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(Admittedly stupid) -Difference between Fred & poser(39 posts)

(Admittedly stupid) -Difference between Fred & poserfloatch
Apr 30, 2002 8:56 AM
It is my contention that a Fred is a real cyclist that could very well smoke you on a group ride, but he wears black socks, possibly blue jeans, has toe clips, and a grizzly beard. Also known as a "retro grouch".
In addition, a poser is someone with a brand new bike, matching outfit, and no skills whatsoever. He whines during group rides, walks up climbs, and sits on others' wheels without ever taking a pull.
Ok, I admit this is a dumb thread, but I'm at work, and I'm bored. What do you folks think?
Does it really matter?...eschelon
Apr 30, 2002 9:10 AM
My take on this whole verbal warfare of differentiating Freds and Poseurs is this: who gives a sh!t.

The enemies to cycling is analoguous to the German Uboats of WW2 sinking civilian passenger liners with satanic zeal are the people who take it upon themselves to be the divine judges of who and what are not worthy of cycling at all.

The "Freds" and "Poseurs" are not reknown to be the ones who talk bitterly about others who share in the secret joy of cycling. In a non-derogatory but playful way, I submit to you that these eccentric brethren and sisters of cycling are the "geeks" our our populas who only serve to popularize our sport and provide an interesting palettes of color that the uptite narrow-minded elitist cycling folks cannot fathom the true reason for cycling at all. Many of us must break through this paradigm and bring together the masses and be one.

This response was in no way a smart-a55 or confrontational reply to your interesting thread.
Does it really matter?...vitusdude
Apr 30, 2002 10:58 AM
Sometimes as I ride home from work in the pm I will see riding along the bicycle trail or suburban street a somewhat beefy or porky middle-aged guy huffing and puffing on a bike that I envy, dressed in full team kit, and sort of wobbling a bit from side to side with the effort. Invariably, he will smile (if he can summon the energy) and wave or say hello to me his brother roadie. And what do I do? I will smile and say hello back to my brother roadie. Better a guy on a bike smiling and friendly than in a car hostile and trying to run me off the road. When you ride a bike, you are an ambassador of cycling, like it or not.
Think of it this way:tz
Apr 30, 2002 9:43 AM
"Walks up climbs, sits on others' wheel" - he/she is a beginner. Or maybe doesn't have too much time to train. Have you been born a superb climber?
"brand new bike, matching outfit..." - a rider has money for all the goodies. For example, I am on a really tight budget now, so I only buy what's cost-effective. If I had a spare $3K, I'd probably buy a nice racing bike. Are all sport car owners posers?
"blue jeans, toe clips" - just a matter of comfort.
Speaking of "retro grouches" - I've seen one on my last ride in Central Park, about a week ago. A bearded guy, no helmet, old ironclad with downtube shifters. The rider was pedaling at around 60 rpm, and going very fast. What amazed me is that he never shifted, and moved at same speed/cadence on flats, uphill and downhill! I could keep up with him for only about 10 miles...
Does this mean thatdzrider
Apr 30, 2002 9:46 AM
Poseurs dress well and ride poorly and Freds ride well and dress poorly?

Two weeks ago I rode most of a 200K with a guy. I enjoyed his company and hope to do another long ride with him some day. I could describe him and I could describe his bike in considerable detail. Haven't a clue what clothes he was wearing.
VERY well said............................(nm)Dave Hickey
Apr 30, 2002 10:03 AM
Was that the NJ Brevet? nmonespeed
Apr 30, 2002 10:07 AM
Was that the NJ Brevet? nmdzrider
Apr 30, 2002 11:13 AM
Yes it was - have signed up for a 300k in Boston on 5/18.
I was there. Got back at 3:53.onespeed
Apr 30, 2002 12:00 PM
I was on the Blue De Rosa Merak.

I will see you for the 300k.

I cant believe I am doing it.
your bike is gorgeous!dzrider
Apr 30, 2002 12:56 PM
One of the few I can recall. It made me realize that many of the ti bikes that I covet look much the same. I ride a maroon Jeff Lyon and since I got back about 3:35 we ought to be able to work well together especially if you're content with pretty quick stops. I'm old enough to stiffen up quickly and get very lazy if I sit around. See you there.
re: (Admittedly stupid) -Difference between Fred & posert-bill
Apr 30, 2002 10:07 AM
I appreciate the definitions. I've wondered lately what Fred really was. I haven't lost any sleep over it, but I thank you anyway for your insightful (and appaerently psychic) musings.

this is from Webstercyclopathic
Apr 30, 2002 10:17 AM
fred n. 1) a person who spends a lot of money on his bike and clothing, but still can't ride. "What a fred -- too much Lycra and titanium and not enough skill." Synonym for poser. Occasionally called a "barney". 2) (from road riding) a person who has a mishmash of old gear, does't care at all about technology or fashion, didn't race or follow racing, etc. Often identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. Used by "serious" roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable "freds" drop the "serious" roadies on hills because the "serious" guys were really posers. According to popular myth, "Fred" was a well-known grumpy old touring rider, who really was named Fred.

poser n. derogatory term for people with $7,000 bikes and matching outfits that never see an actual use. Seinfeld may be an example. Synonym for fred
does it really take $7k?SteveO
Apr 30, 2002 11:00 AM
i view a poser as one who spends ANY amount of money for the sole purpose of impressing other people.

There are many posers out there with $1500 bikes; they simply arent as well off as the others.
Local varient: Barney (bAHney): Professorial pedagogue type;128
Apr 30, 2002 11:17 AM
Classic 3 speed, Brooks saddle, lots of tweed and courderoy, pipe,...and tenure. (on his way to the Plough and Stars for a pint)

"Not much of a college town, really." -Spinal Tap
Apr 30, 2002 2:00 PM
I know I shouldn't do this, but here it goes anyway...
re Flow ChartIseemo
Apr 30, 2002 2:17 PM
Interesting....but, I do have cause to worry about a poser (or anyone for that matter) if they're in front of me and can't ride a straight line. Unfortunately, some times they are in front of me.

I have a problem with "posers", or neophytes, or whatever term you'd like to use, who never watch, learn, and grow in the sport - I don't think that's too much to expect from a cyclist you're risking your neck with on a group ride. Because most likely - if they're on that high-end equipment, they automatically believe that they're strong and should be riding with folks who race or who have ridden for years and years....which isn't the case. Cycling require finesse and skill - and it seems like a lot of folks just don't think they need to put the time in to learn the "skill" part - even though they may already have the strength part.
I was just poking a little funDougSloan
Apr 30, 2002 2:30 PM
I wasn't (very) serious.

Nonetheless, there is a difference between a derogatory label and someone being "unskilled." Yes, I'd rather not descend a mountain road next to someone unskilled or uncareful. What color socks they wear doesn't factor, though.

I rode in a double this spring in which a very skilled, very fit rider decided to use his aerobars in the middle of a 25 mph paceline in the rain. That worried me.
upper level management for you buddy! lol :-)Spirito
Apr 30, 2002 2:28 PM
i do think it one of the most nonsensical issues on these pages. i like your diagram doug. here here!!!

riding a bicycle isnt an egalitarian cue outside an exclusive night club. those that are worried here about which are not the one's to get thru the mysterious doors of alleged cycling coolness are the one's that were once victim of its selective policy.

my john deere cap worn with pride has never contributed to me being left out of a NYC club, i dont see why what anyone chooses to wear or ride would make a difference to their bikeriding.

if ya dig it - do it. if ya doin' it so others can dig it - yer missin' the point.

n' if ya got nuttin' better than to worry 'bout other's take on what makes em happy - perhaps you should post yer email and ill send you a couple thousand links to some porn sites to better occupy your time - as i think it better to jerk off properly than offend other cyclists and waste these pages from such nonsensical crap.

might let me beard grow and don a cloth cap misself.
that way i could don a mac from the 10th ave matinee's and then........

every time you see someone that doesn't fit the typical easthetic of what a cyclist looks like is a victory for our passion and sport. applaud it - dont criticise it.
scholarly review of topicDougSloan
Apr 30, 2002 3:04 PM
so non-cyclists who think all cyclistscyclopathic
Apr 30, 2002 2:38 PM
are the same (fags to run off the road) will still score better? hmm
Watch me make some enemiesVal_Garou
Apr 30, 2002 2:52 PM
First, I want to say that I love how accepting everyone at this forum is. It's what keeps me coming back. But I'm disappointed at what a small percentage of the cycling population our community is.

I came over from mountain biking, and I was stunned to see roadies waving, nodding, or whatevering at me as I passed. Because when you're on an MTB you don't get the time of day. Some people look at you like you're driving your SUV on the sidewalk. So I think that there are a ton of riders out there who judge you by your equipment, despite the overwhelmingly good vibes here. However, I do still detect people staring with disdain at my Camelback. But hell, if I'm out for 3 or 4 hours, I want the water and the tools. Looking "cool" comes in a distant 4th place to comfort, safety, and making repairs easier.

But what's going to make me enemies is this: We need a word for those riders who have matching team bikes and clothing AND skills. Because, let's face it, if they REALLY had skills, they'd be getting those team kits for free because they'd be on the team. It seems like a desparate attempt at confusing everybody else, as if we'd mistake them for the team's farm league--maybe, just maybe, they'll be getting that call any day now, and off they'll go to the big show. Why else would you pay hundreds of dollars to pretend to be part of a group that doesn't want you? 'Cause it makes me feel fast, 'cause I get to live out my fantasy. Man, you aren't a pro and you're just as fast in the generic stuff. Save the money, buy a vacation, and live the fantasy of riding those courses in Europe if following the pros is your bag! But hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there really are members of the US Postal team training in my subdivision!

Let the attacks begin. . .
Apr 30, 2002 3:07 PM
On the other hand, we could leave all the judgment to a higher power.
It's not a divine judgementVal_Garou
Apr 30, 2002 3:28 PM
Hey, just 'cause we like to have names for people doesn't mean we're judging anyone. The guy who taught me to ride is a "retro-grouch". Doesn't mean I don't like him, or that he's not an exceptional rider. Doesn't even mean that I don't value his opinion on bike-gear, as he's a wrench and his knowlege is both cutting-edge and extensive. It's just a term I can jokingly throw at him because of his choice in rides. Man, I don't think this thread was intended to be as heavy as some folks are taking it.
confessionDuane Gran
Apr 30, 2002 7:21 PM
Okay, I'll fess up. I race regulary on a 2000 Trek 5200 with the postal color scheme. I also own one jersey from USPS that matches the bike. I have been known to wear them together and I've heard snickers from my teammates on training rides.

I don't plan on getting a call from USPS to join and I'm not a sponsored racer yet. For the time being it is just fun to have a shirt that matches my bike. ;)
Apr 30, 2002 8:16 PM
"We need a word for those riders who have matching team bikes and clothing AND skills. "

Why matching skills? Suppose I have a Lemond Zurich and have decent skills. Then I buy a Pinarello Prince, are you saying I have to double my skills overnight just to be able to ride my Pina?

"Because, let's face it, if they REALLY had skills, they'd be getting those team kits for free because they'd be on the team."

Anyone who is not a pro must have bad skills?
US Postal team training in my subdivisionriderbob
Apr 30, 2002 9:02 PM
I like your post and the honesty that you bring. You made me think about my bike purchase and how it might be perceived within my subdivision. I just purchased a Trek 5900 Postal Edition bike, and It never occured to me that someone might think I am posing. I purchased the bike because it made me feel American and I love what the colors of Red, White and Blue stand for. Yes, I even got the free team Jersey when I purchased the bike. I like it for what it stands for and its also a tribute to several of my co-workers that were lost in the Trade Center building.
I just thought I would bring a different view to what may seem like posing. Its always nice to see things thru other peoples eyes.

Remember, sometimes things arent what they seem.

PS. I too came from the Moutain Biking world, and I like road cycling better because the people are friendly!
I guess I just don't get itgrandemamou
Apr 30, 2002 3:04 PM
I could really care less what someone else rides or wears. I got enough of my own problems to worry about.
re: (Admittedly stupid) -Difference between Fred & poserripper
Apr 30, 2002 8:17 PM
it seems that the gold standard for people most likely to throw around the term fred or barney or wilma or whatever, is the professional racer. last time i checked, racers are some of the most garishly, flamboyantly, ridicously clad beings on the face of the earth...(short of elton john). im starting to think that fred is a compliment. if being a fred is cool consider me miles davis.
re: (Admittedly stupid) -Difference between Fred & posergarhead
May 1, 2002 3:00 AM
I'm to fat to be a Fred so I'm a Fat Fred wannabe. None of that Euro crap fits me. Interesting thread however. The USPS sub-division made me LMFAO.

Carry on
Confused? What I'm I?fastfinish
May 1, 2002 6:22 AM
I was just wondering what I was since I'm not sure where I fit in all these classifications?

I am a member of a club that has a cross section of members. CAT 3,4,5 and Masters racers, some strong event riders for events such as Assult on Mt. Mitchell/Bridge to Bridge in NC but don't race at all, some rec riders that that ride a couple times a week, and everything in between. I race Cat. 3 as a consistant top 10 guy, attend group rides/events in my clubs'gear, have a nice custom bike(mostly because I have odd diminsions and nothing standard fits), have a flashy Italian Steel bike that I only ride on nice days, always have cool new parts because I'm I part junky, ride at the front some days, ride at the back others and talk about anything and everything whoever is back there wants to talk about, look like a true roadie (god gave me a cyclist build), and seem a little stand-offish only because I'm not usally the one to break the ice with new people, but always stop for whoever has a flat or mech.

Let me know so I can see if it fits in my social class.
Confused? What I'm I?Iseemo
May 1, 2002 8:23 AM
Well..not that it matters, but I'd probably just call you a good cyclist and I'd want to be on your training ride.
The type of person I would ride with. nm.getoffmywheel
May 1, 2002 10:04 AM
I want a road shirt with Fred Flinstone's big mug across it. nm128
May 1, 2002 6:32 AM
better yet, a tattoo of him and no shirt :-) nmDougSloan
May 1, 2002 6:37 AM
and golf visor, elvis glasses, flip-flops, armband radio. nmJS Haiku Shop
May 1, 2002 6:44 AM
"...through the, courtesy of Fred's two feet" (at 90 rpm...!)128
May 1, 2002 6:55 AM
"...yaaba..daaba..dooo..!!!! [nm]jagiger
May 1, 2002 8:31 AM
Hmmm..fred or poseur??128
May 1, 2002 7:12 AM
a matter of degreesalmonwheel
May 1, 2002 11:19 AM
Let's face it we all (or most) have a little fred or poseur in us. The gear, the bike, the skills, and the ability are all aspects of how we are perceived as a rider by others and ourselves. When someone is outside the range of normal they attract more attention. I don't really judge people, but I do chuckle a little when I see someone way out of balance (i.e. a poseur). Like the guy on a multiuse trail that has a speed limit of 8mph and very low visibility wearing full gear including arm warmers ,all name brand stuff, lookin like he is doing a time trial. If he rides in a way that gives cyclists a bad name though I do judge them and shake my head, but what can I do.

Posers exist in all hobbies or sports that I've been involved with. I think the consumer culture thing is part of it. Many people pick up a hobby but basically just shop for it (perhaps because it allows them to think about it). Which shouldn't bother any of us but it is humorous (and from my perspective misses the mark on the real benefits of cycling, which are many), maybe we are just a little too worried about looks because we look silly in Lycra, but know it is the best clothing to wear when riding any kind of distance. Maybe the Fred thing is to help us feel better about our geeky clothes, by saying the guy that doesn't wear it is a Fred.

People ride for all sorts of reasons (usually several) that I can respect. Some ride for fitness, fun, competition, accomplishment, others for environmental reasons, convenience.... whatever..... glad to see you on the bike. But when someone seems to be trying to produce a look instead of riding their bike for other reasons, I don't know it is sort of disrespectful to cycling.

The Fred thing is just a little bit of fun I think. Kind of cyclists making fun of themselves for being image conscious. "Yeah he dropped me but checkout those tennis shoes"

I personally am more prone to freddome than poserhood, but not so much in either category to carry the name....I hope.