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  1. #1
    Senior Member mechanicalron's Avatar
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    OK, I will be the dork and ask. Who and or what the heck is a Fred?

    Well? I am waiting,,, am I a fred???
    "newbie at heart"

  2. #2
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Last edited by woodway; 04-13-09 at 09:04 PM.

  3. #3
    The Fred Menace! RI_Swamp_Yankee's Avatar
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    A fred can be a clyde or a bent or even a doris, but will seldom wear yellow and sometimes wear Igor.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mechanicalron's Avatar
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    OK this sort of helps but I need the full picture.
    Hey,,, thats it! got a picture???
    "newbie at heart"

  5. #5
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    You may be a Fred... but none of us will ever be THE Fred.

    The Fred was Fred Birchmore from Athens, Georgia... an adventurer who rode his single speed bicycle around the world back in the mid 1930's. (Extra credit for anyone who knows why he named his bike "Bucephalus"). During his bike trip, he was reputed to be the first white man to make it out of Afghanistan alive since Marco Polo. He also hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Inca Trail in Peru both solo.

    One of his most famous incidents came in South America during his bicycle circumnavigation. He apparently was penniless and starving out in the jungle... until he came upon a huge snake. He killed and ate the snake, skinned it and sold the skin at a village for enough cash to get him further down the road. Check Amazon for the books that he wrote about his adventures.

    His marks still show in his hometown of Athens, GA in a massive stone wall that he built by hand when Fred was in his 70's... a wall 14 feet high in some places and dug 4 feet into the ground.

    Here's to Fred:
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." George Orwell

  6. #6
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    I believe everyone on this forum is a Fred.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mechanicalron's Avatar
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    WoW, You will never know how glad I am that I asked! "THANK YOU"!!!
    Ron.
    "newbie at heart"

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    You may be a Fred... but none of us will ever be THE Fred.

    The Fred was Fred Birchmore from Athens, Georgia... an adventurer who rode his single speed bicycle around the world back in the mid 1930's. (Extra credit for anyone who knows why he named his bike "Bucephalus"). During his bike trip, he was reputed to be the first white man to make it out of Afghanistan alive since Marco Polo. He also hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Inca Trail in Peru both solo.

    One of his most famous incidents came in South America during his bicycle circumnavigation. He apparently was penniless and starving out in the jungle... until he came upon a huge snake. He killed and ate the snake, skinned it and sold the skin at a village for enough cash to get him further down the road. Check Amazon for the books that he wrote about his adventures.

    His marks still show in his hometown of Athens, GA in a massive stone wall that he built by hand when Fred was in his 70's... a wall 14 feet high in some places and dug 4 feet into the ground.

    Here's to Fred:
    Named after Alexander's horse.
    And Fred is still alive. 95 or 96.


    Note the snake skin across his bike.

    My favorite story is when he inadvertently won the bike race in Italy.

  9. #9
    nashcommguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechanicalron View Post
    Well? I am waiting,,, am I a fred???
    Use the thread search function and you'll bring up quite a few on this very subject. But, Hydrated is spot-on re Fred Birchmore(RIP)...THE original Fred. He's as legendary among cyclists as Sheldon Brown(RIP) is well known. His book is out of print and copies go for 50.00US and up.

    So, I'll try to explain. Roadie in 'full kit'...NOT 'Fred'...unless he's 20-50 lbs overweight and in full kit riding an IF, Litespeed or Merlin. Fred: Usually has fenders, rack, bags, lights(DIY), thermos, 'old school' Bell helmet, knee-high socks, reflective vest, helmet mount mirror and touring shoes. All on an old steelframe roadbike or a hybrid. The term can be self-deprecating or derisive depending on who's using it and in what context.

    Being that you're on the commuting forum there's a pretty good chance you're a 'Fred'. So, be proud, be audacious, be punctual, but above all be 'Fred'.

    I've got no illuisons. I'm a Fred. Have always been a Fred. Will always be a Fred.

  10. #10
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    You may be a Fred... but none of us will ever be THE Fred.

    The Fred was Fred Birchmore from Athens, Georgia... an adventurer who rode his single speed bicycle around the world back in the mid 1930's. (Extra credit for anyone who knows why he named his bike "Bucephalus"). During his bike trip, he was reputed to be the first white man to make it out of Afghanistan alive since Marco Polo. He also hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Inca Trail in Peru both solo.

    One of his most famous incidents came in South America during his bicycle circumnavigation. He apparently was penniless and starving out in the jungle... until he came upon a huge snake. He killed and ate the snake, skinned it and sold the skin at a village for enough cash to get him further down the road. Check Amazon for the books that he wrote about his adventures.

    His marks still show in his hometown of Athens, GA in a massive stone wall that he built by hand when Fred was in his 70's... a wall 14 feet high in some places and dug 4 feet into the ground.

    Here's to Fred:
    Damn! Check out the size of the bottlegen!
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
    Live in Houston? Come to http://bicyclecommutehouston.blogspot.com/
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
    Use the thread search function and you'll bring up quite a few on this very subject. But, Hydrated is spot-on re Fred Birchmore(RIP)...THE original Fred. He's as legendary among cyclists as Sheldon Brown(RIP) is well known. His book is out of print and copies go for 50.00US and up.

    So, I'll try to explain. Roadie in 'full kit'...NOT 'Fred'...unless he's 20-50 lbs overweight and in full kit riding an IF, Litespeed or Merlin. Fred: Usually has fenders, rack, bags, lights(DIY), thermos, 'old school' Bell helmet, knee-high socks, reflective vest, helmet mount mirror and touring shoes. All on an old steelframe roadbike or a hybrid. The term can be self-deprecating or derisive depending on who's using it and in what context.

    Being that you're on the commuting forum there's a pretty good chance you're a 'Fred'. So, be proud, be audacious, be punctual, but above all be 'Fred'.

    I've got no illuisons. I'm a Fred. Have always been a Fred. Will always be a Fred.
    Fred's not dead.
    He's still on the right side of the grass.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mechanicalron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
    Use the thread search function and you'll bring up quite a few on this very subject. But, Hydrated is spot-on re Fred Birchmore(RIP)...THE original Fred. He's as legendary among cyclists as Sheldon Brown(RIP) is well known. His book is out of print and copies go for 50.00US and up.

    So, I'll try to explain. Roadie in 'full kit'...NOT 'Fred'...unless he's 20-50 lbs overweight and in full kit riding an IF, Litespeed or Merlin. Fred: Usually has fenders, rack, bags, lights(DIY), thermos, 'old school' Bell helmet, knee-high socks, reflective vest, helmet mount mirror and touring shoes. All on an old steelframe roadbike or a hybrid. The term can be self-deprecating or derisive depending on who's using it and in what context.

    Being that you're on the commuting forum there's a pretty good chance you're a 'Fred'. So, be proud, be audacious, be punctual, but above all be 'Fred'.

    I've got no illuisons. I'm a Fred. Have always been a Fred. Will always be a Fred.
    Now I can feel the Fred inside, thanks!
    "newbie at heart"

  13. #13
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I've read two definitions
    1) A tourist on a bike, dressed without regard to bicycling fashion, on a less than perfect bike, who will kick your butt.

    2) A poseur roadie.

    I think that number 1 was the original. I think that roadies couldn't fathom that a Fred of type one could exist, so they co-opted it and morphed it into form two. Kind of like what happened to the word Nimrod that went from "mighty hunter" to "dork".

    To me the classic type one Fred is Freddie Hoffman. He fits the definition to a T and he's an amazing cyclist.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member anaheim flash's Avatar
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    hello everyone....
    i am a fred, and it has been 3 days since i have fredded....

    (is fredded a word? as in "i fredded today" or, "yeah, he was all fredded out.")

  15. #15
    Senior Member Lot's Knife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
    His book is out of print and copies go for 50.00US and up.
    30 and up.
    336 hours in Cairo: www.dodifa.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    It's easy being green. recumelectric's Avatar
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    I think a general rule of thumb is: If you have to ask, you probably are one. And I mean this with the greatest warmth and fondness.

    Signed,
    Fredda
    When I ride, the troubles just roll off my back.

    Originally Posted by Cody Broken :
    Every ride is a mission, a race, an adventure, a quest.
    Every bike is noble steed, a stalwart machine, a clever device, a stealthy speedster.

  17. #17
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Named after Alexander's horse.
    And Fred is still alive. 95 or 96.
    DING DING DING!

    We have a winner!

    Bucephalus was the name of Alexander the Great's horse.

    More Fred Birchmore trivia... when Fred and his wife married nearly 70 years ago, they honeymooned by taking a 4,500 mile tandem bicycle trip around Cuba... surviving mainly on coconut milk and guava pasta. Apparently guava pasta is a fairly nasty concoction to eat.
    "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." George Orwell

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I've read two definitions
    1) A tourist on a bike, dressed without regard to bicycling fashion, on a less than perfect bike, who will kick your butt.

    2) A poseur roadie.

    I think that number 1 was the original. I think that roadies couldn't fathom that a Fred of type one could exist, so they co-opted it and morphed it into form two. Kind of like what happened to the word Nimrod that went from "mighty hunter" to "dork".
    I've never understood that one either, since the two meanings are near-total antonyms. I quite like the first meaning.

    The Freddiest Fred I've seen on my commute was some guy with long socks, shorts, and a satin jacket riding a beater mountain bike with a milk crate...who proceeded to completely drop me. Serious respect to that guy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member anaheim flash's Avatar
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    i was riding in december, cold as all get out (for where i live, anyway....props to you northerners) around 39 degrees or so. i had on a hoodie, a jacket, heavy pants, combat boots, and a watch cap, shivering and cursing the light sprinkle. took me almost 45 minutes to go the 7 miles to work. look up, and see some old dude, fully fredded, sandals with socks, shorts, a wire rack bolted onto the back, and a light shirt, and all that fredness on a walmart pacific with mis-matched rims, grinning from ear to ear and just rolling along like it was 90 degrees.
    HE was having fun.

    total effin fred-assedness.
    Last edited by anaheim flash; 04-14-09 at 08:12 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    More Fred Birchmore trivia... when Fred and his wife married nearly 70 years ago, they honeymooned by taking a 4,500 mile tandem bicycle trip around Cuba... surviving mainly on coconut milk and guava pasta. Apparently guava pasta is a fairly nasty concoction to eat.
    Coconut milk does rather horrible things to you as well if thats all you have but we won't go there.

  21. #21
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Why do Freds dream about dropping roadies? I take no particular satisfaction in passing slower cyclists.

  22. #22
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    Why do Freds dream about dropping roadies? I take no particular satisfaction in passing slower cyclists.
    Hmm. Personally I have to smile when I drop some guy on a bike that cost as much as my car. It's gotta suck to spend 8 large on a bike and get dropped by a 50+ year old guy on a MTB.

    I outsprinted a guy on a Cervelo a couple weeks ago, look on his face was freaking priceless.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    You may be a Fred... but none of us will ever be THE Fred.

    The Fred was Fred Birchmore from Athens, Georgia... an adventurer who rode his single speed bicycle around the world back in the mid 1930's. (Extra credit for anyone who knows why he named his bike "Bucephalus"). During his bike trip, he was reputed to be the first white man to make it out of Afghanistan alive since Marco Polo. He also hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Inca Trail in Peru both solo.

    One of his most famous incidents came in South America during his bicycle circumnavigation. He apparently was penniless and starving out in the jungle... until he came upon a huge snake. He killed and ate the snake, skinned it and sold the skin at a village for enough cash to get him further down the road. Check Amazon for the books that he wrote about his adventures.

    His marks still show in his hometown of Athens, GA in a massive stone wall that he built by hand when Fred was in his 70's... a wall 14 feet high in some places and dug 4 feet into the ground.

    Here's to Fred:
    Man. That guy was for real! Wish I had half the nads to go earth circumventing on nothing but a shoestring.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechanicalron View Post
    Well? I am waiting,,, am I a fred???
    A Fred is largely unaware of his or her status as an object of ridicule, and likely unaware of the Fred moniker. While it is common for cyclists to claim varying degrees of "Fredness", such self-derision indicates a higher degree of cycling cultural-awareness and would indicate that the commenter is, in fact, unlikely to be a Fred.
    Well, since you're asking, then you're not...


    .
    Last edited by Stray8; 04-14-09 at 09:19 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member mechanicalron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baron von trail View Post
    man. That guy was for real! Wish i had half the nads to go earth circumventing on nothing but a shoestring.
    +1
    "newbie at heart"

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