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I Ride Bicycles, But I am Not A Cyclist.

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I Ride Bicycles, But I am Not A Cyclist.

Old 07-18-11, 10:42 AM
  #1  
CharleyGnarly
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I Ride Bicycles, But I am Not A Cyclist.

I don't visit this site much as you can see by my quantity of posts. So, with that in mind, feel free to totally disregard what I say. I realize that I am jeopardizing any hope of further help on this site, but I am willing to take the risk.

I have noticed some things in the cycling world here in my town, and on the various forums I subscribe to, so I will share, and hopefully explain why I don't consider myself a "cyclist."

1. I have noticed that the more bent over a person is on his/her bike, and the more colorful and complicated the "kit" he/she wears, the less likely they are to offer up a "good morning," or a friendly wave.
2. Conversely, a person on a low-budget bike, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, or tanktop, is more likely to be smiling, and quicker to offer up one of the aforementioned pleasantries.
3. Many cyclists claim a desire to "share the road", but in truth harbor a hog-the-road approach. Example: Curvy, mountain road, two lanes. Plenty of blind corners. Group of cyclists riding three or four abreast. Really? And if somebody gets hit, it's the drivers fault? Common sense people...
4. For many, especially in the cyber world, there is next to no tolerance of diversity in bikes, riding styles, etc. If your seat is lower than your bars (yes, seat, not saddle... holdover from my BMX years... sorry) you obviously don't know what you are doing and should just stay home. Bike paths, bike lanes, and roads are for cyclists... not the average joe.
5. If you buy your bike with less than top of the line parts, and, God forbid, decide to upgrade the bike you have with better parts, well, what are you thinking? Cripes for the piece of junk you are upgrading you could spend another $2000.00 and just get a real bike.
6. If and when you join a "cycling" forum, don't ask any questions. You will get one of the following: "Look it up dummy... the search function is your friend;" or, "Whatever you are looking for is junk, or not what I use, therefore inferior;" or, your thread will get totally hijacked and the original question will got lost in a huge argument.

Obviously, the above doesn't hold true for all the wonderful folks who enjoy riding bicycles. Unfortunately, it comes across this way way too often. It seems as if the hardcore cyclist types, or the ones that want to come off this way, fall into some, or all, of these categories. People preach the benefits of cycling as a lifestyle, but come across as snobs at times. That can be a real turn-off for newbies.

An example of what I am talking about could be summed up with one experience I witnessed some time back. I was tooling along on my MTB, having a jolly time. Up ahead was a mom with an infant car seat, with her other small child up ahead on his bike. Both mom and child were cruising along, staying in their lane, enjoying a lovely day. As I approached them, I heard the tell-tale sound of high-end buzzing coming up behind. Sure enough, a small group of cyclists, road variety, zipped by, resplendent in there colorful, professional looking kit, carbon fiber glittering in the sun. As the leader approached the mom and kids he shouted "Why don't you get off the f***ing path, MOM!"

Great way to spread the word, dood...
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Old 07-18-11, 11:01 AM
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I wouldn't be too quick to stereotype ALL roadies that way. I've had many a few tip there hat and wave at me while I'm riding a walmart deluxe in a white shirt and shorts. There are @ss' everywhere in the world, and some of them just happen to ride bikes.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:04 AM
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*yawn*
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 07-18-11, 11:08 AM
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Getting cussed at by the "go-fast" crowd; heck I consider that pleasentry. More than once I've had the Jersey and Carbon Fiber bike crowd pass me with daughter in tow in a dangerous manner on the bike paths. I get it, going fast is more important than your own safety, it's more important than my safety and the safety of others on the path and I guess going fast is so important that even infants and children will be put at risk so they can set a new personel best average speed.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:16 AM
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I think you make good points, especially road-hogging. Not a good idea.

As for the "search Police"(that is what I like to call them), this site does not suffer from that or I have not seen that...yet. Then again I hang out in the 50+ forum and we just don't do that. If you want to see this in it's full intensity visit the TDI Club (a forum for diesel VWs). You can't even ask one question without the Search Police trying to arrest you.
If people on here do act the Search Police, don't put up with it. Report them. That should not be done.

But keep trying to meet more bicyclists. You will find them very nice and helpful for the most part.

Last edited by bigbadwullf; 07-18-11 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:19 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by CharleyGnarly View Post
6. If and when you join a "cycling" forum, don't ask any questions. You will get one of the following: "Look it up dummy... the search function is your friend;" or, "Whatever you are looking for is junk, or not what I use, therefore inferior;" or, your thread will get totally hijacked and the original question will got lost in a huge argument.
Totally agree on the part about people not being able to ask questions on the forums ("Use the search function").

Is there really anything wrong with someone asking for recommendations on a bike part or help with bike mechanics? Even if the question has been asked before, there's nothing wrong with it being brought up again. There are enough people on this forum that if you have already answered the question once and don't want to do it again, then someone else can step in and give input.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:42 AM
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You'll understand once you get a decent bike and dress properly.
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Old 07-18-11, 12:14 PM
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Just ride. Ignore the asses. It is not worth the emotion you are wasting on such an insignificant number of tools. You can deny that you are indifferent and not wasting any emotion, but the fact that you posted it here tells otherwise.
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Old 07-18-11, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sd790 View Post
You'll understand once you get a decent bike and dress properly.
Love it.

I'll clarify a bit. I don't really put all roadies in the above categories. There are plenty of decent people out there. Same with this forum or any other. And I have had questions answered quite a bit. It is just frustrating at times, and I don't often have time to read page after page looking for an answer. Plus, one of the things I enjoy about forums is the interaction. Ask a question, get some feedback.

As for the knuckleheads that act in an unpleasant manner, I guess there is nothing to be done. I smile and wave to even the grimmest, most intense looking chaps. Hopefully it will eventually rub off.

So, for now, I guess I am off to the LBS to get some proper riding duds...
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Old 07-18-11, 12:36 PM
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LoL Charley, you got me thinking I'm just glad the @$$hats aren't in cars! But I can sympathize with almost everything you said... however on this forum I've been lucky I guess? My dumb questions tend to get answered my helpful people, and rather then going "search feature RAWR" usually they'll give me the links they personally think are helpful, this particular site is great like that (I know what your talking about though I use to help admin a gaming forum site, and elitist snobs are elitist snobs no matter what the genre.)
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Old 07-18-11, 12:44 PM
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I saw a guy on a hybrid this morning in full kit.

That has nothing to do with anything, but I found it interesting.
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Old 07-18-11, 12:47 PM
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Elitists exist in every sport and hobby.
Elitists won't go away and in most cases they won't change.
The only thing you have any control over is how you react to them.
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Old 07-18-11, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CharleyGnarly View Post
2. Conversely, a person on a low-budget bike, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, or tanktop, is more likely to be smiling, and quicker to offer up one of the aforementioned pleasantries.
Quite often the opposite here. In NYC those "on a low-budget bike, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, or tanktop" (I assume you mean crappy shorts and crappy/baggy T-shirts) are more likely delivery people, none of whom have ever offered pleasantries to me, but some of them caused risk to me on the streets.

Originally Posted by CharleyGnarly View Post
6. If and when you join a "cycling" forum, don't ask any questions. You will get one of the following: "Look it up dummy... the search function is your friend;" or, "Whatever you are looking for is junk, or not what I use, therefore inferior;" or, your thread will get totally hijacked and the original question will got lost in a huge argument.
Being a dummy, I've asked countless dumb questions here and got a lot of helpful replies, never met the attitude you attributed.
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Old 07-18-11, 01:07 PM
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if you ride a bicycle, you ARE a cyclist, by definition.

whether you ride for fun, fitness, health, relaxation, sport, transportation, family time, or whatever, riding a bicycle makes you a cyclist; your motivation for doing so is irrelevant.

the fact that some people who ride bicycles are complete and total elitist d-bags about it doesn't change anything, nor does it give them any exclusive right to define what a cyclist is.

d-bags exist in all areas of life. deal with it. ride more. worry less.
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Old 07-18-11, 01:31 PM
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I've only been riding for about 4 months. I mostly ride the country, low-traffic roads and only occasionaly meet up with another cyclist. I have raised a hand and waved at every one of them and they have all waved back, but I've noticed I'm always the first to wave. I come from motorcycling where all bikers wave at each other. Used to be the Harley riders wouldn't wave at the Jap bike crowd, but that was years ago and now everyone pretty much waves at everyone else. The cruiser bike crowd usually holds their hand down to wave since that's cooler than holding your hand up Anyway... I've also passed several motorcyclists and, of course, nobody waves at nobody. I'm thinking about starting to wave at all the motorcyclists and see if I can train them to start waving back to bicyclists I mean, if they knew I also rode a motorcycle, they'd wave anyway, right? We'll see how that goes and I'll report back.
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Old 07-18-11, 01:32 PM
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I am notoriously poor searcher. I will search, not find it, post, and then someone will reply with a link to the same thing I asked, lol. So I like this forum because I don't see all the "Use the search feature dummy, this has been asked before" comments like on the motorcycle and BMX forums I read.

Also I have been lucky and the "roadies" that ride around here will wave and say hi even when I am on my 24" BMX bike. Might be a benefit of living in the mountains, most people I see riding here, live here.
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Old 07-18-11, 01:34 PM
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There's plenty to what you said, but not getting a wave is a non-event. Who cares? Instead, I worry about the salmon and the sidewalk riders who blow every stop light - no matter what they're riding.
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Old 07-18-11, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
There's plenty to what you said, but not getting a wave is a non-event. Who cares? Instead, I worry about the salmon and the sidewalk riders who blow every stop light - no matter what they're riding.
+1 I don't understand why people get so upset when they wave and don't get one in return. Do you say "good morning" and wave to people when you're walking down the sidewalk?
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Old 07-18-11, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryPitts View Post
I come from motorcycling where all bikers wave at each other. Used to be the Harley riders wouldn't wave at the Jap bike crowd, but that was years ago and now everyone pretty much waves at everyone else. The cruiser bike crowd usually holds their hand down to wave since that's cooler than holding your hand up Anyway... I've also passed several motorcyclists and, of course, nobody waves at nobody. I'm thinking about starting to wave at all the motorcyclists and see if I can train them to start waving back to bicyclists I mean, if they knew I also rode a motorcycle, they'd wave anyway, right? We'll see how that goes and I'll report back.
I got a nod on a descent last weekend from a climbing motorcyclist. Last summer I was climbing a mountain road and I got a friendly toot of the horn from one motorcycle in a group of Harleys.

I was on my bicycle both times.
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Old 07-18-11, 02:01 PM
  #20  
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Once when riding home from work I passed a guy who was riding a mtn bike on the road and dressed in full team kit. I was on my commuter bike with rack and panniers and wearing bibs and hi-viz jersey. I said hello and he said nothing. It takes all kinds.
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Old 07-18-11, 02:06 PM
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If I spend all my time waving at everyone around here my arm would fall off. I am far more likely to be friendly if a) I am in a good mood b) I hardly see any bicycle riders that day.
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Old 07-18-11, 02:25 PM
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I'm 5'9" 195lbs, been as much as 220lbs when riding. I've worn club cut jerseys that were loose-fitting (I've just in the last year gotten the self-confidence to wear tight stuff regardless of the gut). My bike is a Shimano 105 equipped "starter bike" and my wife's bike has a lowly aluminum frame... We've always found most of the kit-clad riders quite pleasant. Of course there are exceptions, but it's quite a pleasant experience where we are. Perhaps it's location-specific. When I commute to work on my road bike, I wear mountain bike shorts and a t-shirt... once again, no problems.

I share the road (and frown at those who don't) unless I'm moving at the speed of typical traffic or more... if the speed limit is 30 and I'm going 35, I'm taking the whole lane, ESPECIALLY on a curvy mountain road. There are jerks who won't get out of the way or have little regard for automobiles, but in my area that's more common in the hipster/fixie crowd than the kit-wearing folk.

As far as the upgrade thing, I'm not sure what your situation was to trigger this part of your rant, but it DOES often make more sense to buy a different bike than upgrade. My bike has Shimano 105 stuff... if I wanted to upgrade to Ultegra or DuraAce, it would cost more than just buying a whole new bike with the better stuff already on it.

Every forum I've ever been involved with has had the "search police" or the ("RTFM" crowd for tech stuff).

Also, there are a lot of people who think whatever is under what they have is "junk"... or more likely, they want to justify what they bought by saying the "lesser" stuff is inferior. I would argue that many people who splurge for DuraAce would get by just fine with 105 or Ultegra if their egos would get out of the way.

Just an observation from a fellow novice cyclist (yes, cyclist).
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Old 07-18-11, 03:07 PM
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I wouldn't get bothered by the "wave" thing. If someone is rolling fast there isn't time to untuck, raise your arm and wave before they're past you. I usually nod or raise a palm if there's time.

The people who don't respond when you say something to them are the same ones you encounter in an elevator, on the street, everywhere. It isn't cycling specific.
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Old 07-18-11, 03:13 PM
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The people that do bother me on this forum are the Fashion Police.
You know who you are.
Someone posts a picture of themselves with their helmet straps outside their sunglasses or with a dork disc on their wheel and you guys tear into him.
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Old 07-18-11, 04:01 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Brittain View Post
Totally agree on the part about people not being able to ask questions on the forums ("Use the search function").

Is there really anything wrong with someone asking for recommendations on a bike part or help with bike mechanics? Even if the question has been asked before, there's nothing wrong with it being brought up again. There are enough people on this forum that if you have already answered the question once and don't want to do it again, then someone else can step in and give input.
OP seemed to get reasonable responses to all the threads he has started in these forums.

Looks alot like someone looking for something to complain about.
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