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Old 10-10-08, 11:29 AM   #1
Echo Gypsy
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Define Fred

I think I have the gist of the meaning but I see some redundancy so I am curious as to the exact meaning and why the name Fred. Why not George? Or Harry?
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Old 10-10-08, 02:41 PM   #2
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_(bicycling)

There are a couple of theories under "Word Origin". I favor the Fred Flintstone one.
And I didn't know a female Fred is Doris.
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Old 10-10-08, 02:48 PM   #3
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I am just glad it is not Floyd
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Old 10-10-08, 03:16 PM   #4
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fred
n.1...a person who spends a lot of money on his bike and clothing, but still can't ride. "What a fred -- too much Lycra and titanium and not enough skill." Synonym for poseur. Occasionally called a "barney".
N.2... a person who has a mishmash of old gear, does't care at all about technology or fashion, didn't race or follow racing, etc. Often identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. 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. This term is from road touring and, according to popular myth, "Fred" was a well-known grumpy old touring rider, who really was named Fred.

Source: Glossary of Bicycling Slang

I personally like the number 2 definition the best myself, but basically a “Fred” seems to be anyone that doesn’t fit in with someone, or their group in cycling.

I can’t say for sure, but many people believe the term “Fred” got it’s name from Fred A. Birchmore, who was a very amazing touring cyclist, that did a world bicycle tour and wrote the book
Around the World on a Bicycle.


Personally I’m a biking Fred, and quite proud of it… Cogito fred, ergo sum fred…(I think fred, therefore I am fred)...
Embrace your fredlyness...
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Old 10-10-08, 05:14 PM   #5
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I have embraced my inner (and outer) fred.
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Old 10-10-08, 05:57 PM   #6
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I personally like the number 2 definition the best myself, but basically a “Fred” seems to be anyone that doesn’t fit in with someone, or their group in cycling.
hmmmmm but that would mean you do fit in..... with the Freds'
It does seem as though it is used in a derogatory way.
I defy all logic, groups or stereotypes, I guess I'll have to come up with a name for myself!


And Floyd, they never would use that name it's synonymous with Pink Floyd!
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Old 10-10-08, 06:44 PM   #7
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I think I have the gist of the meaning but I see some redundancy so I am curious as to the exact meaning and why the name Fred. Why not George? Or Harry?
Note the socks:
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Old 10-11-08, 09:56 AM   #8
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well if it weren't for the 1971 tube socks he'd be pretty normal. Regardless, he's still cute he just needs a little help in the fashion department and hey, most guys do anyways!
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Old 10-11-08, 04:03 PM   #9
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well if it weren't for the 1971 tube socks he'd be pretty normal. Regardless, he's still cute he just needs a little help in the fashion department and hey, most guys do anyways!
Hey, that photo was taken in 1982!

I'm still a hopeless fashion disaster:

(Me, just 22 years later.)
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Old 10-11-08, 08:24 PM   #10
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Hmmm, I think we should distinguish between Freds and sufferers of OCP syndrome. Fred is riding with knee-high tube socks. OCP is the blinged out, full team kit rider puffing away at 10mph.
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Old 10-11-08, 08:52 PM   #11
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True, someone with OCP doesn't need a second label. Especially when the second label is also used for the opposite condition.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:27 AM   #12
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Fred, phred

I always thought the term "Fred" was derived from phred which comes from phred.org a bikelist.org site hosted by Alex Westmore. "Phred the terrorist" was a character in the Doonesbury comic. It is usually referring to a cyclist who is a non-trend non-conformist but rather a function driven non lyrcra type cyclist. The term has been around for years.
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Old 10-12-08, 06:24 AM   #13
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I am Wilma. I am in love with Fred. I was Freddish before I ever knew there was a name for it. Getting a Sun recumbent with a motor was just the most recent step in my Fred-evolution. Ain't cool with the upright folks, ain't cool with the true bent riders, and ain't cool with anyone on account of the motor. But it makes me happy, just like the little green frog next to my "name."

Last edited by recumelectric; 10-12-08 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 10-12-08, 02:59 PM   #14
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What about those of us who just can't get over the Spandex wearers. I think it looks ridiculous... unless you're actually racing.

When I'm famous I am going to design a cool and urban clothing line just for cyclists!
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Old 10-12-08, 06:26 PM   #15
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You pretty much have to be a poseur to properly fit fellow cyclists into the Fred category.

Riders rider. Poseurs categorize.
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Old 10-12-08, 08:53 PM   #16
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When I'm famous I am going to design a cool and urban clothing line just for cyclists!
Please do, just make sure it's good stuff that can take a lot of wear. And isn't outrageously priced.
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Old 10-12-08, 09:34 PM   #17
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One definition I heard for Fred was: Fenders, Racks, Every Day. That fits me, as I can't afford & don't have the space for more than one bike, so the bike I commute with is the bike I do errands with, is the bike I do rides to nowhere on, is the bike I do group rides on.

I don't race and while I plan to keep riding I doubt that I'll ever be much of a racer since I'm 40 and let my body rot for the past 20+ years, but I do wear lycra because it's much more comfortable than the other options.

So there you have it... I ride a touring bike on my commute as well as the Toronto Donut Ride, I wear lycra, have a mirror that hangs off my shades, and a little bell that also happens to jingle a bit when I go over bumps. I don't have the money to care about cycling fasion or vogue bikes, and even if I did I still wouldn't give a $h!t.

Perhaps a very derogatory version of FRED to some, but you get labled no matter where you go or what you do, so you might as well just be yourself. A quote I like:

Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who matter don't mind,
and those who mind don't matter.

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Old 10-12-08, 10:13 PM   #18
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I'm a Fred I guess. I just don't get lycra; denim works fine for me.

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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-12-08, 10:29 PM   #19
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yup, you're a fred. It's ok. We'll work on it...
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Old 10-12-08, 11:05 PM   #20
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Then again, I've always been a Fred (me, 25 years ago):
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-13-08, 01:53 AM   #21
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Please do, just make sure it's good stuff that can take a lot of wear. And isn't outrageously priced.
well to me $100 for a short sleeve jersey is outrageous. I'm a thrifty person and would never charge that kind of money. I've looked into performance fabrics and they aren't that expensive. I could make a jersey for about $16 retail price. Imagine how cheap it would be at wholesale.
I have lot's of design ideas and hope to implement them in a few years.....just have to become known first. And I do have a plan!
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Old 10-13-08, 08:58 AM   #22
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you also need some help with the word "redundancy".
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Old 10-16-08, 02:50 PM   #23
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My definition of a "fred" is someone who carries way more gear than they need ALL THE TIME. Not just a little more gear like a rack, but a rack, with both panniers and a trunk, with stuff strapped all over, just for a 3 mile ride.

No doubt some of the roadies think I'm a fred. I ride a bent, and have the stereotypical beard. I came upon a roadie wearing his full team kit this morning (and yes, I do wear lycra and like it, but I have a strict limit on the number of logos and which parts of my anatomy they cover). But he was sort of cruising along, slower than what I wanted to go, so I passed. A while later, he passes again, but slows down. So I pass him again, and sustain that faster speed. So he passes me again, just to prove he can do it, but slows down again (by which time, I had to turn off somewhere else). Maybe he didn't like his $5000 pinarello getting passed by "fred" on a dorky recumbent. So I'm wondering. "why can't he be content with the speed he's at?". Or if he's going to pass me, then he should stay ahead & pull away.
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Old 10-16-08, 03:36 PM   #24
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What about those of us who just can't get over the Spandex wearers. I think it looks ridiculous... unless you're actually racing.

When I'm famous I am going to design a cool and urban clothing line just for cyclists!
WHY WAIT until you're famous? Design and market the line of clothing and become famous for that!
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Old 10-16-08, 03:44 PM   #25
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... I ride a bent, and have the stereotypical beard. ...
You mean only 'Bent riders are supposed to have a beard? I threw away my razor in 1974, but never quit riding "regular" bikes (except when I have to go to Home Despot and use the Sun adult trike with Home Depot cart towed behind, or decide to go fishing or camping or hunting or grocery shopping or ... and use the Sun Trike and home depot cart) Though for hunting trips I may start using one of my Mtn bikes, since I located my handle bar mount gun rack that had been buried in storage for more years than I care to count.
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