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Old 11-27-09, 05:42 PM   #1
Barrettscv 
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I must be a reverse bike snob.

I enjoy talking to most cyclists. However, I enjoy talking to some more than others.

I rode my usual route today, a 55 mile round trip from home in Chicago to Lake Forest and back. I pass through some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Illinois. The route along Sheridan Rd is popular with cyclists.

About 45 miles into my route, I stopped at a coffee bar. It was cool, about 38f, and the sun would start to set in about an hour.

When I arrived, a younger guy on a nice Cervelo was about to pull out. He was chatty, said he needed boot covers and that the chill was uncomfortable. I was agreeable, told him tomorrow would be warmer, near fifty. He really wanted to talk; I was brief and thinking about a cup of coffee.

On the way out, an older man was pulling in on an old-school Bianchi. I complemented on his bike. He talked about meeting many riders who keep young with the help of cycling. We discussed our age and our bikes. I was much more comfortable talking to a guy closer to my age on a craigslist bike than the younger guy on his $$$$ bike.

It's odd, the younger guy was just as pleasant as the older guy.

Am I a reverse snob?

Michael
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Old 11-27-09, 05:49 PM   #2
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I am the same but chalk it up to my intolerance of youth.
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Old 11-27-09, 06:01 PM   #3
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LOL, you must have "too nice a bike", if you road a "Frankenhybrid" like ME, you'd probably never have that delima!
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Old 11-27-09, 06:27 PM   #4
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It's all about what you are comfortable with. Someone with a high dollar bike might turn out to be an obnoxious snob or poser whereas someone riding an old bike is likely not to be too pretentious. Not always the case but you would most likely be less open until the younger person proved himself more.

Is that being a reverese snob, I don't think so - you did not denigrate the young guy for riding an expensive bike. You were most likely going on instincts.

I would probably react the same way.
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Old 11-27-09, 07:18 PM   #5
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I'm thinking "It's not about the bike."
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Old 11-27-09, 07:19 PM   #6
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Maybe the Bianchi speaks for informality, lack of pretense or posing, or someone who's approachable because they aren't "serious" in that driven, obsessive sort of way...you know, what young people are often all about. Takes years and miles and noticing your speed falling as the years are increasing to get that not too self-absorbed, relaxed pleasure in cycling. Doesn't mean you don't have goals, or you aren't dedicated, or you don't like to feel the sweetness of pain on the bike sometimes. It just means, hopefully by middle life, you have.............perspective. It's what those youngsters, even though they don't always know it, are peddling towards. And that's why we gather here at BF50Plus.

(Apologies to those several geezers here who are currently peddling hard on Cervelos, Tarmacs, and the occasional bamboo Calfee.)
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Old 11-27-09, 08:20 PM   #7
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It's a paradox. I'm happy to ride with anyone except the Cat 3 types, most of my regular riding friends are much younger. I'll be friendly and speak with riders while on the road. I'm as fast as 98% of the bike traffic, and the faster riders are way faster.

But while standing about, I assume that the riders on the high end bikes are not genuinely sociable.

Michael
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Old 11-27-09, 08:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
But while standing about, I assume that the riders on the high end bikes are not genuinely sociable.

Michael
I'm guessing the young guy on the Cervelo now has the same feeling about older riders.
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Old 11-27-09, 08:55 PM   #9
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The first time I had any sort of interaction with other cyclists, I was at the Maine Bike Rally. I had the only Xtracycle at the rally. I found out that I am mostly slower.
Turns out that is not a bad thing. I found myself volunteering to ride sweep. A lot of people don't like to ride sweep because they have to ride slower.

I didn't feel that the folks at the rally were looking down at me, even though I was the only "Fred" there. By and large my experience indicates most cyclists are decent and friendly folks.
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Old 11-27-09, 09:33 PM   #10
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Perhaps you were chattier and more relaxed having met your coffee need? I do think it's nice that your bike route has stops where you can encounter other riders socially and see their machines.... it's the one thing lacking in this area. I sometimes feel we're all just grinding away on our outdoor exercise bikes around here.
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Old 11-27-09, 10:15 PM   #11
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Yeah, I was rushed for no reason. Meh.
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Old 11-28-09, 02:07 AM   #12
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I am the same but chalk it up to my intolerance of youth.
Yes, back when I was 19, I reallyi disliked old people. They were so intolerant and self-righteous and set in their ways.

Now I'm close to 60, and I am finding that I'm getting self-righteous, especially about stuff I've had to learn the hard way. But I don't dislike the kids; in fact, I think I still really dislike old people.

Fortunately, most of you on this list are not old. I think the bike has a lot to do with it.

L.
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Old 11-28-09, 06:11 AM   #13
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Think I am a bike snob- I never think of the rider but first thing I look at is the bike. Wally mart special and they have to talk to me. Run of the mill Trek- Specialised-etc and I make eye contact but they have to approach me.

Now an older Bianchi- Cervello- Pinarrelo or Principia and I approach them- mainly to look at the bike and get the riders opinions. That is when I am on Boreas---But riding the OCR3 and No-one talks to me. Or is it that I don't want to talk to them with susch a lowly bike to enthuse about.
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Old 11-28-09, 07:17 AM   #14
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I used to regularly attend a fairly big Monday night ride. On a good evening we'd have around 150 riders. There was a fast group, that I didn't ride with, many of whom had some pretty toney bikes. None of those riders ever bothered to talk with me.

Shortly after Mrs. Grouch and I acquired our beautiful Santana Noventa tandem with shadeshifter paint we drove out to the start with the bike on a roof rack. As I got out of the car I noticed a semi-circle of a dozen or more these guys all looking up at the bike. They still didn't talk to me. Not so much as a "Nice bike," not one single word.

I didn't say "Hi" to them either.

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Old 11-28-09, 08:31 AM   #15
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Yeah I am bike tramp too.Tend to gravitate towards older bikes that aren't so pretty but have a patina of use and care to them.The riders typically are quiet and reserved.Damn I'm old...........
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Old 11-28-09, 08:49 AM   #16
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I'll talk to almost anyone, anywhere, about most things. Often, when talking with a younger person there is a moment or two of surprise at the start of the conversation. Almost a "Why is he talking to me?", kind of thing. Yet, in the overwhelming majority of cases, I'm treated with respect and engaged with authentic conversation.
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Old 11-28-09, 08:54 AM   #17
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Yes, you are a bike snob in that you spent precious nanoseconds identifying the bike while on route to your coffee. Either that, or suffering from inadequate caffeine addiction.
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Old 11-28-09, 11:11 AM   #18
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Today, I ignored the bike & kit and just enjoyed listening as the other riders spoke... ... about whatever.
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Old 11-28-09, 11:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I enjoy talking to most cyclists. However, I enjoy talking to some more than others.

I rode my usual route today, a 55 mile round trip from home in Chicago to Lake Forest and back. I pass through some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Illinois. The route along Sheridan Rd is popular with cyclists.

About 45 miles into my route, I stopped at a coffee bar. It was cool, about 38f, and the sun would start to set in about an hour.

When I arrived, a younger guy on a nice Cervelo was about to pull out. He was chatty, said he needed boot covers and that the chill was uncomfortable. I was agreeable, told him tomorrow would be warmer, near fifty. He really wanted to talk; I was brief and thinking about a cup of coffee.

On the way out, an older man was pulling in on an old-school Bianchi. I complemented on his bike. He talked about meeting many riders who keep young with the help of cycling. We discussed our age and our bikes. I was much more comfortable talking to a guy closer to my age on a craigslist bike than the younger guy on his $$$$ bike.

It's odd, the younger guy was just as pleasant as the older guy.

Am I a reverse snob?

Michael
Maybe because it’s the Fifty + forum, but I really didn’t think of your actions as those of a “Bike Snob” as much as more of a “Birds of a Feather” kind of thing…

Let’s face it, other than the fact that you were both on bicycles… that is pretty much all you and the younger rider, most likely, had in common; and your bicycles really weren’t all that much alike for that matter. Not really much to base a long term chat on anyway.

I really wouldn’t over analyze it too much if it were me… I doubt the younger guy did… he probably just figured you were cold, or had to go to the bathroom, or some other such old guy thing.
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Old 11-28-09, 05:23 PM   #20
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Maybe because it’s the Fifty + forum, but I really didn’t think of your actions as those of a “Bike Snob” as much as more of a “Birds of a Feather” kind of thing…

I really wouldn’t over analyze it too much if it were me… I doubt the younger guy did… he probably just figured you were cold, or had to go to the bathroom, or some other such old guy thing.
Good advice, thanks.

Michael
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Old 11-29-09, 05:24 AM   #21
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Today, I ignored the bike & kit and just enjoyed listening as the other riders spoke... ... about whatever.
+1 on this.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:34 AM   #22
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Michael, on your Sheridan Road ride did you go through the ravines just south of Tower Road, where Winnetka and Glencoe meet? My fave from my Chicago days!
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Old 11-29-09, 09:34 AM   #23
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Shortly after Mrs. Grouch and I acquired our beautiful Santana Noventa tandem with shadeshifter paint we drove out to the start with the bike on a roof rack. As I got out of the car I noticed a semi-circle of a dozen or more these guys all looking up at the bike. They still didn't talk to me. Not so much as a "Nice bike," not one single word.

I didn't say "Hi" to them either.

When I got the Tandem in 2003- there were quite a few others about on the hills. None of us ever got together for a ride- but we used to meet quite often at some point of a ride. Most of the teams were mixed sex so me and Stuart were a bit unusual in being the same gender. We were also in hard training for a long ride and we were shunned by the other Tandem Teams as we were too serious.

And to cap it all- We are shunned by the other mountain bikers on the hills as The Tandem is not a serious Mountain bike. Just tell that to me again as they try to stay with us on the flat- on the technical or the downhills. Have to admit that they do get us on the uphill bits though
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Old 11-29-09, 01:14 PM   #24
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I generally acknowledge every cyclist I come across; it's up to them whether or not to return my courtesy/cameraderie.

You meet busy/ distracted/ snobbish/ elitist/ reclusive/ ageist/ rude types everywhere. That's life- but I don't let them distract me from my desire to communicate:-)
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Old 11-29-09, 08:02 PM   #25
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It's funny how some cyclists have to check out each others gear and then judge the person to see if they're "worthy" of discussion. There are different strata, or "castes" of cyclists, I think. There are the hammerhead racers who only stay with their own since they are highly tuned athletes and that's all they hang around with. Then there are the "sportsmen" cyclists who take the sport seriously for fun only and will basically talk to most anyone. Then there are the novices who just like to tool around and don't really talk about cycling per se as a sport. Then there are the occasional riders who just get on whatever hunk of junk that's in their garage. If any of these castes mix and talk about anything besides cycling in their respective ability groups, things are ok and no one gets judged. But put a sportsman with a hammerhead and start discussing cornering technique, wheel and frame characteristics or Campy vs. Shimano, then you have some serious opining about the other guy's "cycling worthiness" and bike snobbery rears it's ugly headset. Oh, and don't forget those that shave and those that don't!!!!
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