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Old 08-14-11, 10:02 AM   #1
playrider
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What makes you officially a "cyclist"...

Every time I'm out riding, I see all kinds of people. Kids riding their bikes. Adults without helmets. There's always those über-cyclists (of which I'll admit I'm not one) with the tricked out gear doing 35mph without breaking a sweat and those posers with the tricked out gear who need to learn how to ride.

Then, there's folks like me. People who have some of the gear and can ride fairly well... I guess.

I was out this morning on the SART when I got my first rear-wheel flat. With the kind of help of someone riding by who showed me how to get my wheel off (and a great big, thank you goes out to that kind soul), I was able to repair my flat and keep going. And that got me thinking. Is this what makes me officially a "cyclist"?

I've ridden tons of metrics and around a dozen centuries. I've adjusted my brakes and chain. I've crashed. But that rear-wheel change is something I've been dreading for a while. Now that I know I can do that, I am feeling pretty unstopable.

So, I throw the question out to you good people. What hurdle must one overcome to be considered a real "cyclist"? Not a pro. Not a contender for the Tour. But real enough.

What do you say?
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Old 08-14-11, 10:22 AM   #2
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I'd say riding a bicycle, maybe even a tricycle, makes you a cyclist. Recumbent cycle riders are also cyclists. People riding unicycles don't get a special category. I recognize them as fellow cyclists too. Anyone can be a cyclist, if they pedal a bike and the wheels turn.
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Old 08-14-11, 10:31 AM   #3
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Your a cyclist when you spend more time on your bike than your wife.
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Old 08-14-11, 10:53 AM   #4
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To paraphrase a former Supreme Court justice:

"I can't describe it, but I know it when I see it".

Some factors are: regularly bicycles because they want to, takes into account the current conditions and adjust riding style (road conditions, traffic volume on street or MUP like SART, closed course at a race, weather condtions, time of day/nighttime, etc.). Defiantely not type of bicycle, its composition, or the clothes the rider is wearing. And you have to be able to fix flats on any wheel - practice at home until you get comfrotable with it.
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Old 08-14-11, 11:12 AM   #5
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Your a cyclist when you spend more time on your bike than your wife.
Hehe... I think it's a mindset... how you identify yourself as a person that makes you a cyclist.
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Old 08-14-11, 03:04 PM   #6
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When you ride a bike for whatever reason in whatever manner. This labeling stuff is a bit off-putting to me.
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Old 08-14-11, 03:49 PM   #7
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My 2 cents is - if you couldn't change a rear-wheel flat without help; you aren't a "cyclist."
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Old 08-14-11, 04:12 PM   #8
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Whatever you do, don't ask the government to make that definition (cyclist). Especially the Supreme Court.
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Old 08-14-11, 05:08 PM   #9
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"Spandex"- Nuff said
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Old 08-14-11, 05:29 PM   #10
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I'm a bit shocked somebody who's ridden that much was intimidated by a rear tire. In my over fantasized definition of a cyclist the person probably would have wanted to learn how to do such a task soon after getting the bike just for the sake of knowing. I got a simple repair book a week or two after buying my bike so I'd know how much of the machine is serviced.
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Old 08-14-11, 06:10 PM   #11
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'Cyclist' is just a word. If it's important to label yourself as a real cyclist then go for it. It's cool. If not, then that's cool as well.

I'm more interested in what kind of tires you use since you've never had a rear flat while out on the road before. I have a few every year.
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Old 08-14-11, 07:10 PM   #12
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So, I throw the question out to you good people. What hurdle must one overcome to be considered a real "cyclist"? Not a pro. Not a contender for the Tour. But real enough.

What do you say?
Its not really a hurdle but a state of mind. There is one thing that sets the serious enthusiast apart from the casual one. It isn't really a big cost item and it is most often taken for granted. This one thing is: gloves.

Get some cycling loves on your hands and your whole outlook will change. The mere act of donning gloves turns you from casual to earnest.

I mean, think about it. When you have some serious work to do, when the job is one of those kind, what do you do? You put on gloves.

Any yokel can buy a fancy bike or wear a helmet. But gloves set you apart as SERIOUS.
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Old 08-14-11, 08:18 PM   #13
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I don't consider myself a cyclist. I am just a dude that likes to ride my bike.
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Old 08-14-11, 09:48 PM   #14
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I don't consider myself a cyclist. I am just a dude that likes to ride my bike.
See, now... I was going to say "real cyclists" don't ride the SART. And here, Beanz proves the point. j/k
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Old 08-14-11, 09:53 PM   #15
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Its not really a hurdle but a state of mind. There is one thing that sets the serious enthusiast apart from the casual one. It isn't really a big cost item and it is most often taken for granted. This one thing is: gloves.

Get some cycling loves on your hands and your whole outlook will change. The mere act of donning gloves turns you from casual to earnest.

I mean, think about it. When you have some serious work to do, when the job is one of those kind, what do you do? You put on gloves.

Any yokel can buy a fancy bike or wear a helmet. But gloves set you apart as SERIOUS.
I hate gloves, I wear them when the weather requires it and that's all. I will be wearing some when I start racing in a few weeks though.
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Old 08-14-11, 11:05 PM   #16
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See, now... I was going to say "real cyclists" don't ride the SART. And here, Beanz proves the point. j/k
It's true, It's true!
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Old 08-14-11, 11:53 PM   #17
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Your a cyclist when you spend more time on your bike than your wife.
So, those of us who ride tandem with our spouses are just never going to make it, I guess.

Actually, asking what is a cyclist is one of the most divisive questions asked in the cycling community. Some folks want to call all the folks who don't ride like they do "people on bikes" and some folks don't want any requirement beyond being on a bike (or bike-like object). While I tend to consider anyone on a human-powered machine to be a cyclist while they are on that machine (Don't tell me you're a cyclist when I'm trying to restrain myself from striking you with my foot after you just hit me with your car!), I admit that I don't really take people seriously as cyclists until they have at least 100,000 miles in the saddle. I guess that's because I have seen so many people come and go from cycling over the years that I assume almost all newbies are just on a lark and will disappear within a couple of years. I hope to be proven wrong on this (and often am).
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Old 08-15-11, 06:50 AM   #18
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I hate gloves, I wear them when the weather requires it and that's all. I will be wearing some when I start racing in a few weeks though.
See? Racing = serious = gloves.
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Old 08-15-11, 07:28 AM   #19
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Tons of metrics and doezen centuries with no flats ? What type of tires do you use ? I want those.
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Old 08-15-11, 09:20 AM   #20
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Its not really a hurdle but a state of mind. There is one thing that sets the serious enthusiast apart from the casual one. It isn't really a big cost item and it is most often taken for granted. This one thing is: gloves.

Get some cycling loves on your hands and your whole outlook will change. The mere act of donning gloves turns you from casual to earnest.

I mean, think about it. When you have some serious work to do, when the job is one of those kind, what do you do? You put on gloves.

Any yokel can buy a fancy bike or wear a helmet. But gloves set you apart as SERIOUS.

Wrong! Wrong! It's a rear view mirror!!!
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Old 08-15-11, 09:30 AM   #21
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Funny. We're all united by English, but every word has a slightly different flavor. If you say the word "bars" aloud, every person who hears you will form a completely different mental image. Same thing with "cyclist."
Anyone who rides a bicycle or motorcycle is a cyclist.
There is always a bigger fish in the sea, and there's always a bigger dude in the gym shower. I have 5 bikes in my living room, I've built my own wheels, I've woken up disoriented in the hospital, and can usually ride a century in less than 5 hours if it isn't too hilly, but there is always someone with more bikes, or who's faster.
Drawing the line is silly, because everyone draws it differently.

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Old 08-15-11, 09:33 AM   #22
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Wait...did I say mirror? I meant bell, what ever was I thinking...

But bars on bikes are good, too.
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Old 08-15-11, 10:49 AM   #23
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What hurdle must one overcome to be considered a real "cyclist"?
Go out in public wearing socks and Crocs.
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Old 08-15-11, 11:08 AM   #24
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I don't consider myself a cyclist. I am just a dude that likes to ride my bike.
+1
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Old 08-15-11, 09:56 PM   #25
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Wait...did I say mirror? I meant bell, what ever was I thinking...

But bars on bikes are good, too.
Going to bars on a bike aint bad either.
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