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Do you judge people by what they ride?(49 posts)

Do you judge people by what they ride?samsouth
Sep 20, 2001 5:29 AM
Do you judge people by what they ride? Most people, I assume, will knee jerk say "no," but do you really? Are there some personalities associated with some types of bikes? Seems like I see a lot of people doing that.

Only if they ride stolen bikes.JimF
Sep 20, 2001 5:34 AM
I've been around long enough to see enough people start out on entry level equipment and go on to put me to shame, such that I'm afforded a boundless supply of humility.
re: Do you judge people by what they ride?zero1
Sep 20, 2001 6:04 AM
never!!! you can be humbled real quick...years ago when i was running all the time and i use to race..., a friend of mine and i were doing a 5K race and a young kid jumps in front of everybody before the race started..he had on baggy shorts and hightop converse tennis shoes with colored shoestrings in them.. we were laughing and making fun of him....needless to say he ran the 5K in just a little over 16 minutes...i learned my lesson real quick...ride safe, gary
Maybe should be different question..........Len J
Sep 20, 2001 6:40 AM
Do you act based on judging people by what they ride?

Here is the distinction.

I would love to be able to say that my immediate thought when I see certain cyclist is not to form a judgement. But I'm a human being, I think we all have a judgement reflex. (I'm talking the first thought that comes into your head). When I see a heavyset guy decked out in U.S. Postal shirt & pants on a U.S. Postal Trek 5200, I can't help that the first thing that pops into my head is Poser. I don't judge myself negativly because I had that thought. However if as a result of that thought I treat that guy any different, then I'm disappointed in myself. If I make a joke at his expense, I'm not happy with me.

Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying that I believe that it is wheather or not you act on a judgement that should be discussed.

My .02
Flame on

This is the truth.MikeC
Sep 20, 2001 8:50 AM
I don't know a single person who doesn't form an impression based on appearances. We cannot function without establishing mental shortcuts.
As Len says, it's what action you take that counts. Do you consider your visual impression as only one data point, or do you build an entire case around it?
The key is being aware of our built-in tendencies, and using them as tools, not just being their slave. One of my favorite studies found that bankers are more likely to loan money to attractive people!
"This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." -Bill S. (rode a Raleigh, made by Sir Walter himself)
Maybe should be different question..........cycleguy
Sep 20, 2001 11:08 AM
"When I see a heavyset guy decked out in U.S. Postal shirt & pants on a U.S. Postal Trek 5200, I can't help that the first thing that pops into my head is Poser"

What if he's a mailman?
That was me last nightmoneyman
Sep 20, 2001 11:21 AM
I have a Trek 5500 (the yellow LA signature edition) and last night I had on a long-sleeve Postal jersey and the Lance Armstrong signature Oakleys. And after three weeks off my bike due to a MTB crash-induced injury, I am a heavy set guy.

Now some qualifiers - The Trek was a gift from the Lance Armstrong Foundation and means a whole lot to me. The Oakleys came to me the same way. The jersey was given to me by my wife for my birthday last year. Do I get sneered at? Probably. Am I a poseur? I don't think so, as I put many thousands of miles on my bikes each year. Does it matter? No. Will I stop riding my Trek? Only when there are six feet of dirt and a pine box between it and me.

I usually don't make judgements about other riders based on what they ride. It could be me.

re: mostly nodzrider
Sep 20, 2001 6:41 AM
I do struggle to think kindly when I hear overweight people bragging about how light their bike is.
re: I admit I do...Tylerman
Sep 20, 2001 6:49 AM
but it's mainly because I am on an older Diamondback, a manuf. known more for it's prowess on the BMX circuit than on the street. So when I see someone on a Litespeed or similar high-dollar steed I automatically think "show-off". So it's kind of a poor man's discrimination against the people with more money than sense. As for my own self image, I see myself as an iconoclast, not taken in by flashy STI shifters and Italian frames. It makes me feel better...
I judge people by how they ride...Cima Coppi
Sep 20, 2001 7:06 AM
I don't really care what type of bicycle or what componentry they are riding, but I'm more concerned with the quality of riding. If someone cannot keep a straight line, or does not ride on the far right of the road (unless passing another cyclist), I will judge them with negativity. All too often I will catch up with another rider who then wheel sucks until I get so frustrated I sprint away to drop them. If a stronger rider catches me, I will run a paceline with them and share the effort until I cannot continue to keep up, then I will drop off the back and let them ride away.

If a rider on a $400 road bike has good cycling etiquette, that means much more to me than a wheelsucking jerk on an expensive status symbol ride.

That's my 0.02 lira's worth.

Sep 20, 2001 7:40 AM
I judge people by how they ride, and how they maintain their bikes. Let's face it, all it takes is money to buy a nice bike. It takes skill, training and experience in order to ride it...
And it takes a Superman suit to look really coolSpinchick
Sep 20, 2001 9:59 AM
while riding ;-). An ex-CHP in a superman suit - now there's some serious hero material!
re: Do you judge people by what they ride?PaulCL
Sep 20, 2001 7:42 AM
I've got to admit that the answer is yes...but only on the first encounter. As a previous poster noted about the overweight guy in full "postal uniform", I would think him to be a poseur also. After riding with someone for a while (a few miles..), I don't care what they ride, I just care how they ride.

I've gotten caught. A couple of years ago I rode up on two guys who were riding in bike shorts, t-shirts, cycling shoes on older, low end bikes. I rode with them for a minute or two, then said goodbye and took off. Much to my surprise, one of them blew past me about a mile or two later. Moral of the story, it ain't the bike, its' the legs!

On the other side of the coin, I ride a Campy Record 10spd equipped Colnago. I am sure some of the hard-core racer types in my area view me as a poseur. I don't ride 300miles/week and only race occasionally (therefore, I suck). In their eyes, I am probably judged like I judged the guys in t-shirts.
It's the superhero suit that counts...cory
Sep 20, 2001 7:51 AM
I live just off a popular training loop from Reno into the Sierra Nevada, which draws a couple of hundred riders on summer weekends. It's also the route from my house to the nearest supermarket. When I ride it in "real" cycling clothes, everybody's my friend, giving me the too-cool-for-you one-hand mini-wave and sometimes even the regal nod of acknowledgement.
Lots of times, though, I ride to the store in whatever I'm wearing--street shorts, tennis shoes, T-shirt. It's laughable the way the same regulars pretend not to see me. There's a reason we're known as Arrogant Roadie Pr!cks.
What route is this in Reno?Empirion75
Sep 20, 2001 8:57 AM
I'm new to the road scene in Reno. What is this popular route you speak of if you don't mind sharing. I just got a road bike last week and all I have yet to ride is NW mcarren to Las Prisas to Avenida De lenida(sp?) and such.
Yes I do...Me Dot Org
Sep 20, 2001 7:52 AM
...a lot of times is not a nice thing to do, I know. Sometimes I'll give a mental snicker if I ride past a poseur on a Colnago, the bike that gets the most admiration from me is:

The one with the dirty frame and the clean chain, with I-don't-care-what-they-look-like-fenders, with a headlight and taillight permanently mounted. Then I know I'm looking at a cyclist's bicycle, someone who doesn't give a sh*t about anything other than riding.

Those are the bikes and rider that get the most respect. They're unpretentious. They just ride.
My experiencebadabill
Sep 20, 2001 8:04 AM
I get a kick out of the different attitude I get depending on what bike I ride and how Im dressed. When im decked out in road gear on my landshark I get with groups that I have not ridden with before and have no problem integrating into the mix. When im on my Surly cross in a t-shirt some of these same groups avoid me. I think a lot has to do with the safety asspect, you are only as safe as your weakest rider. Its only natural to assume that someone on an expensive bike and dressed in good gear is a better rider. After a few miles this might prove wrong, but at first this is all you have to go on.
re: Do you judge people by what they ride?huevoslocos
Sep 20, 2001 8:31 AM
As long as the bike isnt sqeaking away from lack of lubrication, i don't judge. after 3 years of hacking it out on a 85 schwinn sprint (bought a klein a month ago), i could care less. but no maintance, thats contemptable.
You only get one chance to make a bad first impression.MB1
Sep 20, 2001 8:33 AM
Can you imagine what we thought when Humma showed up on our first ride with him? (Or maybe it was his first ride with us).

A verbose Abe Lincoln with a beach cruiser (Yes I know, the Humma hates the beach) and a box of doughnuts.

Well, I guess we showed him!

It ain't about the bike.
No, by the WAY they ride.grzy
Sep 20, 2001 9:00 AM
Makes more sense to me. You can have cruddy rider on a sweet machine or a great rider on a POS. Money spent on a bike doesn't necessarily equate to skills and prowess.
Similarly, Do you judge people by what they drive?samsouth
Sep 20, 2001 9:03 AM
Is it the same thing? Can you judge a person because of the vehicle they drive (from a cycling point of view)? For all you know, a person driving some vehicle you disdain or respect could be a cyclist or a nut (or both ;-). I've seen a lot of references to BMW this, SUV that, here, similar to "poser on a Litespeed," etc. Any difference?

I agree with some above, judge people by what they do, not what they have.
What? Where? Why?Rich Clark
Sep 20, 2001 9:20 AM
Somebody mentioned the "judgement reflex," and that's a good concept.

I've been dropped on hills by duffers in bluejeans riding Huffys. (I suck at climbing.) But by reining in my "judgement reflex," all they ever saw was me smiling and waving and saying "it's a great day for a bike ride, isn't it?" That doesn't mean I didn't have some degree of initial scorn for somebody who didn't seem to be a "serious" cyclist on a "real" bike. (Besides, could he ride a century? I don't think so. Yeah, right.)

Still, I welcome the sight of people on bikes that are obviously set up for commuting by someone who understands what's what -- bikes with lights, racks, panniers, reflective tape. Riders in bright colors and cycling shoes. Riders stopped at red lights. It makes me feel good to know I'm not the only one.

I suppose it's not really "judgement," since it doesn't count and it doesn't last. But I'm much more likely to smile and wave at someone I can immediately identify with. That's just human nature, I suppose. If I smiled and waved at everybody indiscriminately, they'd haul me off to the funny farm.

Only if the ride a huffy :-)....butnestorl
Sep 20, 2001 9:28 AM
I confess, I am one of those who laugh at the 50 year old man who rides a $4000/16 pounds ti bike at 14miles/hour...even though...when I am 50 and with money...i'll ride a $4000 ti /16 pound ti bike at 14m/h. :-). See I was Honest so please be gentle :-0
Some Huffy's..Dog
Sep 20, 2001 10:12 AM
A Huffy was used to win a stage in the 1987 Tour de France, ridden by team Seven Eleven. Greg Lemond spent a fair amount of time on them, too. Show some respect. :-)
Huffy's will always be huffys, even with dura ace one them :-)..nestorl
Sep 20, 2001 10:21 AM
check out the right chainstay, though nmDog
Sep 20, 2001 10:42 AM
Some Huffy's... were really Serotta's, and some Trek's were LS'sTig
Sep 20, 2001 10:43 AM
Thanks for the "Huffy" picture. Don't let my wife see it though. She'll say, "See, you don't have to spend all that money for those over-priced ones at the bike shop. Walmart has these racing bikes from Huffy that work just fine!"
Sep 20, 2001 10:43 AM
How can you tell they're 50? If they're wearing a helmet and glasses and road garb, what's the giveaway to age?

Reason I'm asking - I'm pretty close to that age and I doubt you'd be able to guess how old I am while passing me (or being passed by me.) I don't have any of the classic attributes we assign to age except a few wrinkles around the eyes which clearly you could not judge.

Or, is 50 just an example of being older? I think "middle age" used to start at 40, then it crept up to 50 and now, the attributes we assign to "seniors" really don't start until 60 or beyond. Especially among people who are serious about riding and maintaining their fitness.

Aside from the men I see riding who are bald or have a full head of gray hair and with a lined face I can verify, I think judging age is a tough thing, especially at 20 mph. I also find these guys an inspiration.
Sep 20, 2001 10:52 AM
You are right...but I am talking about people on my club that I know are 50. Remember I was not talking about 5os that right 20m/h...I know..I used to live in florida and the uscf "master" or above 40 races were crazy fast... But I was talking more about the recreational middle age rider that instead of buying the red sport car bought a 4k bike even though they ride at 14m/h... But I better stop before I get flamed too much... Remember that I actually acknowledge that I will probably be that guy..and would probably but the $4k bike if I had the $... :-)...which mean..I understand why they do it, even though it makes me laugh right now.

Kinda seeing the old folks playing cards on a friday ..makes me laugh...BUt I will the same when I become someone's "old folks" :-)
Sep 20, 2001 12:45 PM
funny....I bought the 4k bike and the sports car (albeit not in red, rather "Impala".) Also, I'm usually riding at 20mph, so I guess I'm safe. Don't worry about getting older, aside from knee pain, life gets pretty darn interesting.
Sep 20, 2001 10:58 AM
I'm 38 and look closer to 30. The younger guys who don't know me see some decent muscled legs and the ability to hold a line. They think I'm still younger and fast... until they hear the wheezing I do when the pace picks up to 25+!

Some of the guys in our club are retired with white beards. I love riding with them because they are patient, funny, safe, and can pull like mad men.

I'm guilty of catigorizing someone from the first impression, but that is not the total picture I have of them. That develops over time. Their riding ability and character make a much more lasting impression with me.
Why are cyclists so insecure?CRM
Sep 20, 2001 9:52 AM
I never cease to be amazed by the insecurities of cyclists. Why does our community generally demonstrate such a lack of self-esteem that we constantly feel that we have to compare ourselves to every other cyclist? I know that this type of insecurity is a human condition and exists to some degree in everybody (cyclist or not) but I can't escape the conclusion that it afflicts the cycling community more than most.

I feel a kinship with everyone on a bike. I don't begrudge another cyclist for their choice of bike or clothes regardless of how they ride. What difference does it make to me if this other person is a "poseur" on an expensive bike? Or even if this other person is capable of ripping my legs off with a department store bike? As far as I'm concerned, the other cylist is a friend of mine until he or she proves otherwise.

What I can't understand is why so many cyclists feel the need to criticize other cyclists' perceived shortcomings. I doubt there is any other sporting group so hyper-critical of their own kind.
It's not just cyclistsMikeC
Sep 20, 2001 10:07 AM
Any "hobby" gets the same action...particularly those that are gear-focused.
Just look at the audio sites to see some really egocentric posters, and you'll see the same from the motorheads.
re: Do you judge people by what they ride?zero1
Sep 20, 2001 10:18 AM
just curious...why should it matter what u ride or how fast u ride as long as u enjoy riding...that is the reason i ride by myself most of the time.....i just enjoy getting out and riding..if i want to stop and rest i stop and rest..if i want to coast down hill i coast down hill...if i want to stand up going up hills i stand i said earlier i am 51 and i know i can't keep up with all the younger faster riders but that does not mean i don't like to ride...i just purchased a colnago mxl and i average around 17 to 18 mph and i am no poser. i just wanted a nice bike that would last...ride safe, gary
Interesting topic.....Blue 'Goose
Sep 20, 2001 10:40 AM
A friend abandoned a then-new Schwinn World sport in my
basement shortly after it was purchased and then vanished
off the face of the earth for nearly ten years.

I kept the bike unused in my basement and despite two
moves it more or less didn't get used at all since it
wasn't my size at all.

However, my main road ride got stolen in the intervening
years and finally the person who dissappeared off the face
of the earth reappeared via e-mail a few months back and
had all but forgotten about the bike and said I could have

Despite the fact it was the wrong size, it was still a
bike and it was pretty much unused.

Which brings me to:
I was out riding the thing and realized that the pressure
in my front tire was decreased somewhat and I stopped at a
local bike shop to re-fuel with air.

I rolled into the parking lot at the conclusion of a
local bike shops club ride and there were about 40 cyclists
of various ages and bikes in the lot.

I noticed there were a lot of >$2000 bikes in that lot,
Trek 5200 postals, Trek OCLVs, Litespeeds, Colnago,
etc. It was spendy stuff for sure and felt a little
sheepish about showing up on this relic. I was wearing
lycra and helmet and camelbak, but this thing wasn't
clipless. It even had a kickstand (since removed, it
added 14 lbs to the bike!).

Oddly enough, some of those guys were curious because it
was obviously an older bike and they were wondering why
it looked unridden, so I told them the story.

They're like "a free bike? Now that's cool!" So even
though it wasn't new top of the line stuff they were

I've learned that every rider has a story and not to be
too judgemental.

No...I judge them by their foot size...delia
Sep 20, 2001 10:54 AM
Just kidding.

It's easy to stereotype people automatically as being 'serious' bikers if they look the look and ride the ride but I've met a few posers that have shot that stereotype out of the water.
No...I judge them by their foot size...Ken56
Sep 20, 2001 11:58 AM
I figure anyone who's out riding a bike can't be all bad. I try not to judge anyone, especially those on a bike. We have several ladies in our neighborhood who ride around the block a few times on their cruisers or mtb's. Then I see a lot of mexicans (males) going to their jobs as dishwashers or landscapers in the area. If people are out ridng bikes, for whatever purpose, it's fine with me. I just wish more people would take up riding.
and how well it fits into their mouth? :-) nmDog
Sep 20, 2001 12:18 PM
Well you know what they say about men with large feet. nmSpinchick
Sep 20, 2001 12:30 PM
They wear bigger shoes? nmMB1
Sep 20, 2001 12:34 PM
Oh you just HAD to go there....Spinchick
Sep 20, 2001 1:02 PM
it's all a size thing with men isn't it?
I had a written invitation. nmMB1
Sep 20, 2001 1:10 PM
Touche' nmSpinchick
Sep 20, 2001 1:15 PM
Is that short for "touch them"?Dog
Sep 20, 2001 1:44 PM
this isn't nice; we can't think now
I can't type...I'm laughing too hard....Spinchick
Sep 20, 2001 1:58 PM
I'm serious. My stomach hurts now.
not all size - weight, too (following other discussion) nmDog
Sep 20, 2001 1:12 PM
True dat ... mass is important in most speed related equationsdelia
Sep 20, 2001 1:22 PM
following other discussion :)
How can you?Highgear
Sep 20, 2001 4:51 PM
I have ridden with guys that own high-end biks that can't for sh%!. One guy rides two bikes #1 is a beat Nashbar the other is a Lightspeed, he kicks ass. You never know...
re: Do you judge people by what they ride?bn
Sep 24, 2001 9:32 AM
a year or 2 ago some dude showed up at a tuesday meridien training ride (race) on a look bike and wearing full CA team kit... all the sniggering stopped when the wannabes realized it was JV.