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Problem: Three Definitions of "Fred"

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

Problem: Three Definitions of "Fred"

Old 04-07-09, 01:10 PM
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Problem: Three Definitions of "Fred"

I have seen several threads recently on our good friend "Fred" (must be a rite of every spring). I've noticed that many of these threads get very heated, and I think I have a decent theory why: the term is used to mockingly describe two very different kinds of "annoying" riders plus a third category that really shouldn't be viewed as "annoying." The fact that different posters have different images in their heads leads to people talking past each other and getting angry.

First, you have the old guy who is riding a beater bike, often rocking a scraggly beard, wearing inappropriate cycling gear (skiing jacket, jean shorts, tennis shoes?) -- and who according to lore will often leave you in the dust. Second, you have the guy who has spent way too much on fancy gear -- carbon bike, pro team kit, fancy gadgets -- but completely lacks the skills to use them and cruises on the path at 15mph. Both stereotypes offend the elitist strain that exists among many cyclists, but in very different ways, most critically that the first type can occasionally elicit respect if bewilderment, while the second is generally just scorned.

That said, for the latter group, we should distinguish these "poseurs" who want to look the part but not put in the hard work to build up their skills from the many "enthusaists" who may have cool cycling gear because they genuinely love to ride but just haven't built up the skills of a racer (full disclosure: I think I'm in this category). I think it upsets enthusiasts to be considered "Freds" just because they don't race, belong to a cycling club, or spend $1000s on climbing camps, etc.

If you are genuinely passionate about cycling and work hard at it, but maybe have some better gear than your skills suggest, you should have nothing to be ashamed of, and the true die-hards should not lump them in with the "poseurs" who truly can be annoying to everyone. The original old "Freds" that leave you in the dust -- well, they probably don't care what you call them anyway.

That's my theory -- feel free to chime in.

Last edited by smessvader; 04-07-09 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:11 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RqdZ...aul-rand-2020/
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Old 04-07-09, 01:13 PM
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I was waiting for it

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Old 04-07-09, 01:14 PM
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wow -- what a thoughtful response...criticize my font selection...anyone else have something productive to add?
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Old 04-07-09, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
wow -- what a thoughtful response...criticize my font selection...anyone else have something productive to add?
stick to black for the font too.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:20 PM
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must...follow...the herd...and obey directions on how to use a chat room...

is that all you do, go around and critique the way people post without bothering to actually read the post?? What a waste...why not turn off your computer and ride your bike.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:22 PM
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your font and color selection made me not want to read the post.

just being honest.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:23 PM
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I stopped reading when I got to the word "Fred". Besides the fact it was in Blue Comic Sans MS.

Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
feel free to chime in.
I took your advice. Don't be upset.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:30 PM
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Truth be told, I really don't care what anyone looks like or rides. On the opposite end of who I am as a cyclist are the beach cruiser dudes on their chopped and pimped moving works of art. We have very little in common as cyclists, but I can certainly appreciate the attention to detail and all the skills behind creating those show bikes. Whenever riding, I'm pretty much happy seeing anyone else out there riding too, no matter their appearance, clothing or bike.

For me, the ongoing Fred Wars are all about locker room talk and good fun.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:30 PM
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OK, chatroom police, I've changed my font because the last thing I personally want to do is give two sh&ts about format over substance. I just get bored of plain black font but MESSAGE RECEIVED.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
must...follow...the herd...and obey directions on how to use a chat room...
this isn't a chat room.

Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
is that all you do, go around and critique the way people post without bothering to actually read the post??
it was illegible in comic sans.

Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
What a waste...
...of bandwith, your post is.

possibly.

Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
why not turn off your computer and ride your bike.
try again. fail again. fail better.

just back from 2.5 hours on the bike.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
must...follow...the herd...and obey directions on how to use a chat room...

is that all you do, go around and critique the way people post without bothering to actually read the post?? What a waste...why not turn off your computer and ride your bike.
Be honest, you're just trolling, right? You seriously think others are being serious in their critique?
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Old 04-07-09, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
this isn't a chat room.



it was illegible in comic sans.



...of bandwith, your post is.

possibly.



try again. fail again. fail better.

just back from 2.5 hours on the bike.
Like a breath of fresh spring air.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
cruises on the path at 15mph.
What's wrong with 15mph?
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Old 04-07-09, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
What's wrong with 15mph?
Fair enough -- perhaps <10 is more appropriate.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:53 PM
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i climb at <10 mph. you want to take this outside?
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Old 04-07-09, 01:56 PM
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I've read your post and determined you can't distinguish a Fred from a Poseur.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:56 PM
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Don't listen to these A-holes!
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Old 04-07-09, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
i climb at <10 mph. you want to take this outside?
Lolin'

Racer could be on a recovery ride, so you have to be careful where you're painting with the poseur brush. Actually, most racers are poseurs from a pro's perspective, so yeah everyone is either a pro, a poseur or a Fred. I think the easiest way to tell the difference between a Fred and a poseur is what kind of pedals they have on their road bike.

Platform pedals = Fred
Toe clips in 2009 = Fred
Clipless pedals and not in the pro peloton = Poseur

There are exceptions, but this is probably the one thing you can look at that is most effective. I fall into the latter Fred pedal group.
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Old 04-07-09, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratfish View Post
Lolin'

Racer could be on a recovery ride, so you have to be careful where you're painting with the poseur brush. Actually, most racers are poseurs from a pro's perspective, so yeah everyone is either a pro, a poseur or a Fred. I think the easiest way to tell the difference between a Fred and a poseur is what kind of pedals they have on their road bike.

Platform pedals = Fred
Toe clips in 2009 = Fred
Clipless pedals and not in the pro peloton = Poseur

There are exceptions, but this is probably the one thing you can look at that is most effective. I fall into the latter Fred pedal group.
I disagree with your implication that anyone who is not a "professional" (what level professional? ProTour? Pro Continental? Continental?) that uses the same, or similar, equipment as "professionals" is a poseur.
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Old 04-07-09, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by wanders View Post
Don't listen to these A-holes!
OMG - it's the bastard child of RichinPeroria and Lazyrider.
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Old 04-07-09, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratfish View Post
Lolin'

Racer could be on a recovery ride, so you have to be careful where you're painting with the poseur brush. Actually, most racers are poseurs from a pro's perspective, so yeah everyone is either a pro, a poseur or a Fred. I think the easiest way to tell the difference between a Fred and a poseur is what kind of pedals they have on their road bike.

Platform pedals = Fred
Toe clips in 2009 = Fred
Clipless pedals and not in the pro peloton = Poseur

There are exceptions, but this is probably the one thing you can look at that is most effective. I fall into the latter Fred pedal group.
So, unless you are a pro, you are either a fred or a poseur.
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Old 04-07-09, 02:06 PM
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i like food pics
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Old 04-07-09, 02:08 PM
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Nothing to see here, just someone else who takes BF, the term fred and himself way too seriously.
Time to ride home IN THE FREAKING APRIL SNOW!
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Old 04-07-09, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tulex View Post
So, unless you are a pro, you are either a fred or a poseur.
Now you're catching on.
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