Friday, April 3

Cycling Hierarchy

Ok, since I go on about fixie clones and jersey guys I guess I ought to do a hierarchy, a breakdown of the cycling world.

Categories: Those Who Cycle for Fun, Those Who Cycle for Utility, Those Who Cycle for Sport, Those Who Cycle for Fashion

At the top of the hierarchy I'm going to put:

Those that Ride for Fun

Kids riding up and down the cul-de-sac, building ramps to jump their bikes, racing other kids down the street, riding around the park, doing tricks, weaving all over the road just because its fun...y'know, for kids! Adults can ride for fun too. I love seeing the twentysomethings on the cruiser bikes. If you're riding a cruiser you're most likely riding for fun. Mom and dad out riding with the kids, mountain bikers that aren't training for a race, me, riding up Mount Evans Road, anyone just out for the day without an agenda or destination. You probably won't find a pair of padded bike shorts anywhere in this bunch.

Those that Cycle for Utility

This would include adults that use the bike for their primary mode of transportation. Most often they would be found riding a mountain bike, a hybrid, a touring bike (if they're old school) or an old 10 speed. They dress for the weather, have accessories that don't necessarily make the bike look more aerodynamic or fashionable and they probably don't care much about the weight of their water bottle cage.

This category would also include kids that ride to and from school, ride the bike to a friend's house, to the park, and just to get around in general. The distinction between this sort of child and the child that ride primarily for fun is that most likely this kid will have a bike lock, or at least make an effort to secure their bike where a kid that rides for fun will drop the sucker anywhere. Also, the kids that ride for utility will most likely be alone, or at least not in the company of mom and/or dad.

Those that Ride for Sport

Jersey Guys/Gals, those that use the bike as a training tool, but not to get to the store, as entertainment or when they take the kids out an about. They have carbon seat posts, bottle cages and frames, aerodynamic sunglasses, shaved legs (how could that be fun?!), ride 30 mph through the park, ride in groups so they can draft and wear race jerseys with matching shorts and/or jerseys with their sponsors or who they would like to sponsor them.

Those that Ride for Fashion

Fixie clones or their like. The bike is a fashion/personality statement, but actually having a purpose for the bike is clearly secondary. A certain type of wardrobe, image and behavior set is important. You must scowl at anyone higher in this hierarchy, motorists, pedestrians and basically anyone else, including other fixie clones. Very little cycling specific gear is endorsed, but some is necessary. Usefulness of the bike is also secondary, but paint schemes, stickers and weird useless handlebar configurations are high on the list of priorities. Also that fall into this category are Jersey People that have no athletic purpose to their riding and probably don't enjoy riding as much as they enjoy spending money on gear and clothes.

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