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But is it any better to judge someone by HOW they ride? Re:(21 posts)

But is it any better to judge someone by HOW they ride? Re:nestorl
Sep 20, 2001 11:16 AM
Re: was... Do you judge people by what bike they ride?

OK I see lots of people saying that they do not judge people by the type of bikes they ride but how they ride. I propose..Is this any better?

How many times have I heard people telling me, after hearing that I am a roadie, "Well I tried it once but people there were not too friendly if you were not fast" ; or "well, I really wanted to try it my local club was not to friendly to new people". How many of you have had to 'break in' to a club after moving to a new city...unless you are a cat3+... was it fun?

Even though we try to be open to new riders, the reality is that among many clubs (specially race-focused clubs) how friendly people are to you is directly related to your CAT!!! and average speed.

It is almost impossible to "break into" the elitist circle of racers, unless you are very very good. Otherwise, people will ignore you and disregard you!!! Eventually they will open up, but it seems that you have to "pay your dues" or prove your self" before they accept you into the I smell testosterone...I wonder if females have the same experience?

How many times have you looked at someone's legs to see if they are shaved and them make assumptions about them? "They must be fast"...

Do the up to a racing club and say you are new and want to learn how to race and see how friendly ALL of them are...(some of them may be friendly.. but look at all of them) then, go to another club and say you are a cat2 and want to race for them...see how they react...

I admit that there are exemptions...maybe many of them...but the reality is that we are all a bunch of road snobs that judge people by HOW they ride...
My take on this...Cima Coppi
Sep 20, 2001 11:38 AM
I fully understand your point, but if you read my answer below, I was basing my opinion on riding etiquette, which in turn somewhat relates to safety of all riders involved on a group ride. I have seen riders with shaved legs who think they are big sH!t, and could not hold a straight line if they rode a Big Wheels. One guy in my weekend riding group insists on riding in the middle of the road while the rest of us ride on the right, causing cars who pass us to go entirely in the oncoming lane (I can understand why some drivers are pissed as they pass).

Alternatively, I ride with a group of Cat2's and above on Tuesday nights, and my rear gets burned each time. They don't talk to me, I don't talk to them, and the way I see it is I need to get up to their level to fit in. I have no problem with that. It makes me work harder to get to the level I'd like to be at again.

All of Us?Jon
Sep 20, 2001 11:59 AM
I agree that there is a large element of truth in your observation, but it's certainly not universal. My
Masters club, regarded as one of the fastest in North America, is unfailingly welcoming to all, both on
the group rides and at the races. Another race club that I belong to, and liberally populated with Cat
2s and a few Cat 1s, actually sponsors a weekly "beginners" ride, and it's the Cat 1s and 2s that
organize it.

One other comment. Since, by its nature, racing is competitive it's almost impossible not to incorporate
a certain amount of judgmentalism. But as one of the "old, slow guys" I must say I've never felt
unwelcome. Could be because of my 12 year old mentality!?
That's why I said 'there are excemptions'...nestorl
Sep 20, 2001 12:08 PM
and congrats on having such as great group. Unfortunately, not all groups are like that... and about the 12yold mentality, I bet is not that, but the fact that you are probably an oldtimer... who everyone respects regardless of speed...:-).
Oops sorry for the typo that was exceptions nmnestorl
Sep 20, 2001 12:43 PM
Elitism is not exclusive to cyclingmr_spin
Sep 20, 2001 12:09 PM
There is always a hint of elitism in anything that requires skill, but that doesn't make us snobs. I know with my friends, when we plan a ride, we show up to ride. If you want to come and can hang with us, great. But don't assume that we are going to ride at your level (above or below). Does that make us snobs? Not at all.

I think talk of snobbery here is often misplaced. Your acceptance into any group almost exclusively depends on your ability to impact it in a POSITIVE way. That's what paying your dues is all about. Unless you are a known rider, you should never show up anywhere and assume you will be respected and honored for your skills. Ride with the group and get yourself known.

I used to play guitar, and I thought I was pretty good. Sometimes I would go to jam sessions around town. Musicians are pretty cool about letting anyone join in, but it doesn't take long to figure out who the real players are. But for the session it doesn't matter. If you want to be invited back, you have to contribute to the session in some way. That means either hang out in the rhythm section, or get out front and take the reins. It's all about making a contribution that furthers the group as a whole. Guys would show up sometimes who were great players, but they would go off on long solos that got really boring. They didn't get invited back. Guys who only knew a handful of chords but could keep a good beat came back every week. Were we snobs?
re: or even if they ride?dzrider
Sep 20, 2001 12:43 PM
Some years ago my wife, a few months pregnant, and I, with a similar stomach, stopped in a bike shop. The guy working there ignored us as long as possible and when forced to deal with us was clearly contemptuous. After our son was born we were out riding, got caught in a hellacious storm and sought cover in the shop. The same guy welcomed us, asked us to bring our bikes in and offered us a towel and lube for our chains. We were the same people and deserved the same kindness the first time he saw us.
I'm telling's all about foot size .... sheesh ! ;)Delia
Sep 20, 2001 12:58 PM
Sounds ridiculous, right?
Well the notion of 'Judging' anyone based on any one thing (bike)/ (ride) is silly too, no?
People's snootiness in whatever respect is rooted firmly in their own insecurities.
Do you think some posersMB1
Sep 20, 2001 1:05 PM
wear larger shoes to make you think they have big feet?
Size, size, size...Spinchick
Sep 20, 2001 1:08 PM
it's all about the size...
I like to use bigger tires. nmMB1
Sep 20, 2001 1:11 PM
SEEE?????? nmSpinchick
Sep 20, 2001 1:13 PM
They make my feet look smaller!!! gotcha nmMB1
Sep 20, 2001 1:15 PM
Yeah, but some girls like big tires...Kristin
Sep 21, 2001 6:19 AM
you gotta be careful you don't send the wrong message. ;-)
Now you are ganging up on me. nmMB1
Sep 21, 2001 6:24 AM
And you're complaining?Spinchick
Sep 21, 2001 10:59 AM
Must be the combover. ;-)
I try to stop myself ...Humma Hah
Sep 20, 2001 4:52 PM
... yeah, I look at somebody poking along the bike path at 6 mph on a FS MTB, beer gut hanging over their Bermuda shorts, no shirt, no helmet, seat way too low, and sneer a little.

As I blow past them on a cruiser with platform pedals and a little license plate with my name on it.

But all I have to do is look to one side of the bike path, and there are a hundred cars burning dinosaurs, mostly for things that could be done on a bike, and I gotta realize that whatever the cyclist is riding, however they're riding it, they're riding.

They are cyclists.
One would think ...bianchi boy
Sep 21, 2001 4:39 AM
That cyclists would pull together and support each other regardless of what they ride or how fast they ride (assuming they are not endangering others). Personally, I am happy to see anyone riding a bike, no matter what kind. With all the cars on the road and most people's reluctance to even go around the block without driving their cars, you would think that we would all pull together and support anyone who cycles.

Sure, it's only natural to compare what others are riding. But that's no reason to bash someone because they're riding a Huffy or a Wal-Mart special. There's also no reason to bash someone because they only ride 12 or 15 mph. We ought to be thankful for anyone out riding. The more cyclists on the road, the more visibility and acceptance for our sport in general.

What amazes me is stuff like the comments posted in the photo section here. People bashing other cyclists bikes because they don't like the bar tape, or the saddle or the stem. Or because someone has a triple chainring, or a high handlebar, or seatbag or a rack. Good grief! Some of us actually use our bike for something other than showing off at the weekly club ride. Some of us commute to work. Some of us value comfort over raw speed. Some of us actually put in a lot of miles, week after week, and need a bike they can ride without having a sore butt, numb hands and a stiff neck.
not ability, but respectfishwheel
Sep 21, 2001 8:40 AM
I try not to judge peopl based on their riding ability, we all work with what we have and ahd to start somewhere.
I do, however, have to shake my head at people that ride poorly in terms of safety and etiquette. I work at a University and near campus tons of people ride on the sidewalk cutting off pedestrians and almost getting hit at intersections,not wearing a helmet, running red lights, sneaking past cars on the right near intersections. I (irrationally) blame these riders for the "get off the road" or "ride on the ####### sidewalk" comments I get. I also do not have patience for riders who ride like they're doing a timetrial on a heavily used multi-use path. We have on around here with that twists and turns and has lots of kids on it. If you are too afraid to ride on the road you should be too afraid to ride fast. I, personally, fear hurting some little kid much more than I fear a car passing me when I'm on the shoulder. No matter where you ride (or what you do for that matter) you should conduct yourself in a way that respects the rights of others and certailnly their safety.

That said, If I end up talking to people, I generally tend to like them. If you ride 6 MPH a little wobbly, but safely, I'll give you a pat on the back. You can even suck my wheel for a while. At least until the next hill.
Different Animalgrzy
Sep 21, 2001 9:46 AM
I thought you were just asking about a chance encouter one-on-one with someone on the road. You change everything when you get into the whole club and racing thing. There is considerable bias in this select group and one must consider their motivation and the need to race. Ultimately it comes down to wanting to prove to yourself and others that you have a certain level of expertise and insecurity. Since this is your focus and the fcous of the club it's no wonder why newbies and hacks get short shrift. If you're new and go out and spank them all on a really tough ride you'll get instant respect. I'm not saying that it should work this way, but it is the way it worsks. You're dealing with social dynamics of a group where insecurity and needing to prove yourself by beating others is at a premium. True champions don't get caught up in this crap, they're already elevated on a pedastal, but by being a champion they've already proven themselves. It's also a phenomenon that is mostly seen in males. It's the same in surfing and many other arenas.
if you really want to be likedDog
Sep 21, 2001 9:52 AM
If you really want to be liked by a group, go out and pull them at 27 mph and then let them beat you.

But, there is a difference between being liked and being respected.