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Style vs. Skill

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Style vs. Skill

Old 08-20-21, 03:30 PM
  #76  
DonkeyShow
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I found some killer lounge shorts at calvin klein in highlighter yellow that I rock with my striped tank tops from old navy when riding. Helps I got a fetish for sunscreen. last ride i finally hit 20mph avg over 1.5 hours on my piece of **** sora bike. Mainly cause I finally got the 3rd front gear working somehow. I had written it off in all honesty, but damn its soo much faster now. Look dumb, poverty bike, go fast ftw.
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Old 08-22-21, 11:40 PM
  #77  
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When I first dipped my toe into cycling I had a Schwinn Varsity, wore cutoffs, t shirt and had flat pedals with toe straps. Serious cyclist would blast by on their pricey bikes dressed in full kit. I learned bit by bit as my strength and distance increased, that each piece of cycling gear had a specific function, like gloves for comfort and saving skin in the event of a fall. 30 years later 2 carbon bikes, 2 steel and a MTB and several kits I have evolved from very low a and s to a medium high a/s. When I see people I might consider as low a/s I remember how many years it took me to gain knowledge and finances to be fortunate to be where I am now, still struggling to keep up with the serious cyclists blasting by me.
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Old 08-23-21, 09:19 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
When I first dipped my toe into cycling I had a Schwinn Varsity, wore cutoffs, t shirt and had flat pedals with toe straps. Serious cyclist would blast by on their pricey bikes dressed in full kit. I learned bit by bit as my strength and distance increased, that each piece of cycling gear had a specific function, like gloves for comfort and saving skin in the event of a fall. 30 years later 2 carbon bikes, 2 steel and a MTB and several kits I have evolved from very low a and s to a medium high a/s. When I see people I might consider as low a/s I remember how many years it took me to gain knowledge and finances to be fortunate to be where I am now, still struggling to keep up with the serious cyclists blasting by me.

I've had a similar progression through the decades. When I see someone who looks like you (or I) did 30 years ago, I respect him for getting out and riding a bike. If it turns out he's a pretty strong and skilled cyclist, I admire him even more--but in my experience that is usually not the case. When I see someone with the latest high-end gear who is really fast, I admire him too. If such a guy is kind and generous to others, then I believe he has a achieved some sort of pinnacle as a cyclist. At any level or any combination of style and skill, if someone is being a jerk I have no time for him--he gets minimal points in my book.


I make judgements about someone as a cyclist upon seeing what he or she is wearing and riding. I try to never judge someone as a fellow human (make assumptions about someone's character or morality based on physical appearance). To those who say you have no preconceived notions about another person as a rider based on his or her equipment, I guess you're better than me. I could work on that. But I doubt most of us are completely unbiased. Just being honest here.
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Old 08-23-21, 09:31 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Hear, hear!

Those are not real cyclists. Kudos to them for at least getting outside. They could be sitting on their couch getting fat, but they go out and at least try. I don't care what they or their bikes look like any more than I care what someone is doing on his motor scooter. I respect what's done by anyone on a bike propelled exclusively by muscles!
I would imagine they don't care about being "real" cyclists. My only issue with e-bikes is the really subtle ones where it's not immediately obvious that they are powered. I once tried to race a guy up a local climb and smashed myself to pieces only to realise he was on an e-road bike! They should be made to wear jerseys with a large "E" on the back so you know the score.
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Old 08-23-21, 09:36 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by DonkeyShow View Post
I found some killer lounge shorts at calvin klein in highlighter yellow that I rock with my striped tank tops from old navy when riding. Helps I got a fetish for sunscreen. last ride i finally hit 20mph avg over 1.5 hours on my piece of **** sora bike. Mainly cause I finally got the 3rd front gear working somehow. I had written it off in all honesty, but damn its soo much faster now. Look dumb, poverty bike, go fast ftw.
Nice! I wear $5 Fruit of the Loom drawstring shorts with a fluorescent yellow T-shirt and Red Wing safety toe sneakers on flat pedals. People passing by in cars probably tell their kids "see what happens when you drink and drive, you are stuck riding a bike" I just like to jump on a bike and go, I even made plenty of rides in Dickies work pants with a Velcro strap around my right ankle to keep the pants out of the chainring.
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Old 08-23-21, 09:40 AM
  #81  
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Dickies reimagined!

https://www.squidbikes.com/products/chamois-work-shorts
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Old 08-23-21, 10:34 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Not2Bright View Post
Nice! I wear $5 Fruit of the Loom drawstring shorts with a fluorescent yellow T-shirt and Red Wing safety toe sneakers on flat pedals. People passing by in cars probably tell their kids "see what happens when you drink and drive, you are stuck riding a bike" I just like to jump on a bike and go, I even made plenty of rides in Dickies work pants with a Velcro strap around my right ankle to keep the pants out of the chainring.
That reminds me of those C-clip things we used to have to keep our flared jeans out of the chainring in the '70s!
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Old 08-23-21, 10:39 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I would imagine they don't care about being "real" cyclists. My only issue with e-bikes is the really subtle ones where it's not immediately obvious that they are powered. I once tried to race a guy up a local climb and smashed myself to pieces only to realise he was on an e-road bike! They should be made to wear jerseys with a large "E" on the back so you know the score.
I don't mind those riders. In my experience, they know how to handle a bike. What I hate are the people riding 30mph in the bike lane on what's essentially an electric moped. Yes, it has pedals but they're not turning.
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Old 08-23-21, 11:24 AM
  #84  
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Interesting.

Back in the day it was all Blackbottoms and wool jerseys for me. ( some of you will recognize this.)

Today it's all fluorescent colors and comfortable seats. I want to be seen. Hell, i want to be impossible to not be seen. I don't wear earth tones, black, gray, olive drab, I wear bright orange or fluorescent green.
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Old 08-23-21, 11:57 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by afm199 View Post
Interesting.

Back in the day it was all Blackbottoms and wool jerseys for me. ( some of you will recognize this.)

Today it's all fluorescent colors and comfortable seats. I want to be seen. Hell, i want to be impossible to not be seen. I don't wear earth tones, black, gray, olive drab, I wear bright orange or fluorescent green.
I like to be very visible on my bicycle and I've put a lot of thought into this. I gave it even more focus when I was into (road) motorcycling. I believe wearing bright clothing can make a difference in being seen by drivers and therefore reducing chances of a collision. But I think there's another benefit. In the event that someone hits me in spite of all my precautions, the liability fight might be a lot easier. Imagine the ammo that you're handing to a driver's defense attorney when you ride in subdued colors. Alternatively, imagine how easy you make it for your own lawyer when he can say to an insurance company or a jury, "My client was wearing the day-glo orange jersey and white helmet shown as Exhibit A, and eyewitnesses confirmed the flashing lights shown as Exhibits B and C were attached to his bike and functioning properly. How can there be any credibility to this driver's claim that he did not see my client on the road? Mr. Broctoon could not have been more visible. It's clearly a case of a driver who was distracted or simply not paying attention." (Any camouflage print is the worst choice, as the driver's attorney will say "My client did not see this cyclist because the cyclist was wearing attire specifically designed to blend into the terrain.") I'm afraid in the world we live in, these are things we have to keep in mind.

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Old 08-23-21, 11:59 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I don't mind those riders. In my experience, they know how to handle a bike. What I hate are the people riding 30mph in the bike lane on what's essentially an electric moped. Yes, it has pedals but they're not turning.
Two of my friends who are married have Turbo Creo e-bikes. They both used to race, he was a 3 and she was a 2, but he has a problem with irregular heartbeat and the doc said he shouldn't elevate his heart rate too high, so an e-bike was the solution. She got one because he did. They're both fine in close quarters and they're great bike handlers. After I *****ed about them half-wheeling they are just like riding with any other strong rider.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:00 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Hear, hear!

Those are not real cyclists. Kudos to them for at least getting outside. They could be sitting on their couch getting fat, but they go out and at least try. I don't care what they or their bikes look like any more than I care what someone is doing on his motor scooter. I respect what's done by anyone on a bike propelled exclusively by muscles!
​​​​​​I know several real cyclists who own eBikes. Most of them go out and do their training, or other "real riding" (one of them does centuries on mountain roads, mostly gravel) on human powered bikes, but they're cyclists so they like riding bikes, and got eBikes for things like trips to the grocery store that they used to use their car for. I know a guy with a sexy Canyon and Zipp 404s, also has an e cargo bike, like a station wagon with two wheels. Another one who's a cyclist M-F and hiker on the weekends, he bought an eBike so he could take his Leaf instead of his F150 to go hiking, rides the eBike up the gravel road to the trail. Says the bike will have paid for itself in using less gas next year, and riding those roads would be too much TSS and put him in a recovery hole.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:03 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I like to be very visible on my bicycle and, I put a lot of thought into this. I gave it even more focus when I was into (road) motorcycling. I believe wearing bright clothing can make a difference in being seen by drivers and therefore reducing chances of a collision. But I think there's another benefit. In the event that someone hits me in spite of all my precautions, the liability fight might be a lot easier. Imagine the ammo that you're handing to a driver's defense attorney when you ride in subdued colors. Alternatively, imagine how easy you make it for your own lawyer when he can say to an insurance company or a jury, "My client was wearing the day-glo orange jersey and white helmet shown as Exhibit A, and eyewitnesses confirmed the flashing lights shown as Exhibits B and C were attached to his bike and functioning properly. How can there be any credibility to this driver's claim that he did not see my client on the road? Mr. Broctoon could not have been more visible. It's clearly a case of a driver who was distracted or simply not paying attention." (Any camouflage print is the worst choice, as the driver's attorney will say "My client did not see this cyclist because the cyclist was wearing attire specifically designed to blend into the terrain.") I'm afraid in the world we live in, these are things we have to keep in mind.
Shoot, I just bought this, which may be considered camoflage:

Castelli Attacco Limited Edition Jersey - Men's | Competitive Cyclist

At least I always wear a pink helmet with this jersey, and my bike is carmine red.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:06 PM
  #89  
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My wife and I will probably own e-bikes someday. But I hope I always have my human powered ones as well.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:23 PM
  #90  
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I just try to score low on the a-s-s scale and usually I’m alright.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:23 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I like to be very visible on my bicycle and I've put a lot of thought into this. I gave it even more focus when I was into (road) motorcycling. I believe wearing bright clothing can make a difference in being seen by drivers and therefore reducing chances of a collision. But I think there's another benefit. In the event that someone hits me in spite of all my precautions, the liability fight might be a lot easier. Imagine the ammo that you're handing to a driver's defense attorney when you ride in subdued colors. Alternatively, imagine how easy you make it for your own lawyer when he can say to an insurance company or a jury, "My client was wearing the day-glo orange jersey and white helmet shown as Exhibit A, and eyewitnesses confirmed the flashing lights shown as Exhibits B and C were attached to his bike and functioning properly. How can there be any credibility to this driver's claim that he did not see my client on the road? Mr. Broctoon could not have been more visible. It's clearly a case of a driver who was distracted or simply not paying attention." (Any camouflage print is the worst choice, as the driver's attorney will say "My client did not see this cyclist because the cyclist was wearing attire specifically designed to blend into the terrain.") I'm afraid in the world we live in, these are things we have to keep in mind.
Could not agree more. Hell, most rides I carry a Go Pro mounted on the bars and running.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:25 PM
  #92  
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LOL really style counts? But then I have always been what works stays, what doesn't goes. And that changes with the season and or disability, Arthritis is a cruel master. But the bike riding has done wonders for my knees. But as with the horses I am more of the endurance riding style not the fancy show horses.
​​​​​​Broctoon I got a throttle powered front wheel. Use it on the tough hills or against the north wind but the rest of the time its my own power. The best of both worlds. I have had it a year now, but just bought a back up battery for longer rides. IT does mean that on days when the knees and back are screaming I can still ride. After researching them all I got the least powerful Hill topper. Its just enough that needed boost so even steep hills are feasible. And using the throttle I can give just enough power to work
the knees without over stressing them.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:26 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I have a theory about road biking street cred, authenticity points, or how “legit” a rider is perceived… whatever you want to call it. I’ll use some abbreviations and put forth my theory, with a few examples. I'm curious to see who agrees, who wants to just add some minor modifications, and who thinks I’m a total doofus out in left field.

Let a = cycling ability, or skill. This encompasses athletic conditioning, bike handling skills, and even wisdom in how to react to tricky situations on the road.

Let s = style, a.k.a. aesthetics. Your bike, accessories, and attire are all included here. Of course, this is very subjective, but there are some generalizations we can maybe agree on: In attire, Rapha > Pearl Izumi > Nashbar house brand > WalMart. (Similar tiers for bikes themselves are easy enough to define.) I’m not talking about product quality and certainly not about value--just style.

Consider the mismatch situations first…

A rider with very high a and very low s will tend to win a great deal of respect. If you disagree, imagine a group ride or race where some guy shows up on a 20 year old no-name beater. He’s wearing tacky, outdated shorts and jersey, cheap weightlifting gloves, and a model of mountain biking helmet that Target just moved to their clearance bin. As soon the ride starts, he absolutely schools everyone. Plays around with the strongest of the other riders like a cat with a mouse. I know… this is extremely unlikely to happen. If it did, you’d be looking for the hidden camera… or waiting to see who’s going to break this guy’s thumbs like they did to Paul Newman in The Hustler. But without a doubt you’d give the guy major points. Everyone would be in awe and wonder what this biking demigod could do on a Dogma or Tarmac. It’s sort of like Dave Stoller from Breaking Away, when the Italian team came to Bloomington (except he rode a pretty legit Masi).

With very low a and high s, a guy will be branded a poseur. Everyone assumes he has lots of money to spend but hasn’t put in the blood, sweat, and tears to earn real respect. He might look cool, but that doesn’t count for much outside of a coffee shop. Serious riders tend to dislike this guy, in spite of the latter’s weak attempt to fit in with the former.
So a guy like me who physically isn't able to be a fast monster rider but loves to ride and is fortunate enough to be able to afford good bikes and decent kit is a poseur? (I think the term you're looking for is Fred).
I am not fast. I cannot ride a century. But I love to ride and I found that a carbon frame with Ultegra was not only comfortable but it helped me enjoy my riding more. Hence I get out more.
If the serious riders don't like me and think I'm just trying to fit in, I suppose it's their loss.
I don't normally reply like this but I'm afraid this hit me wrong. The whole premise seems pompous and diametrically opposed to what bike riding should be about.
I've got my asbestos on, so have at it.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:39 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by bblevens View Post
So a guy like me who physically isn't able to be a fast monster rider but loves to ride and is fortunate enough to be able to afford good bikes and decent kit is a poseur? (I think the term you're looking for is Fred).
I am not fast. I cannot ride a century. But I love to ride and I found that a carbon frame with Ultegra was not only comfortable but it helped me enjoy my riding more. Hence I get out more.
If the serious riders don't like me and think I'm just trying to fit in, I suppose it's their loss.
I don't normally reply like this but I'm afraid this hit me wrong. The whole premise seems pompous and diametrically opposed to what bike riding should be about.
I've got my asbestos on, so have at it.
The traditional definition is that Freds have no style, high utilitarian (frame pumps, baskets, helmet mirrors, etc); and that poseurs are all style and no legs.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:42 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
The traditional definition is that Freds have no style, high utilitarian (frame pumps, baskets, helmet mirrors, etc); and that poseurs are all style and no legs.
You are correct. My apologies. I've been wrong about this for a long time then. Thank you for the edification.
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Old 08-23-21, 12:55 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by bblevens View Post
So a guy like me who physically isn't able to be a fast monster rider but loves to ride and is fortunate enough to be able to afford good bikes and decent kit is a poseur? (I think the term you're looking for is Fred).
I am not fast. I cannot ride a century. But I love to ride and I found that a carbon frame with Ultegra was not only comfortable but it helped me enjoy my riding more. Hence I get out more.
If the serious riders don't like me and think I'm just trying to fit in, I suppose it's their loss.
I don't normally reply like this but I'm afraid this hit me wrong. The whole premise seems pompous and diametrically opposed to what bike riding should be about.
I've got my asbestos on, so have at it.
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
The traditional definition is that Freds have no style, high utilitarian (frame pumps, baskets, helmet mirrors, etc); and that poseurs are all style and no legs.
Originally Posted by bblevens View Post
You are correct. My apologies. I've been wrong about this for a long time then. Thank you for the edification.
My friend FRED is the living embodiment of a FRED >>> scroll down and just look at the picture

https://miles4melanoma.com/freddiehoffman/
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Old 08-23-21, 01:15 PM
  #97  
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Absolute Fred.
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Old 08-23-21, 01:15 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Marci View Post
LOL really style counts?
It does to me. Not at the expense of function, but I always pay at least some attention to it. I believe most people do. Maybe that's counterproductive to a greater good. So far it's worked out well for me and my friends.

Originally Posted by Marci View Post
​​​​​​Broctoon I got a throttle powered front wheel. Use it on the tough hills or against the north wind but the rest of the time its my own power. The best of both worlds. I have had it a year now, but just bought a back up battery for longer rides. IT does mean that on days when the knees and back are screaming I can still ride. After researching them all I got the least powerful Hill topper. Its just enough that needed boost so even steep hills are feasible. And using the throttle I can give just enough power to work
the knees without over stressing them.
Good for you! I'll probably go with something similar if/when the time comes that age and ailment make me unable to ride otherwise.

If I were to encounter you on a ride with your powered hub, I'd probably think "He must have some kind of weakness or condition that caused him to choose this." And apparently I'd be spot-on. I'm guessing you don't look like a road racer, based on this post. Now, if you were otherwise putting out the image of a serious, competitive cyclist, but you had a powered hub, I'd probably think, "He's cheating. Those are for guys who can't get up the hill without help."
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Old 08-23-21, 01:43 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by bblevens View Post
So a guy like me who physically isn't able to be a fast monster rider but loves to ride and is fortunate enough to be able to afford good bikes and decent kit is a poseur? (I think the term you're looking for is Fred).

I am not fast. I cannot ride a century. But I love to ride and I found that a carbon frame with Ultegra was not only comfortable but it helped me enjoy my riding more. Hence I get out more.

If the serious riders don't like me and think I'm just trying to fit in, I suppose it's their loss.

I don't normally reply like this but I'm afraid this hit me wrong. The whole premise seems pompous and diametrically opposed to what bike riding should be about.

I've got my asbestos on, so have at it.

Nobody here going to torch you (I hope). You gave a reasonable reply to what I feel has developed as an interesting discussion.


I am not super fast myself. I try to keep up with the fast guys on club rides but usually get dropped. I can ride a century, but it takes me most of a day, and I finish very exhausted. I do not wear the latest fashionable attire or ride on cutting edge equipment. My bike is an $800 steel frame, Italian brand/made in Taiwan, Campy Centaur group (their entry level components). So it seems you and I are not too different.


I expect other riders upon seeing me to award moderate points for credibility as a serious cyclist. They will reasonably assume I have it together better than someone on a dept. store bike with a rusty chain. They will also be correct in their assumption that I'm not about to keep up with the guy on a 14 lb. S-Works or Pinarello and a body shape that serves as clear evidence he rides often and rides hard. They will know right from the start I'm not going to be the first one up the canyon, but they'll also accurately assume I'm not going to do anything stupid or be unsafe to ride with in a paceline.


To me, a poseur is the guy who has minimal experience but goes out and buys the most flashy, ostentatious equipment he can get. (Doesn't necessarily mean expensive, but it often is.) Then he starts strutting around, acting like he's cooler than the other side of the pillow, maybe even trash talking. When it's time to actually ride, he proves that he lacks the skill and conditioning to back up his image. He has written checks with his style that his body can't cash.


My observations in the original post were just that, a perception of what many people probably think when assessing a rider's style vs. skill. I'm not trying to defend it. Maybe it's wrong for cyclists to view each other in this way. I freely admit to the judgments I make about others (not to their face--I keep it to myself, unless they ask). I try not to be mean about it. Again, I think most of us do this. Who here can honestly say they will look at another rider and make no predictions about his or her ability?
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Old 08-23-21, 03:09 PM
  #100  
dkatz1
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Good grief! You must have a lot of time on your hands.
As for me: I've got high cred for a few things, but no doubt dragged WAY WAY down for my load cred ones. Thing is: I don't give a crap.
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