I tend to agree with Steve of Southern Tier Bike project on many of his values. He told me one story that really clicked with me: He was visiting Portland Oregon with and elected to do a ride with a local club. Members were geared up to a ridiculous degree: top of the line bibs and jerseys, and expensive carbon fiber bikes. Steve showed with a ride that he had recovered and fixed up which was old and painted solid silver, including the chain. Steve is also notorious for his ancient ripped up jean shorts.
He had no serious issues keeping up with the group, despite his less impressive gear.
I felt a bit similar on a recent ride. I was on a bike path near my home town, and saw several individuals with $3000 carbon framed bikes, and matching jerseys and shorts. I was wearing bike shorts under ripped up corduroys and a cotton t-shirt, and was riding my immaculately tuned, though not visually gorgeous Schwinn. Yes, I may have had to work a little bit harder than them, but truthfully not much.
Part of the reason I love biking is that it is generally accessible. Southern Tier Bike Project works hard to make it even more so, by giving out rides to anyone who can use them, and also teaching basics. In a community that where a high percentage of people live below the poverty level, offering even a $100 bike for free or donation makes a big difference. Ridiculously high end gear just flies in the face of accessibility.