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What it means to be a "cyclist"

Old 05-22-23, 01:57 PM
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What it means to be a "cyclist"

This hits the nail rght on the head. Some argue that you're a "cyclist" if you ride a bicycle, but IMO, the word can have a highly negative connotation in North America as well as, according to this video, in the UK.

"The sad truth is that lebelling people as 'cyclists' dehumanizes them and puts them in an out-group that
some people believes justifies literal violence against them."

"I totally understand how people become the stereotypical 'angry cyclist' as I was starting to become one
myself. Because you're constantly judged unfairly, put in a position of having to justify the actions of
others, and have to put up with literal physical harm just because of the stereotypes of your group."

For this and other reasons, I try not to call myself a cyclist. I just ride a bicycle.

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Old 05-22-23, 02:10 PM
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Iím a cyclist full stop
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Old 05-22-23, 02:11 PM
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Doesn't matter whether you, personally, identify as a cyclist or not. When you're out on your bike, those who feel antagonism toward cyclists (as well as those who don't) see you as a cyclist.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Doesn't matter whether you, personally, identify as a cyclist or not. When you're out on your bike, those who feel antagonism toward cyclists (as well as those who don't) see you as a cyclist.
Sadly, that's true. That's what is discussed in the video, too.

The term "cyclist" has another connotation, which is that you ride a bile as a sport and/or for recreation/fitness. That may also contribute the negativity against people on bike in North America.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by daihard
The term "cyclist" has another connotation, which is that you ride a bile as a sport and/or for recreation/fitness. That may also contribute the negativity against people on bike in North America.
Why would it?
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Old 05-22-23, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Why would it?
He said he rides a "bile." That explains the anger.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Why would it?
The video I quoted above touches that topic.
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Old 05-22-23, 02:46 PM
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To me, it's more than just the technical/literal application of the word to any person who is riding a bicycle. IMO, identifying as a "cyclist" relates to one's passion for cycling. A co-worker and his family recently spent a day on rented bicycles roaming around a city where they were vacationing. The bicycles they were riding were no more to them than a method of transportation. Yes, they were cycling on that day, but none of them were what I would consider to be a "cyclist". Conversely, a good friend of mine spent a week in France with an organized bike tour group, riding parts of Tour de France stages. He arranged to rent a high-end road bike (similar to his own) while he was there, and brought all of his own typical riding accessories from home - clothing, shoes, helmet, gloves, computer, etc. I would consider him a "cyclist".

I play guitar and bass, and have put time, effort, and (less importantly) money into my craft to improve my playing. I would consider myself a "cyclist" much in the same way I consider myself a "musician".
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Old 05-22-23, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
To me, it's more than just the technical/literal application of the word to any person who is riding a bicycle. IMO, identifying as a "cyclist" relates to one's passion for cycling. A co-worker and his family recently spent a day on rented bicycles roaming around a city where they were vacationing. The bicycles they were riding were no more to them than a method of transportation. Yes, they were cycling on that day, but none of them were what I would consider to be a "cyclist". Conversely, a good friend of mine spent a week in France with an organized bike tour group, riding parts of Tour de France stages. He arranged to rent a high-end road bike (similar to his own) while he was there, and brought all of his own typical riding accessories from home - clothing, shoes, helmet, gloves, computer, etc. I would consider him a "cyclist".

I play guitar and bass, and have put time, effort, and (less importantly) money into my craft to improve my playing. I would consider myself a "cyclist" much in the same way I consider myself a "musician".
You've put it very well. I believe your definition is well aligned with mine as people who ride recreationally tend to be passionate about cycling. (Why would they ride at all, otherwise?)
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Old 05-22-23, 03:00 PM
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Awesome! I can put myself into an "out-group", and claim to be at the risk of violence. I will now join the conversation of perpetual victimhood with my sister-in-law!
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Old 05-22-23, 03:11 PM
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I'm a cyclist, ergo...

I'm oppressed! Come see the violence inherent in the system!
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Old 05-22-23, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by daihard
You've put it very well. I believe your definition is well aligned with mine as people who ride recreationally tend to be passionate about cycling. (Why would they ride at all, otherwise?)
The people I ride with tend to be of a similar mindset to me about bikes, and of a similar passion level. Likewise, most BF'ers tend to be pretty passionate about bikes. However, there are people who see their bike as just a tool for transportation. Looking at bike-users around the world, I would guess that more people see bikes that way than they see them as part of a passionate hobby.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:13 PM
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It's more like What it means to be a "semanticist".
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Old 05-22-23, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by daihard
This hits the nail rght on the head. Some argue that you're a "cyclist" if you ride a bicycle, but IMO, the word can have a highly negative connotation in North America as well as, according to this video, in the UK.
I could not disagree more. You ride a bicycle, you are a cyclist. In my experience, the word itself is fairly neutral. While I know a handful of opinionated people who dislike cyclists, they also dislike anyone who does anything they don't like or understand.

Honestly, there are so many things we could all spend our time doing, that I don't understand arguing over semantics. I'd rather ride my bike.

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Old 05-22-23, 03:18 PM
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Here in North America / Canada , the way the non-cycling public perceives you when you're riding a bike all depends on if you're wearing a kit or not.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
However, there are people who see their bike as just a tool for transportation. Looking at bike-users around the world, I would guess that more people see bikes that way than they see them as part of a passionate hobby.
Some bike commuters and transportation cyclists are also very passionate bike enthusiasts, that's the main reason why they bike commute is because they have passion for bikes and cycling.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
I could not disagree more. You ride a bicycle, you are a cyclist. In my experience, the word itself is fairly neutral. While I know a handful of opinionated people who dislike cyclists, they also dislike anyone who does anything they don't like or understand.

Honestly, there are so many things we could all spend our time doing, that I don't understand arguing over semantics. I'd rather ride my bike.

BB
That right there is why you fit into my definition of a "cyclist". Cycling is something you would rather be doing than (likely, I'm guessing) a lot of other things. Meanwhile, to my co-worker that I used in my previous example, riding a bike probably wouldn't even occur to him as something he would rather be doing, despite the fact that he has ridden on multiple occasions before.

That said, I would agree that non-cycling people tend to lump anyone on a bike in the "cyclist" group. Of course, this is based on the ignorant belief that all bike riders share the same level of affliction.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Some bike commuters and transportation cyclists are also very passionate bike enthusiasts, that's the main reason why they bike commute is because they have passion for bikes and cycling.
Absolutely. I wasn't attempting to imply that all commuters only see their bike as a mode of transportation, without passion for the machine.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:30 PM
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I don't get a lot of negative feedback about being a cyclist. Or about being a guy who rides a bicycle. Not sure the terms used make much difference in anyone's reaction.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:44 PM
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IMOÖin spite of what this headline saysÖthese dirtbags are not cyclists.
https://www.foxnews.com/us/video-cap...broad-daylight

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Old 05-22-23, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
That right there is why you fit into my definition of a "cyclist". Cycling is something you would rather be doing than (likely, I'm guessing) a lot of other things. Meanwhile, to my co-worker that I used in my previous example, riding a bike probably wouldn't even occur to him as something he would rather be doing, despite the fact that he has ridden on multiple occasions before.

That said, I would agree that non-cycling people tend to lump anyone on a bike in the "cyclist" group. Of course, this is based on the ignorant belief that all bike riders share the same level of affliction.
The indigent folks who can't afford a car and ride down my road picking up cans are also cyclists. The guy who got his 3rd DUI and rides a bike to work is a cyclist. Grandma and Grandpa riding rental bikes at the beach are cyclists. Pee Wee Herman is a cyclist, as is the wicked with of the West and Mr Bean (no relation).

I don't want to come off as anti-semantic, but this sort of bickering just divides people who would otherwise share an interest in using a fairly common machine.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:52 PM
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Didn't this topic already happen like a few weeks ago? Do whatever call yourself whatever just know that we all as human beings could be better all over the board.
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Old 05-22-23, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
The indigent folks who can't afford a car and ride down my road picking up cans are also cyclists. The guy who got his 3rd DUI and rides a bike to work is a cyclist. Grandma and Grandpa riding rental bikes at the beach are cyclists. Pee Wee Herman is a cyclist, as is the wicked with of the West and Mr Bean (no relation).

I don't want to come off as anti-semantic, but this sort of bickering just divides people who would otherwise share an interest in using a fairly common machine.
You are free to use the word as you see fit. Nowhere did I indicate my definition was anything other than my opinion about the way I choose to apply it. Nor did I dictate how other people need to define it.

Pee Wee was a "cyclist" (my definition). His passion for his bike was quite evident.
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Old 05-22-23, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
The indigent folks who can't afford a car and ride down my road picking up cans are also cyclists. The guy who got his 3rd DUI and rides a bike to work is a cyclist. Grandma and Grandpa riding rental bikes at the beach are cyclists. Pee Wee Herman is a cyclist, as is the wicked with of the West and Mr Bean (no relation).

I don't want to come off as anti-semantic, but this sort of bickering just divides people who would otherwise share an interest in using a fairly common machine.
I'm not sure there is sufficient commonality or cohesion among this diverse set of humans that it constitutes a group capable of being divided.
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Old 05-22-23, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
I don't want to come off as anti-semantic, but this sort of bickering just divides people who would otherwise share an interest in using a fairly common machine.
Originally Posted by jon c.
I'm not sure there is sufficient commonality or cohesion among this diverse set of humans that it constitutes a group capable of being divided.
I agree with jon c. There are lots of people in the world who use bicycles as a means of transport. For them, bicycles are just tools to help them get around, just like cars are for most people in the US. The term "cyclist" doesn't describe those people, IMO.
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