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Thread: Fred School

  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Fred School

    If you were to enroll in the Fred School of Cycling, what courses would you expect to see on the curriculum?

    Which would be labs? Lectures? Practicums?

    If you enrolled, what would your thesis be on?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    From Wikipedia:

    Fred is a derisive term used by "serious" road cyclists to describe other cyclists who do not conform to serious road cyclists' norms with regard to dress and equipment, and appear amateurish to them. The term is generally reserved for men, while the female Fred is sometimes called a Doris.
    The exact qualities that define one as a "Fred" vary widely among regions and cyclists. The earliest two definitions used for the term are contradictory.
    In the UK, an early usage of the word is the more common—used by 'serious' roadies (cyclists who ride racing bicycles, and may themselves participate in competitive events) to refer to (stereotypically) bearded, sandal-wearing, cyclists without any high-tech gear.[citation needed] These Freds are not generally total novice cyclists, and often ride fairly frequently. This usage still survives in the US. David Bernstein, presenter of The FredCast says the term is "used by 'serious' roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable 'freds' drop the 'serious' roadies on hills because the 'serious' guys were really posers."
    More recently, particularly in the US, a Fred is more often somebody with higher quality and more expensive cycling equipment than his or her talent and commitment would warrant. For example, a stereotypical Fred by this definition would be an individual with little cycling experience who watches the highlights of a few Tour de France stages, then goes to a bike store and purchases a Trek carbon fiber Madone in Team Discovery colors, along with Team Discovery shorts and jersey. Thus outfitted with equipment virtually identical to that which Lance Armstrong used, far more expensive than that used by many high-standard racing cyclists, and more costly than many automobiles, the "Fred" then uses his bicycle merely to ride on a cycling path at 15 mph (24 km/h), something which even the most casual untrained cyclist can manage on an inexpensive hybrid bicycle. Some use "Fred" in a somewhat similar matter, but more synonymous with a roadie poseur. However, a Fred isn't necessarily someone who intentionally tries to put forth an image of being better or more knowledgeable than they are. Rather, a Fred is an inexperienced or unskilled cyclist who gets some top high-end or copy-cat racing gear for any reason. Unlike most poseurs, a Fred may still ride lacking some fundamental piece of competitive roadie equipment or style.
    A third use of the term exists. In this usage, a "Fred" is a cyclist who has a ton of cycling gear, especially of the utilitarian "uncool" kind, like mirrors, powerful lights, fenders, bells/horns, heavy leather seats, racks, reflective gear, bags, baskets, etc. The gear and bike may be put together by kludgey homemade solutions, like duct-taped flashlights to the handlebar.[1] This type of Fred is a bike geek who likes/needs lots of gear (even if it is modified stuff not intended for bikes). Sacrificing some, or ignoring completely, concerns of speed or traditional roadie/sport cyclist style, these type of Freds are more concerned with practical concerns like comfort, safety, versatility, maintenance, being able to quickly transition to time and culture on/off the bicycle, etc. These cyclists may be well aware of their fredness, once they are aware of the concept, and often embrace it wholeheartedly


    So which Fred are we discussing?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    So which Fred are we discussing?
    Any of the above. It's whichever you choose to major in.

    I'm - Oh hell, I might be all three.

  5. #5
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    "Bags, Bentos and Gizmos" A guide to carrying everything you need on the bike.

    "Mirrors Demystified"

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    "Clipless Pedals I, II, III, IV and V. A comprehensive five course series on the selection and use of clipless pedals including 4 lab sessions. In the lab, students sit on bicycles on stationary trainers and practice cleating and uncleating. Prerequisite...toe clips and straps.
    Last edited by Hermes; 04-22-12 at 05:37 PM.
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  6. #6
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    "The Purpose of Reflectors and Dork Discs"

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    I could teach a couple of these.

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    "Fred Fashion: HighVis clothing and accessories"

    "Shorts or Bibs 101: Straps under or over the jerseys?"

    "Helmet Fundamentals: Visors On or Off?"

    "Handlebar Position 101: Drops, we don't need no drops!"

  8. #8
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    So far, there are a LOT of interesting classes being offered.
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  9. #9
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    There are some very clever submissions here. I'd sign up for some of these.

    My dissertation: "the aero advantage of wearing bib straps OVER the jersey".

  10. #10
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Capstone project on selecting and using a seatpost-mount rack.
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    I've always been of the belief that a true Fred is born a Fred and Fredism just can't be taught. You are either a Fred or you're not. It's a personality trait, like Cool. You're either cool or you're not. You're either Fred, or your not.

    Judging by my commuter......

    Summer mode


    Winter mode


    ..... which I ride while wearing my steel toe work boots, jeans and winter coat...I feel I may have some Fredish qualities, but if I were to change to become more Fred like, well then I would no longer be me. Then who would I be and for how long could I continue to be who I'm not?

    So in conclusion I regretfully don't know of any "Fred Courses" to offer to your curriculum.
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 04-22-12 at 07:47 PM.

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    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Making your own 100 lb trailer for touring.

    Tire pressure -5 or 10 lbs

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    despite the odd-ball status of Fred, there is still the allure of it, which leads to assimilation
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Can You Take The Pressure, a guide to inflating tires

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Long stem or short stem valves... Does it really matter?
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    "Drilling vs. Reaming" - Modify your Presta wheels to accept the superior Schrader Valves.

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    1. Maximizing handlebar height
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    Senior Member RepWI's Avatar
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    Having been Fred for a long time now, where do I enroll in grad school?
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    How to not shave your legs.

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    How to not shave your legs.
    That one I don't get... Why would you want to shave your legs to cycle? There can be no advantage in being 0.05 grams lighter...

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    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    1. Make your own fenders with from old filing folders and zip ties.
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    Grease Subcultures - an analysis of chainring pattern leg illustrations, with workshop.

    Club Cut - make your own oversize cycling jerseys.

    Too Sexy for My Shorts - high socks, black socks, red shorts - the influence of the Fred on contemporary cycling fashion.

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