hell it mattered when one found out about VO’s relationship with these companies, but FINE, let’s play your hypothetical game.

            Yeah, the brand lives on as a second-hand purchase, whoop-dee-doo, what do you think Giro cares about that? Do they get money from that purchase? No. Do they get greater name recognition from that purchase? Maybe. Does that greater name recognition from ONE person’s ONE second-hand purchase of ONE branded item, equate to (as I said earlier) the benefit of a longtime customer that buys at MSRP and Believes In Your Business™? Of. Course. Not.

            So how does that help the boycott? It makes the decision to boycott all the more immediately visible, and immediately puts your money where your mouth is. I loved your product, but I don’t want it anymore.

          • Richard Sachs

            You and I may very well end up making the exact same decision. I simply haven’t made mine in less than a minute as you did.

          • thepinkservbot

            Hey, that’s fine. Believe me man, I’ve got no expectation on you to do anything, how could I and why would I? But, uh, asking “what’s the point” or “what does this accomplish” or acting like it does something contrary to the intent? That’s something else.

          • Richard Sachs

            If and when I believe that a thing, a person, or a brand isn’t / is no longer in sync with my moral compass, I’ll walk away completely. If in the case of a thing/brand, I won’t sell it or donate it so that it can continue its life with another, I’ll simply take to the town dump.

          • thepinkservbot

            Has your big issue this entire time just been the idea of a second hand sale being involved in this?!

          • Richard Sachs

            No, it hasn’t.

            But as I wrote, my m.o. when the times comes, if it comes, would be to make sure the goods no longer have a service life.

          • thepinkservbot

            And that’s a nice sentiment, but it’s largely immaterial to what the intended purposes of these boycotts are, which is directly threatening a company’s bottom line. “Hey, I used to be an old reliable, and now I’m gone. Enjoy the trip down.”

            Let’s think about the benefits to the company of the product ending up in someone else’s hands via second-hand sales. Okay. When can they see that benefit, and can they even predict that benefit, and if they can, can they depend on that benefit to reaching them “in time” to mitigate whatever damage there is from a retail customer pulling out in a big dramatic show?

          • detleftwood

            I found out 45 milliseconds after thepinkservbot found out. I didn’t know Trump was such an asshole until he opened his mouth and starting speaking, after that I did. I didn’t know that weapons manufacturing was bad until I got an education, then I did. I didn’t know that certain important members of our domestic cycling industry would defend weapons manufacturers until they issued public statements doing so, after that, however, I definitely did.

            To this ironic reply I would only add: if you are still deliberating what to do, why did you originally say you wholeheartedly support Watson’s unambiguous rejection of the boycott? If you are really meditating on this, then take down your earliest comment on this thread, and don’t throw in your explicit support with Watson.

          • thepinkservbot

            Is there any particular reason why you’re treating “choosing not to buy from a company” as equivalent to rounding up their employees and summarily executing them?

          • detleftwood

            Why are you waiting? Putting pressure on them is the whole point of the boycott.

      • I’m not condemning everyone. You’re sensationalizing it. I’m saying it’s more complicated than people are making it out to be.

        • detleftwood

          So you think everyone who is boycotting is doing the right thing then?

          • The world isn’t black and white. It’s not a “for me or against me” environment. If you see it that way, I’m sorry.

          • detleftwood

            This is actually a completely black and white question, as all hard political issues are. I think it is only fair to be upfront about it. One either supports the boycott or not. Of course you could totally change your earlier statement saying that it is harmful to boycott, and just write that you are super confused.

          • “as all hard political issues are” Hrmmm naivety.

            Here’s something to reflect on: Patagonia opposes the privatization of public lands like Bears Ears. Yet they support Mammoth, a privatized resort on leased BLM land. Their statements, however, make it clear that privatization of public lands is bad. So what about Mammoth? It’s not necessarily hypocritical, because the privatized land use falls within an environmentally low-impact zone. That’s called grey area.

          • detleftwood

            Here’s a “grey” area: there are millions of people that have died globally because of the long history of American weapons manufacturers, but there are “more than 17” of your friends working at Giro, a company that is owned by one of these same manufacturers. What do you do?

          • … and the same company manufactures satellites and tele-communication equipment allowing this conversation to take place…

          • detleftwood

            Not following you, we should just let them do whatever they want because they let us argue online about letting them do whatever they want?

          • Winston Rankin

            black and white issues are easy– It’s the gray issues that are hard. Judging from your posts on this thread, you have particular trouble parsing gray issues.

          • detleftwood

            here’s a black and white issue: do you or do you not buy a giro helmet now that you know your money directly funds the NRA?

          • Nigel Chang

            You might just need to boycott everything in America then; even if you decide to boycott the various bicycle goods firms cited in this thread, you might need to go wider to remain true to your approach:


            FWIW I’m not a gun lover but John’s right, it’s more complicated than you think.

          • detleftwood

            I think that is exactly the right kind of thinking, and I’m glad you bring it up. This is actually much more complicated, but not in the way Watson describes. We have here an imbricated network whose operations are global, diversified, spread out everywhere. Follow the money and you end up everywhere. So yeah, that is the kind of complexity we are dealing with. Of course the enormity of such a realization, namely that the entire productive system of the world is bound up in practices that are detestable, one way or another, should actually only lead to one conclusion: one has to be ready to offer resistance everywhere, always, to everything, because these kinds of problems are really just one big problem, call it what you want. Of course the paradox is that this task is impossible short of global revolution. That nevertheless does not mean that one is exculpated from the responsibility to do what one can, where one can, like not continue to provide ad revenue for Giro.

  • Nathan Fenchak

    Maybe we can move past the myth about mental health being the problem and acknowledge that the failures of global capitalism and the dismantling of the American welfare state have created the economic conditions that have led to so many young white men being radicalized by a variety regressive right wing groups/causes.

    • thepinkservbot

      this is the real shit.

    • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

      In a nutshell, yea.

    • Johnny Rhubarb

      thanks, that’s what I meant

  • J Kennedy

    I think people are tired of seeing innocent kids being executed. No one at Giro or Vista, etc have lost a single job yet. REI “suspended orders.” Nothing more. By the way, I live and work day-to-day. It’s been living. I’ve been hired and fired many, many times for reasons nothing to do with me. I don’t have a savings account or any safety nets. But I’m tired of seeing battered women killed by domestic violence. I’m sick of seeing kids and concert fans killed. And it’s time we did something about it. If anyone loses their cycling-industry job John. Let me know, they can eat at my house. And I doubt Vista won’t do that by the way, they know how it would reflect.

  • thepinkservbot

    Anyone directing energy or blame or a boycott at The Radavist is wasting their time and energy.

    That being said… Bell and Camelbak aren’t The Radavist. They are large companies with an entirely different structure, owned by another larger company that doesn’t give a fuck about bikes or community or human lives, and this is the only language that larger company speaks. Will some innocent people at Camelbak possibly lose their jobs if sales take a deep enough hit? Maybe. That doesn’t compare to not only a loss of life, but the anxiety the country now suffers from this shit. Not only that, but let’s examine why it is we’re hesitating.

    Someone at Camelbak loses their job. Why must we tread carefully, as if this is a tremendous issue? Because that person’s livelihood depends on their job. What does that mean? That means not their ability for luxury or advancement, it means their ability to receive food, shelter, and medical care. An employee at a bicycle gear company’s access to biophysical necessities for life is now tethered to whether or not a person decides to “vote with their wallet” re: a company that lobbies for the gun industry.

    Perhaps the problem isn’t the person voting with their wallet. Perhaps the problem isn’t Camelbak. Perhaps the problem isn’t even gun companies, or the NRA. Perhaps the problem is much far reaching than that, and stopping ourselves from fixing THAT problem for fear of how the warden is going to treat the rest of the prisoners, is maybe a little morally questionable.

  • J Kennedy

    Slow down there cowboy. Did anyone at Giro or any cycling brand lose their job yet? Also, didn’t REI state “suspended orders” and that doesn’t mean cancelled orders. So are you saying you are okay to continue to have kids murdered and executed one-by-one like Sandy Hook? And battered women killed by domestic violence?

    • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

      “So are you saying you are okay to continue to have kids murdered and executed one-by-one like Sandy Hook? And battered women killed by domestic violence?” ok, so rhetorics like these tend to incite inflammatory response. No one in the right mind is okay to have anyone murdered nor anyone killed by domestic violence. The NRA itself uses this style of verbal framing when they argue their cause – they can use your very presentation to justify arming teachers and whatever logical fallacy they can come up with. What is your point?

  • Alan

    This is a complicated issue. However, people should not use the “I have to pay my mortgage” argument to justify working for a Corporation that does not align with their values.

    • But they work for Giro. And giro does align with their values.

      • detleftwood

        And Giro is owned by a corporation that sells weapons, no matter what anyone’s values are…

      • Alan

        Giro, Blackburn, etc are owned by Vista outdoor. The best thing these cycling brands can do is separate from Vista. The employees at Giro, etc should get together and try to buy their brand. If they don’t have enough money they should find outside investors which have nothing to do with the gun industry.

      • AJ Tendick

        I think I sent something like this via IG stories messaging but working for the cool hip brewery that Budweiser actually owns means you work at a cool place but for a corporation that might not align with your vales

  • swinter

    For what it’s worth, boycott the hell out of them. Kids are being killed. Not that I don’t feel bad for the people who work there. But what about the parents and classmates of the dead kids?

    By the same token, I am going to go out of my way buy stuff at Dick’s. (I already fly Delta.)

    • Flicky

      Don’t buy into Dick’s smokescreen. They stopped selling AR15s (which aren’t assault rifles or machine guns), but still .223 caliber rifles. The ONLY differences are AR15s have plastic stocks and the .223s Dick’s still sells have wooden stocks. They’re the EXACT same rifle using the exact same ammunition and have the same magazine capacity, firing power, and range. The companies that make both versions also make weapons for the military. Dick’s cares about making money, and they’re counting on the fact that most people have no clue that they’re being deceived.

      • thepinkservbot

        EXACTLY. EXACTLY THIS. Don’t fucking REWARD these companies for making a BUSINESS decision.

        • Just asking this because I’m curious: wouldn’t me removing these ads be a business decision? Please don’t read this as confrontational, I’m just curious.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            Atavism is a primal trait in humans and animals that drives us to do what we do – what ought to come naturally – it’s the inherent nature of living things to play. <– This is why you are here, and the same reason most of us are here. Whatever your decision is, base it on this. Everything else is just noise.

          • detleftwood

            That’s actually not what atavism is. Just saying. Look it up. It’s about the pathological presence of traits from earlier generations. It’s about regression, and not some kind of primal play drive. There may be some kind of primal play drive, but then again there is probably also some sort of base self-interest that drives people to make the decisions they reach. It’s actually kind of ironic that you bring that up because we might be dealing with a kind of political atavism in this entire debate. Is this debate on the crisis of school shootings and weapons manufacturing a form of play for you?

          • That’s the wikipedia / short hand study on atavism, the deeper studies into the word / meaning dives into the atavistic urge of living things to play. But yeah, if you google it, you barely scratch the surface of this deeply complex idea.

          • detleftwood

            I’m citing the OED. Otherwise I am specifically talking about Joseph Schumpeter. I would be interested to hear about these other, deeper studies though. And of course there is the famous Spieltrieb, but that’s not what either of us is talking about.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            the Radavist promotes a healthy lifestyle by playfully celebrating them. “atavist” is a verbal metaphor for that, and the owner of this site is free to use it the way he likes. I was suggesting that he sticks to his stated mission and vision for any business decision regarding the livelihood of the Radavist project. I hope that’s clear. Are things missing in translation or something?

          • Philip Kim

            You’ve weighed it and have already made the business decision to keep the ads. I’m not trying to be confrontational, this is just how I see it.

  • Kevin J. Smith

    Take the energy and anger out on the politicians instead, vote out all the NRA appeasers, ban all assault weapons and hand guns, highly regulate all ammunition, tax regulated gun purchases to help pay for mental health programs, and go ride your efff’n bike. Support the bike companies and sites like Radavist that actually care and make our cycling community better.

    • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

      Thank you for making sense.

    • Papi

      Couldn’t you lump Vista outdoors into the ‘nra appeasers’ category? Or NRA enablers even? We vote with our dollars as well as our ballets.

    • detleftwood

      The Radavist just issued an attack on the boycott of a weapons manufacturer. Watson has used his influential voice in an effort to break one of the only real responses to this crisis, and it appears that his main defense is securing profits for his site. I would say that makes the cycling community, which we now know is intricately bound up in this crisis, a whole lot worse.

      • Dude. Get over yourself. I didn’t attach anything.

        • detleftwood

          What is your stance on the boycott then? You support it?

          • You do realize that I can have an opinion that differs from yours and that is ok? I believe in boycott, as a potential solution to problems, but I don’t believe boycotting in this particular situation is the fix. Did I tell anyone to not boycott Giro? No. Did I make fun of them? No. Did I behave with even an iota of negativity as you’re acting like I did? Not at all. I made a calm, rational statement and you’re acting like a lunatic. Sorry. Making over-sensationalized claims to back your claims just makes your opinion look less valid. If you tuned it back a notch and quit being so damn aggressive, people would be more willing to hear you talk. Jesus Christ man.

    • Hugh Smitham

      Haha like the cycling voting block can vote out the conservative politicians with NRA support. Fact: Boycotts work just ask the NRA. And yes a boycott will potentially hurt good people. When do we as a country draw a line over the countless mass killings of young people. Those dead children don’t have a voice but the good people working for the cycling owned companies of Vista can find another job cause they’re alive.

      Look what people did for Rivendell $230K in a few days. I’d gladly give John $10 a month so he can cut the teat from Vista.F*** Vista. That’s my line drawn.

  • Spence Peterson

    Thank you. Well said.

  • m f

    I never click on the ads presented on The Radavist. I’m sure many other readers don’t either. I come to this website to see what All City bike Kyle Kelley builds up only to declare ‘this isn’t my quiver killer’. Then, some Stinner pictures.

    • detleftwood

      That’s exactly what I always did, until Watson’s statement condemning the boycott.

      • I didn’t condemn the boycott. I gave my opinion. You’re spin doctoring it to fit your over-sensational delivery methods.

        • detleftwood

          Isn’t it your opinion that the boycott is harmful? Call it whatever you want, but publicly announcing that to support the boycott only harms things is unambiguous.

  • Will

    I enjoy this site’s content. I obviously enjoy cycling (always have and always will). But as a father, protecting a child’s life is far more important to me than either of those. If the Radavist has to shut down because people boycotted your advisors, I’m sorry to say it, but I’m fine with that if it saves just one kids’ life. I other words, I’d rather see this site die than a kid. I know that’s taking it to the extreme, but i think you see what I mean.
    As others have said, I’d happily pay for access to this site if it allowed you to free of advertisers that have indirect ties to the NRA, or others you (and your readers) might have moral objections to.

  • Propaganda: “information, especially of a biased or *misleading nature*, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”

    “Straight-up aggressive” only means even more misleading.

    Sounds legit.

    • detleftwood

      There’s actually a very long and venerated tradition of radical political rhetoric that proudly calls itself propaganda. It tries to change people’s minds when political issues of great importance are at stake, such as the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of people and its ideological defense by large portions of the population. Significantly, you quote an (online) English dictionary entry that highlights its pejorative sense, which is fitting for a long Anglo-Saxon tradition that demonizes anything and everything that smells like the left, where propaganda was originally born. Also, I would add that your statement on the boycott reads like a perfect piece of anti-Communist propaganda in exactly this pejorative sense.

      • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

        Could you direct this energy where it really matters? like here for example?
        John opened an opportunity for us to voice an opinion for a discussion at his expense. He respects and provided a platform for us to exercise our 1st amendment right. Is it too much to ask act civilly instead of unfairly attacking the moderator? We wer all here for cycling for god’s sake.

        • detleftwood

          No, we aren’t all here for cycling. This is part of a national debate about American mass death through guns. Some of us are concerned that influential cycling figures are publishing statements that don’t support a boycott that is designed to undercut the economic base and brand constellation of a weapons manufacturer, and all this directly after a mass shooting. But you’re right, we should all be a little better behaved, given that the stakes of all this are so low.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            “a boycott that is designed to undercut the economic base and brand constellation of a weapons manufacturer.” The economic base of the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers is called the United States of America. The stake of this issue is high, but giving into emotive behaviour only makes us as liable as a polarizing element to the left AND to the right. I can not support a boycott that detracts from the energy that really should address the heart of gun culture and violence. Sporting brands are simply not where it is at, and that line is quite clear for a long time. I urge you to do something else. Write to your congressman/woman, to the NRA, to Vista, Blackrock and Freedom groups and engage them directly as you wish for the change you hope to gain.

          • detleftwood

            Do you think emotion is bad, or that I am incoherent? I am trying precisely to polarize both the left and the right, by pushing the former to recognize a more powerful solidarity, and exposing the right for the hypocrites they are. I agree though that sporting brands are, in the end, simply not where it’s at, and that line has been quite clear for a long time, just like cake companies aren’t where its at in the fight against war-mongering. Except until there is a massive publicity campaign and boycott that informs all of us that a certain cake company is actually a subsidiary, and thus directly funds, a massive weapons manufacturer. We had no reason to think anything about Giro or anyone else, until we were told that they are part of a larger structure that supports gun culture. Writing to your congressman is just about the worst advice that anyone could ever give in the present situation. It’s actually worse than useless because it gives the illusion that you have done something, when in fact you haven’t. There’s even a word for it: pseudo-activity. I mean, do you see the present government changing anything due to public backlash? Even telling people to vote is proving to be practically useless, Trump didn’t even win the popular vote, his popularity rating is atrocious. And yet, business as usual.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            Yes. Emotion is a great rhetoric element to incite public distress when using a monologue. Also effective at contrasting polarity as you suggested. But you know where else I watched this in public display recently? Dana Loesch at the CNN town hall, and Wayne Lapierre’s monologue at the C-PAC. The “left” and “right” had been at this forever, and all it does is create an even bigger misunderstanding gap between American people. This is why I noted the importance of having a rational discussion with careful consideration of other’s opinions. So we can try to engage and have a meaningful dialogue from multiple perspectives. The “right” is not always hypocrites, and the “left” is not always just. When it comes to the gun problem, the use of firearms themselves are justified where it is accountable – but the problem happens when the gun industry is capitalizing at the expense of civilians (domestic AND abroad). At least domestically, this is where a federal legislation proved to be the most effective solution to curb the access to weapons (i.e the Brady’s Law or Clinton Assault Weapon Ban). When this law is no longer there, the US market itself demanded the return of AR-15s. How do you expect to convince millions of US gun owners/supporters to curb their appetite when they are exposed to a powerful organization justifying their consumer behaviour via emotional campaign designed to paint polarizing contrast that the ‘left’ are hypocrites and is infringing on the ‘right’’s freedom? That’s why it’s very important that we have this federal legislation reinstated.

            To bring it back to the boycott, the amount of stuff REI don’t buy from Vista, is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the sudden surge of sales the gun industry will make in the next 3-6 months due to fear of gun ban alone. This is a result of a distortion of the 2nd amendment, compounded by the liberal’s (us) supposedly “anti-guns” stance, which are the combined formula used by the NRA campaign to falsely justify impulsive consumer behavior to buy more guns.

            And now, the best momentum we have in overturning this toxic narrative is when the students from Florida are directly engaging their senators, the NRA, and Trump on live TV. And yes, speaking up there rippled into multitudes of actionable items at both state & federal level. Even corporations had to act, though In my view, they’ve only dropped the NRA because its now unpopular and is a PR hazard. Horrific mass shootings had happened way too many times prior to this one. Where were they then? Again, yes, I think a direct approach toward a real legislation is a surer way. Let’s walk on the 24th in DC. Donate to their cause, or however we can best support that. We clearly can’t control the American market to not want guns, but we can also demand a law.

            Anyway, I really acknowledge your anger, this sucks. But it is possible to level out in time and reach a point of reconciliation without having to boycott America altogether (on a sidenote; Beretta, Benelli, Glock, FN, Heckler and Koch, Sig Sauer, Steyr, Walther are all European and had been seriously supplying to and profiteering from the American military, civilians, cops and criminals alike, for decades. So apparently the parties in this industry is not only Made in America). Just keep the dialogue going.

      • Your attitude and chosen rhetoric leaves my gut instinct saying that you’re here to sling attacks and take the digital moral high ground to stroke your ego. He stated his opinion, nothing more. If you disagree, then why are are you still here in his website slinging attacks? We’re all intelligent enough to see the bigger picture and engage in debate. If you think John has made his final stance, as you have accused him of multiple times, then take your anger and energy and put it towards the change you asspouse to want. Because at this point you’re not adding anything to the discussion.

        • detleftwood

          Your gut instinct is right, I am here to sling an attack at anyone who is trying to undermine the boycott. And my ego is immeasurably stroked when I know that I am doing something that is good and right. I’m fairly ejaculating moral superiority. Watson’s opinion matters, he is a trend setter, his statement against the boycott is obviously important–there are hundreds of comments here–that’s why it is important to take issue with it. If you are suggesting that Watson should make some other kind of statement, like one that contradicts his first one, or that this isn’t his final stance, we can only hope he does that. That’s precisely what I think he should do, that’s why I’m responding to you. I am trying to defend the boycott. What exactly are you adding to the discussion except that your gut tells you that progressive rhetoric is suspicous?

          • Ive added by my other comments in this thread. Maybe read them before accusing. I’ve read all of yours. John isn’t trying to undermine any boycott. You’re putting words in his mouth. In fact what you’re saying borders on slander. But that’s not what matters. If you actually think John has said or done what you are accusing him of, then why are you still here? It’s a simple and honest question. I’m not suggesting anything beyond the notion that you are only still here to stroke your own ego, and you’ve confirmed this as such. Further attacks on John, this website or anyone within this discussion does exactly NOTHING in the cause you so strongly claim to support. So I’ll ask again, why are you still here?

          • detleftwood

            I don’t have to put words in his mouth, here are his own: “I do not believe boycotting and thus harming the lives of the
            individuals at these companies will do anything but harm the cycling industry as a whole. If you’re concerned with making a true change, it has to happen through legislation.” How exactly is this not a public announcement from an influential figure in the cycling industry that he doesn’t support the boycott? How exactly do you understand undermining a movement? I am still here because he said that, and because you are now defending him. Also, irony. Now, let’s say there was an argument, or even a cause, that you believed in. And then all these people starting saying it didn’t make sense. And then you started arguing with them because you knew a lot of people would see it. Does that do nothing?

          • I in fact hold johns exact opinion. I believe he is 100 percent correct. But that in no way means that I or John or anyone else who agrees is purposely trying to undermine any boycott. How you link his opinion to the notion that he doesn’t support boycotting is lost on me. You’re making a false equivalence. You seriously don’t see that? Giving his opinion is not that same as saying “because I don’t believe this will do what we’d like, I’m using my platform to tell you all not to do it.” Because that’s essentially what you are accusing him of. Sorry mate, their not the same. You’re trying to bully him on his own website, and you’re doing so with no goal other than to bully. Acting like a bully, leads me to question the sincerity of the cause you claim to hold. It makes the moral high ground you’re trying to claim, very very shaky. There’s nothing your unfounded attacks will accomplish here. You know that, I know that, John knows that, but let’s you continue to spew them on his website. John may be influential within the online cycling community, but he has not used that influence to tell or try and convince anyone to take a certain position, he has only given his opinion. Once again you’re making false accusations. I would argue that you are doing more to undermine your cause than you believe johns opinion is. There’s literally no reason for your continued presence here. I’m genuinely baffled by your persistence. You’re acting like a child. Grow up.

          • detleftwood

            Do you think that Watson supports the boycott of Giro? If he is influential, then isn’t it influential to say “I don’t support the boycott?”

          • I think he believes it will do more harm than good, but believes everyone should do what they think is best and that he wanted his readers to understand where he stands and why through his personal connections, friends and financial stability makes this a very difficult position to be in. He has a lot to lose. What do you have to lose? He understands this is difficult. It’s complex. I agree. You want to paint is as being the opposite of that, and are trying to do so by putting words in his mouth. It’s that simple.

            Are his words an opinions influential? Sure, but you have to be very foolish and naive to base your decisions, stances and actions on the opinion of some guy who runs a website. It also doesn’t change the fact that you’ve made false equivalences. Now you’re making more of them and trying to put words in my mouth. I made my stance very clear. Do you have issue with reading comprehension or are you purposely being obtuse as a defence tactic? I said the bullying nature of YOUR continued comments puts YOUR position on shaky ground. I said nothing about the moral position of boycotting or the broader moral position of the gun industry. Literally every position you’ve taken here is based on false equivalence. And I do think you care what I think. You care what John thinks. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t still be here, wasting your time.

          • detleftwood

            I have nothing to lose. But I’m also not an influential member of the cycling industry, which is the whole point of all this. That’s why I have nothing to lose. These people have something to lose precisely because it matters what they say, to their own businesses and also to the public. Public figures don’t just get to be famous and then pretend their just normal guys expressing their opinion when they issue their famous public statements and then the shit hits the fan. John Watson or Richard Sachs have (or could have) responsibilities to set ethical and political precedents for cycling culture, because both of them make their living off of bikes and enjoy a considerable amount of influence because of it. Thankfully they aren’t superheroes, but with great power comes great responsibility and all that.

            And what equivalences are you referring to? Is it this one, which isn’t false, but is just a stupid tautology, obvious for anyone: influential people who say the boycott is harmful or fail to act on it = influential people who don’t support the boycott and even feel they have to come out and issue public statements saying as much? Or do you mean that when someone publicly states that they think the boycott is harmful, someone else can’t criticize them because technically, that statement is just, like, their opinion man, and they would be just as happy as can be if everyone in the world went out and boycotted the company they directly support and depend on?

            My position is simply to defend the boycotting movement any way I can–which is this way–because it is infinitely more important than people’s ties to companies that directly fund Vista, a supporter of the NRA and large seller of weapons. Of course you don’t like it, you are literally against the boycott. If there is one worthwhile thing to do in relation to this boycott, then it is 1) actually boycott, but also 2) attack the opinion of anyone and everyone who says it is harmful, because, again, we are talking about Florida, and millions of other Floridas, and millions more to come. Giro is the subsidiary of Vista, thus their production, your helmet, etc., goes directly to a company that directly supports the NRA. Your arguing with me goes there as well. It’s a no-brainer, as many people are increasingly pointing out. Obviously all your state, county, municipal efforts to fight against the NRA, if that’s actually what you are saying in your last sentence, have been entirely wasted, given that 1) Georgia politicians are precisely part of the problem that keeps the present government, along with its huge gun lobby, in power, and 2) nothing has changed vis-a-vis gun violence in America in any meaningful way ever, and sure as hell nothing is coming from the present regime to change anything. I would suggest you switch tactics and try out grassroots activism for once, like this boycott, small and paltry as it may be, and then find out more things to boycott that directly support weapons manufacturing, and then more, and so on ad infinitum and maybe, just maybe something will happen that is effective. But at least we won’t all be arguing for complacency.

  • Anvil

    It’s incredibly saddening whats written here and choices are made on who and where to shop with now to make a statement or a change. This problem runs way deeper, average American will have a very hard time coming to terms with.

    As of companies boycotting companies, which at first looks so great. Do YOU really don’t know that buisness 101 is to turn crysis into opportunity?

    If those companies were run like this website behind the scenes, you would’ve seen same rookie response as John written:

    “Leave me alone, i’m doing my best at this buisness thing, I want to keep growing this like I used to it, don’t tell me what to do or what to advertise, what do you know about running cycling blog”.

    Chris King or Paul components won’t pay shit for ads but huge corp will drop a pretty one and will sponsor your 5 day outdoorsy trip in desert with 10 friends. If you trace money to the core it will always come to guns/war/blood as a source. Always.

    I’m sorry but “Peace, Love, Smoke weed” movement beat ALL boycotters to the root of the problem 40 years ago.

    Huge corp has legal department that knows what to say and what to do to minimize profit loss and backlash, John doesn’t, hence this shit here.

    But is he wrong in doing what everyone else is doing, just sucks at Public Affairs? All of you pay taxes that buys $600b worth of killing devices a year for government. Which then kill foreign children that dont even have school to go to in 10x amounts.

    • detleftwood

      *drops mic*

    • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

      “All of us pay taxes that buys $600b worth of killing devices a year for government. Which then kill foreign children that dont even have school to go to in 10x amounts.” there, modified it. Thank you for pointing out the biggest blindspot that are harder to admit than feeling good about irrelevant boycotts.

  • lechatfemme

    The Radavist directly profits from these companies through advertising from Vista companies and collaborations with Giro. It’s not at all complex; they support the Radavist lifestyle. What do you expect him to say??

    Boycotting Giro and other Vista Co.s is not the same as boycotting cycling. If you don’t want to support Vista, buy from independent companies. Their employees need jobs too. It’s just not that hard to shop with your convictions.

    • Hugh Smitham

      I agree that John is in a tough position most certainly. I don’t think there a ideal response. Perhaps, and this is a longshot he could have chosen to say nothing and worked silently behind the scenes to find other advertisers who don’t support the N.R.A. and their political PAC.

      Boycotts work if a large enough block commit. It has certainly worked for the N.R.A.

  • Jim

    I don’t think that this boycott is a 45 second decision for almost anyone. The reality is that Vista Outdoors owns Savage Arms AND Giro, Bell, and Camelback. Vista Outdoors is a major supporter of the NRA. I’ve been upset about the NRA much longer than last week.

    The kind of weapons that Savage Arms sells:

    Sure, it’s really awful that these great brands were purchased by a conglomerate that also makes weapons like the ones used in these latest school shootings, but it is a very strait line. When you buy these products you are definitely supporting Vista Outdoors. Its a bummer that all the folks at Giro are caught up in this, but I am going to choose my helmet/water bottle brands using the same guidelines that I buy everything else.

    Yes, many of us just found out recently what the relationship is between these companies, but now that I know, I definitely want to support bike companies that are NOT OWNED by companies that are also making weapons and supporting (with cash) the NRA.

    Maybe Ill buy one of these MPS z20 on this side banner here, or a Specialized. There are a lot of options out there and they all support the industry. It also goes much further that simply a “knee jerk” reaction to a boycott.

    Get informed:

    Coming from a town where having a gun put to your face, stomach, or back is a semi- regular occurrence, and gangs are armed like Xe. This goes much further than a 45 second decision or some knee jerk reaction.

  • smoovebert

    Tough position to be in, John. These days, people feel like they need to vote with their dollars because legislators don’t have the balls to do anything about it. Consumes and brands are becoming more educated about supply chains and are acting accordingly. Thankfully, Rapha has stopped working with Giro for this very reason.

  • Winston Rankin

    I understand your perspective and agree with it. The NRA has a toxic influence not only on social discourse in America but also on the gun industry itself. Hopefully in the coming years gun manufacturers will come to realize that they would be the most immediate beneficiaries of a more sophisticated approach to gun regulation. In the meantime, punishing small companies swept up by the tidal wave of globalization does nearly nothing. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    • lechatfemme

      Small companies?? Since when is Giro a small company??

      • Winston Rankin

        In the greater scheme of things, giro is pretty small. And anyway, if you want to make a statement about guns, don’t buy them. But the bike companies in question don’t sell guns, don’t endorse guns, don’t have anything to do with guns other than that they were purchased by a much larger company that also owns other small companies that make guns. Boycotting these companies is like boycotting apples because you don’t like bacon.

        • lechatfemme

          And so the gun company profits off bike company sales, which is why you may not want to buy bike stuff from a company owned by a gun company. There are plenty of bike companies that aren’t owned by gun companies.

          • Winston Rankin

            As in most things, nuance is key. I personally think that by boycotting these companies we’re doing more harm to good people who promote cycling than we are doing damage to companies that enable mass shootings. We’re all free to do what we want, and voting with out wallet is almost the only meaningful vote we have left, but having personally looked over Vista Outdoors’ holdings, i still feel comfortable buy stuff from their bike brands.

          • lechatfemme

            You’re right, that’s totally up to you. Go for it. I’m not sure why people need John Prolly to tell them if they should boycott certain cycling companies. But don’t pretend Giro is a small company that needs your support.

          • Winston Rankin

            everybody making cool shit needs support.

          • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

            Giro isn’t a small company. Also not a large company. It probably doesn’t need your support should you decide not to do so. However, a brand like Giro & Bell represents the the high level of enthusiasm and dedication to sporting activities like cycling and snow sports. It undoubtedly supported the most mainstream UCI athletes all the way to cycling subcultures like the gravel grinders with equal passion and diligence. I’ve never seen a brand that’s so inclusive they’ve put money where their mouth is at. You can’t deny that these values are valid and in no way can be equated to “supporting firearm violence” in its agenda. Giro and Bell make products that actually save people’s lives, literally. The R&D they’ve gone through had been imitated many times by others in the industries. So yes, its confusing when their progressive, inclusive narrative is suddenly over-ridden and punished for something they didn’t even have in their brand DNA to do.

        • detleftwood

          Unless of course the apples sold themselves to bacon, and then pledged that all of the productivity of apples would go to bacon, so anyone who bought apples would actually be secretly funding bacon, or better, apple-bacon only bacon wasn’t listed on the ingredients list, and then bacon turned around with all their apple money (but also their money from oranges and grapes and .22 ammo) and supported the poison ivy lobby, and then poison ivy ended up everywhere across the vegetable and fruit world, and all the little apples and bacons and everyone else started dying in schools because there was so much poison ivy, and then all the other adult vegetables and fruits came out to defend apples because they really loved apples but couldn’t understand that what they actually loved was now apple-bacon, and could no longer could see where the poison ivy vine led…

  • adventureroadbiker

    Well said.

  • Fred Hale

    If REI were really concerned about these shootings, they would reevaluate their Force of Nature campaign that alienates males. Of the 27 last mass murders, only one was raised by their biological father. Yet they have many only female classes, yet no boy only classes. All millions in grants last year were given on the condition that males were not benefited. Many women only trips, none for male only. Rainbow displays all over the store with female symbol t shirts supporting lbgqt, but to ask why men aren’t represented brands you as a mysoginist woman hater. Huge disproportionate percentage of employees lbgqt above national average. An absolute war on straight white males. Check out their Instagrame page and ads. See any men? There are far far more dog pics then men. Employee training opportunities for exclusively women is their official policy.

    • Catering to one group doesn’t equal alienation of another. Especially when one group that is now being reached out to has been historically excluded. Equality isn’t a pie. Your position only works if you ignore essentially all of human history and pretend that male dominated society and culture hasent and doesn’t exist. Quite frankly is a pathetic, ignorant and worthless excuse and deflection of blame. There is no war on straight white males. And I say that as a straight white Christian American male. Get over yourself. Find another avenue of blame, because this one is beyond idiotic.

      • Fred Hale

        To be a boy today.
        Recent human history regarding this:
        Twice as much is spent on female health research as on male, yet females already live longer. Ten times as much is spent on breast cancer research as prostate research, yet nearly as many men die from that cancer. About 75% of college students are female, with a higher rate of women graduating (since the mid seventies). Even so, there are far more education grants for women. 97 percent of on the job deaths are men. 98 percent of war casualties, including civilians, are men. Closer to my point, women win about 86 percent of custody disputes. They get less prison time for the same crimes. About 85 percent of prisoners are from fatherless homes. Etc, etc, etc. Pretty gloomy future for boys.
        Your snarkyness and insults are not conducive to a solution or debate.

        • Not a single example here actually validates or proves your initial point. Nor does the idea that you can somehow connect this to what the parkland shooter did, as your initial statement clearly tried to do. Which is incredibly disgusting and inherently wrong on so many levels. There was no ‘snarkyness’ In my words, you chose to read them that way because you disagree. Your idea that blame can be put on a greater degree of equality that you see as taking from boys, and try to back it up with completely unrelated situations as a means of debating gun control or why a young man chose to commit mass murder against his own classmates, is not in any way conducive to a solution or debate. What you have offered is genuinely pathetic and a true example of “cum hoc ergo propter hoc” it’s a fallacy of the highest order and yea, I’m going to call you on it.

          • Fred Hale

            I do not own a gun or want one. And “I” will admit that is a big problem. But for children to even want to kill other children is also a big problem. Your fancy Latin doesn’t work both ways?

          • It’s not fancy. It’s pretty basic. And no it doesn’t go both ways. I am a white male. I grew up poor, without a father, in a broken home. I own a gun. I’m from the south. I struggle with mental illness. Correlation does not imply causation. It’s dead simple.

          • if you admittedly struggle with mental illness, your words, you should not own a gun. im sorry.

          • I struggle with depression. Like a lot of people. Educate yourself on mental illness before saying something like that. I own one gun. A bolt action, sport target rifle, that’s only ever used on a range. Mental illness does not equal dangerous.

          • fjl229

            You’re too busy trying to do what your type would ironically call “mansplaining” to even begin to interpret what Fred is trying to say. Perhaps tone it down a notch and open your eyes and ears? You might learn something. Don’t worry, it’s okay! Even you don’t know everything.

          • A man, mansplaining to a man why a ‘rudderless’ Childhood is not an excuse for shooting up your school? A man ‘mansplaining’ to another man, that an outdoors store catering to women and lgbtq people as a means to make more money, is also somehow responsible? Please mate, share with everyone what my ‘type’ is? Because I’m a southern independent, a gun owner, a literal blue collar worker and a catholic christian. Somehow, I’m willing to bet that isn’t the ‘type’ you’re trying to pin me as. Fred hales excuse is nothing but ignorance. I don’t need to open my eyes and ears anymore than they are to see that.

          • Your type is of the obnoxious so called “mansplainer” other people seems to be bitching about these days. Except the irony that that mansplaining has no thing to do with men, it’s just someone with a narcissistic personality being a condescending ass to others. Radical feminists latched onto the idea that all their problems had to do with men and coined the term.
            If you’re really independent then you should be falling for this crap however you speak with a lot of ignorance yourself and you’re more blind to reality than you think. I don’t care what region of the country you’re from, your race, work history, or religion as none of these pertain to this.

            You really need to look in the mirror because the type of person you’re bitching about isn’t so different from how you are acting.

          • You clearly don’t understand what mansplaining is, because your definition is far from correct. I don’t have a narcissistic personality, and you can’t possibly know that from a few comments on a website. You’re projecting. I’m not being condescending either. I’m just sick and tired of this argument and I refused to let it go unchallenged. You may not like how I responded, but i bet that’s only because I disagree, not how I disagreed. There’s nothing ‘crap’ about any of this. I am an independent. The fact that you would essentially assume that I should be thinking like you or him, only proves your bias not mine. Simple fact is that this argument is ridiculous and has no basis in reality. Even if it did, it’s not an excuse for what the parkland shooter did, nor is it an excuse for why guns aren’t the problem. And I say that as a gun owner. Fred’s initial comment attempted to link this together and it is totally and completely absurd. If you or him or anyone else want to believe that in a country founded by white men, with a historical system of oppression that held down everyone but white men. that there is now a ‘war’ on straight white men, because the youngest generations want more recognition of equality, and that somehow leads us to the parkland shooter, then mate, it’s not me that needs to look in the mirror. But you do you, and keep thinking it’s people like me that are confused. 🤷🏻‍♂️

          • Honestly I didn’t read your whole temper tantrum. It was too long and filled with too many personal things that reflect a deranged personality and arrogant attitude. You’d make a good bro honestly. Not sure how or if society should trust you with a gun. No wonder people want expanded background checks.

            How’s this for a newsflash though: few of the so called white male strawmen you demonize don’t fail to acknowledge the issues other people go though (women, racial minorities, etc) they just want others to understand they also have issues. Pointing these facts out isn’t dismissing the issues or concerns of others and it certainly isn’t “mansplaining”

            Educated and independent minded people don’t marginalize others…. ever. You should strive to do the same. Words such as “mansplaining” and the racial equivalent “whitesplaining” does no favors to people who are supposedly for equality. They are distractions from civil discussion.

          • you lost me at gun owner and catholic christian, which is an oxymoron as they are two separate religions (ie. cults), of which I was a member of both for a great portion of my life before i escaped and became atheist. @disqus_KqYbzrmVAn:disqus is SPOT on i am sad to say,,,,but its all true. Deal with it sir.

          • It’s not an oxymoron at all. A target sporting rifle used on a range for marksmanship is not a sin or in any way disqualify me as a follower of Christ. I’m not concerned with what you think about Christianity or Catholicism in particular. He is not right, even slightly. Deal with it.

        • Kyle Sheehan

          None of your comments have anything to do with boycotting cycling companies owned by Vista Outdoor and are not conducive to a solution or debate for the matter being discussed. I’m sure they’re welcome on men’s rights threads on other sites, so maybe try your luck there.

    • Brad Purfeerst

      You are correct Fred. Boys are growing up without fathers and becoming quite dysfunctional as a result. Critical Theory has been appropriated by academic feminists who see our society as Marxian class struggle, with the Eurocentric male as the source of all oppression. In their mind, it is a struggle for dominance, not equality. Hanna Rosin’s famous 2010 essay, “The End of Men” is quite telling. Boys are rudderless and lost. They are fleeing education, marriage and productive work. And when fatherless boys act out against the world, the spin doctors churn the narrative to be about guns instead of people. Dont fix boys. Go after guns. Thats called “putting a band aid on a bullet hole.” Unfortunately, it will not stop the bleeding.

      • Fred Hale

        Thanks. Trying to be open minded under this pressure to be endoctrinated is tough. And yes, I do work there and am not the only one who feels this way. Most of my outdoors partners are lbgqt…and women ,and I go on the Lezride bike rides. I support women, but they know I don’t appreciate them if they look down on me because of the way I was born or try to treat me as unequal, oppressive, or mysoginistic.

  • Kyle Sheehan

    I agree with your closing argument that, “If you’re concerned with making a true change, it has to happen through legislation,” but strongly disagree that a boycott isn’t a path to legislative change. From what you’ve written it seems you don’t see that because you don’t think that the cycling brands owned by Vista do much to their bottom line and that they were only acquired “for diversity’s sake.” Vista moved into this market because firearms sales fluctuate with social and political changes while profits from cycling brands stay relatively consistent, so Bell, Giro, Blackburn, and Copilot were purchased as stopgaps for when gun sales dip (like they did immediately following the 2016 election when people were less concerned about the president taking their guns away). So no, these connections are not indirect, and these brands staying profitable is absolutely of importance to Vista Outdoor.

    If a boycott cripples Vista’s revenue stream, they will feel it and either become unprofitable or be forced to make changes, which will impact the NRA, which controls policy makers. The fact that even the most cogent, emotional, and rational arguments against manufacturing guns like the AR-15 (asserted by Stoneman Douglas students) haven’t brought about legislative action proves that our elected officials are more worried about protecting the lobby groups who fund them than their actual constituents. The only way to create change in late capitalism is to hit them in their wallet, which is what this boycott hopes to do.

    We’re all accountable for the partnerships we engage in, whether that’s a media partner, employer, or as consumers. It’s unfortunate you and your friends are worried about your jobs, and I don’t doubt you and they are all good people who are just as disgusted and frightened by things like Florida as anyone else. But this boycott isn’t about the people who make olive drab bike helmets, it’s that the people who write their paycheck make assault rifles that many (most) of us think have no place in our society. So the thing I want to ask you and them is why you’re open to doing the wrong thing to keep your job?

    • Ahadin Maryo Hutasoit

      Hi Kyle, your argument is solid, but its success is relying a lot on “IF a boycott cripples Vista’s revenue stream”. So, I’d like to ask you some questions for my own understanding, if you please;

      1. When and IF the boycott works to cripple Vista, is there concrete evidence or precedence that this effort is effective in making meaningful changes (i.e; reduction of production, stopping certain models being sold to civilians for example) to the entire American gun industry? Additionally, what is your considered approach toward weapons supppliers and manufacturers coming from abroad and spreading into the American public?

      2. When and IF the boycott works to cripple Vista, what concrete evidence or even precedence of propaganda do we have that it will spark positive impact to reduce the psyche of millions of American gunowners (who sometimes are culturally the polar opposite) from wanting more guns?

      3. Comparing correlative data between 1994-2004, the number of gun violence/mass shooting occurence is very low domestically, again , simply correlating to the existence of the Federal Assault Weapon ban. Is there precedence or evidenced indication that this ‘stopgap’ brand boycott will be at least as effective or more to curb gun violence occurence in the future compared to a federally legislated ban?

      I’d like to question these points, as you also agreed that legislative change is the way to go and have stated that we’re all accountable to the partnership we engage in. But so far, I have not seen any evidence or precedence beyond anecdotal or hypothetical thoughts supporting the boycott being the way to go. And this is precisely why I think this movement is closer to a PR move in spirit and is seriously detracting from some of us who are genuinely supporting a move for legislative changes that evidently did curb gun violence 20-some years ago.

      To further clarify, I have never supported the NRA, nor am I financially associated with any of the outdoor brands affected. But I love and have worked with the brands in the past and was there before VO acquired them. I’m supporting the current movement to push for gun legislation that makes sense. I will also be marching on the 24th in San Jose in solidarity of those marching in DC. Today marks a real progress in Florida for raising the minimum age to buy guns to 21. But here, I believe most of us are frustrated about what had been transpiring and feel like there’s no way out except to reactively shutting and boycoting things out.

      My caveat to all this is that if we are boycotting to make ourselves feel good for not contributing to the system, then by all means, more power to you, because in the end its about our own self-conviction. So you must also agree, having formed one’s informed decision after the facts and sticking to what one feels right also isn’t the wrong thing to do.

  • detleftwood

    Who in the cycling industry has actually supported the boycott?

  • alexroseinnes

    My goodness the bike industry is a funny and insular one. the contortions that are going on over ethics vs. self-interest are comical. John your reasoning is bullshit, and I’m sure you know it. I’m seeing the same from Red Kite Prayer and Cyclingtips. It’s fascinating to see the response from entities that rely on advertising compared with those in retail who rely on consumers. The people have spoken and REI, MEC and others have listened. Rapha have also pulled all Giro made products from their store.

    You’re on the wrong side of his debate, John. And you’ll soon see the second-order effects like a drop in readership.

  • Nick Erickson

    I choose to ride a bike for several reasons. I have not owned a car in 12 years while living mainly in Walnut Creek CA an affluent suburb in the San Francisco East Bay. If you stop your bike on a busy overpass and watch the torrent of cars that blast one can have no doubts in the causes of climate change, economic instability, obesity, heart disease, oil wars, urban sprawl, military industrial complex etc. Next to nobody commutes by bike on the 680 corridor, if it rains I may be the only one. The bike industry is riddled with problems from top to bottom but these companies support my lifestyle. This boycott for me lies in a grey area, I shop at the farmers market, commute on bike and public transit, buy used clothing and purchase most of my bikes on Craigslist. I have enjoyed the comment thread on this post, mostly for entertainment purposes but I pose this question. Is there a lot of hypocrisy on the side of the gun control side? An example would be complaining about global warming while eating a steak on your 3 hour car commute? Opposed to not buying a bike helmet has anyone contacted their legislators, talked to their school board? Boycotting Bell, Giro, and Blackburn seems like bringing a hot dog to a gun fight. Trying to take down the NRA by not buying a bike helmet??? The only cold dead hands that are going to be random cyclists shamed out of buying a helmet from their local shop.