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concept and origins of "Fred"?

Old 06-05-11, 12:38 PM
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concept and origins of "Fred"?

Hi everyone!

I'm not a cyclist, but I'm writing an article on the bike culture in Athens, GA. Based on my research, I've discovered the term "Fred," but am confused about its origins.

Could you guys possibly explain the concept of a Fred and where it comes from? Is it based on Fred Birchmore who is from Athens, GA or does it come from someone/something else?

Also, please explain what you know about the cycling scene in Athens, GA. I'm trying to get a national perspective on this piece. I'm a graduate student and this is for a class, but it could potentially be published at a later date.

If you could also provide your real full name, I'd appreciate it. If you aren't comfortable with doing that on this forum, feel free to email me privately.

thanks for your time.

Chelsey Willis
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Old 06-05-11, 12:45 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_(bicycling)
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Fred "The Real Fred"
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Old 06-05-11, 12:50 PM
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Doris? Wilma? never hear those before. I think we used the more polite term of Neophyte alot up in the Boston area in the late '80s
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Old 06-05-11, 01:36 PM
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The Wiki seems to be pretty good.

From the Red & Black: http://www.redandblack.com/2005/02/2...3-years-young/

Why Athens?

If it's because that's where you are you should get out and do a little field work. Here's a couple of links for you.

http://flagpole.com/Weekly/Features/...Campus-20Apr11

And from Bike Forums:

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-497415.html

The BF link has a wealth of other links.

Good Luck.
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Old 06-05-11, 01:40 PM
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My only first-hand knowledge of the Athens cycling scene: There was a national-class criterium in "downtown" Athens approx. 1985 - my wife and I and our baby boy drove up from Atlanta to see it.
That's all I know.
(real name=JanMM)
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Old 06-05-11, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
The Wiki seems to be pretty good.

From the Red & Black: http://www.redandblack.com/2005/02/2...3-years-young/

Why Athens?

If it's because that's where you are you should get out and do a little field work. Here's a couple of links for you.

http://flagpole.com/Weekly/Features/...Campus-20Apr11

And from Bike Forums:

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-497415.html

The BF link has a wealth of other links.

Good Luck.
Thanks for this. I've already done a lot of field work here so that's not what I was really asking. I've interviewed the creators and members of different recreational groups, owners of cycle shops, and advocacy groups. I've researched the history through newspaper archives dating back to 1869 and read Fred Birchmore's two books. I've also gathered all the city documents outlying bike master plans from 1976 and on, city ordinances, and other state/local laws (current and future) that affect cyclists on the road like the newly passed 3 foot law.

Perhaps I should've worded my question differently. I'm just curious to know what people outside of Athens know about its cycling scene, if anything at all. But I will still look into this information you've provided to see if there is something I might've missed. Thanks again.
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Old 06-05-11, 02:52 PM
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I can't provide a good definition but, if you have to ask, look into a mirror and you'll see what one looks like.
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Old 06-05-11, 03:41 PM
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I just posted this in the Road Forum on Friday ...

Cycling Terminology ... especially for the plethora of newbies
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ora-of-newbies


As for what I know about the cycling scene in Athens, GA ... absolutely nothing. I've never been to Athens, GA and it would take me a moment to find it on a map.

Last edited by Machka; 06-05-11 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 06-05-11, 06:28 PM
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A "Fred" is a semi-mythical being invented and referred to by "serious" cyclists to appease their insecurity.
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Old 06-05-11, 07:01 PM
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Fred is faster than us all.
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Old 06-06-11, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ccw85 View Post
Thanks for this. I've already done a lot of field work here so that's not what I was really asking. I've interviewed the creators and members of different recreational groups, owners of cycle shops, and advocacy groups. I've researched the history through newspaper archives dating back to 1869 and read Fred Birchmore's two books. I've also gathered all the city documents outlying bike master plans from 1976 and on, city ordinances, and other state/local laws (current and future) that affect cyclists on the road like the newly passed 3 foot law.

Perhaps I should've worded my question differently. I'm just curious to know what people outside of Athens know about its cycling scene, if anything at all. But I will still look into this information you've provided to see if there is something I might've missed. Thanks again.
You're more than welcome. My apologies for assuming you hadn't done your field work. We've had a fair number of students show up at the end of term and attempt to get the members to do the work for 'em.

Like JanMM notes the Twilight Crit is what most cyclists know about Athens. That and those of us who believe the original Fred is Mr. Birchmore.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:26 AM
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"Fred" is the name given to the guy who actually enjoys riding his bike without worrying about miles, wattage or heart rate.
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Old 06-06-11, 01:35 PM
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Fred's are a dedicated breed. I am the Fred of the racing team I ride with. Yes, I am fast and yes, I do own a racing bike.

But it's more common for me to roll up on a drop bar mountain bike wearing a wife beater and clipless sandals. The comments are usually along the line of "that bike is so wrong on so many levels" and "where do you mount the keg on that thing?" Whatever, 100 miles a week on heavy bikes loaded with groceries while wearing denim shorts with sandpaper instead of a chamois makes you a tough sob.

Then one day I suddenly show up for a group ride in full racing regalia on Ksyrium SL's and make the poseurs wonder how I got to be so fast without riding. I didn't. I rode when it was cold. I rode when it was hot. I rode when it rained. I rode when it snowed. I rode when the wind blew. I rode when it was dark. I just rode and didn't worry about whether or not I had the "proper gear".
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Old 06-06-11, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cachehiker View Post
Fred's are a dedicated breed. I am the Fred of the racing team I ride with. Yes, I am fast and yes, I do own a racing bike.

But it's more common for me to roll up on a drop bar mountain bike wearing a wife beater and clipless sandals. The comments are usually along the line of "that bike is so wrong on so many levels" and "where do you mount the keg on that thing?" Whatever, 100 miles a week on heavy bikes loaded with groceries while wearing denim shorts with sandpaper instead of a chamois makes you a tough sob.

Then one day I suddenly show up for a group ride in full racing regalia on Ksyrium SL's and make the poseurs wonder how I got to be so fast without riding. I didn't. I rode when it was cold. I rode when it was hot. I rode when it rained. I rode when it snowed. I rode when the wind blew. I rode when it was dark. I just rode and didn't worry about whether or not I had the "proper gear".
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Old 06-06-11, 02:42 PM
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^^^^^^^^
The dog is looking at me like WTF?????? That was great.

Oh yeah I am Fred.
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Old 06-06-11, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
Oh yeah I am Fred.
This Guy? Warning consumption of this video may lead to violence, suicide or dipsomania

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Old 06-06-11, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cachehiker View Post
Fred's are a dedicated breed. I am the Fred of the racing team I ride with. Yes, I am fast and yes, I do own a racing bike.

But it's more common for me to roll up on a drop bar mountain bike wearing a wife beater and clipless sandals. The comments are usually along the line of "that bike is so wrong on so many levels" and "where do you mount the keg on that thing?" Whatever, 100 miles a week on heavy bikes loaded with groceries while wearing denim shorts with sandpaper instead of a chamois makes you a tough sob.

Then one day I suddenly show up for a group ride in full racing regalia on Ksyrium SL's and make the poseurs wonder how I got to be so fast without riding. I didn't. I rode when it was cold. I rode when it was hot. I rode when it rained. I rode when it snowed. I rode when the wind blew. I rode when it was dark. I just rode and didn't worry about whether or not I had the "proper gear".
That sounds like a pretty good description of a Fred. I didn't know much about the term before, so I just didn't use it. Anyways, sometimes I see serious cyclists their, umm, special clothes at the uni. Makes me wonder how far they biked that they felt the need to make themselves stand out. Hard not to chuckle when I see them around the student center. I wonder if they change before class or if they just walk around all day with their junk outlined perfectly. Nothing against roadies, some of them that I've met on the MUPs have been really nice and helpful and some are just fools.
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Old 06-06-11, 05:04 PM
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There's that guy at the local coffee shop with his Pinarello Dogma decked out in the latest Assos. I forget his name but he's got this not quite genuine Spanish accent and walks around like he's completely fried from that afternoon's double century...

It's all an act. I've ridden with him. He's maybe a back of the pack Cat. 4 who never sees a podium and rarely rides more than 50 miles at a time or more than 100 miles in a week. I'd much rather be known as a Fred than a Poseur.
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Old 06-06-11, 05:38 PM
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Then theres' Freddie, the fast one :
World human powered speed record - 53.43 miles in an hour

Jun 5, 2006


http://www.google.com/search?client=...=Google+Search

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-06-11 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 06-07-11, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Then theres' Freddie, the fast one :
World human powered speed record - 53.43 miles in an hour

Jun 5, 2006


http://www.google.com/search?client=...=Google+Search
I thought that was far surpassed by a Sam in 2008: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/09/worlds-fastest/

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Old 06-08-11, 11:37 AM
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Some guy in the 80's went 153 MPH on a bicycle( pedaling a regular bike) with a 150 tooth chainring(something like that,BIG)behind a semi at Bonneville salt flats.He got towed up to 100MPH or some such.

I think some guy beat that speed going down the side of a volcano somewhere,if I remember right.He broke the front fork on one of the runs at over 100 MPH.

Last edited by Booger1; 06-08-11 at 12:08 PM.
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