I ask this question based on a comment I received when I said I was going to commute to work. The comment was:
You will be fine if you look like a cyclist. If you look like a commuter, you'll get killed.
I thought this was an odd statement and I think just the opposite. I'm usually a little peeved when I see the cyclist "getting in their miles" during the peak traffic hours on the main streets. Before I get flamed for this, I will still make sure I safely pass the "cyclist", and never in their lane, but I do so while uttering under my breath that they should find a better time/place to train. I give nothing but positive karma to the commuters I encounter, although I still think they should find a route off the main/busy streets during rush hour.
Here is how I distinguish the cyclist/commuter look:
Full-out cycling attire. The jersey, pants, shoes.
Riding high-end road bike.
Carrying next to nothing. No more than a small wedge for stuff.
Sometimes in full cycling attire or in work clothes, sometimes with bright vest.
Riding comfort/mtn, low end road or beater bike
Has more "stuff" and many times a backpack or a rack
Anybody have any comments as to which is better to "look" like?