Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Bicycle Fred

I’m Embracing My Inner Fred

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Riding The Fuji

Me Testing A Bike On My Driveway - I Typically Wear My Helmet. Pic By My Wife.

I’ve been bicycling for a while and I’m ashamed to admit, it isn’t until recently that I’d heard the term “Fred” when it comes to cyclists. A quick Google search lead me to discover that there’s actually a Wikipedia page about it. Here is their official definition:

Fred is a derisive term used by “serious” road cyclists to describe other cyclists who do not conform to serious road cyclists’ norms with regard to dress and equipment, and appear amateurish to them. The term is generally reserved for men, while the female Fred is sometimes called a Doris or a Wilma.

The exact qualities that define one as a “Fred” vary widely among regions and cyclists. Some of the definitions used for the term are actually completely contradictory.

Wikipedia then goes on to explain that there are actually several meanings to the term. Here is my simple break down:

1) The “Amateur”: Used by ‘serious’ road cyclists (I’m assuming the sports guys) towards anybody who doesn’t dress in the same type of high-tech clothes or ride the same type of high-tech bikes. Although unfashionable, these Freds are not total novice cyclists. They actually ride fairly frequently – sometimes dropping those ‘serious’ cyclists.

2) The Poser: This is the guy who buys all the expensive clothes and bikes, but doesn’t have the talent or commitment to justify having them. This is the guy riding the super light racing bike down the local bike path at minimal speeds. This Fred can be spotted by their limited skill or lack of knowledge.

3) The Gear Geek: This is the guy who uses all the biking gear and equipment – at times, to excess. This Fred is the ‘uncool’ cyclist who rides with the mirrors, fenders, bells, racks, reflective gear, baskets, bags, etc. This is the guy who doesn’t mind putting together a homemade solution like duct-taping flashlights to their handlebar or zip-tying a freezer basket to their racks. This Fred will sacrifice speed and performance to gain safety, maintenance and comfort.

Get the full and complete descriptions on the Wikipedia page.

So, where do I fit in?
Well, I probably fall under both 1 and 3. I am definitely NOT a ‘serious’ road cyclist, and you’ll probably never see me in expensive, high-tech clothes on an expensive, high-tech bike. Although I take cycling seriously, I’m not a racer nor do I ride for sport. I ride for fun and utility.

Speaking of utility, I’m not the guy with mirrors, reflective gear or bells, but I wouldn’t put it past myself to use them. I am definitely the homemade modification guy, and I always carry enough gear to take care of most roadside emergencies.

I guess, 2 out of 3 makes me a Fred. Are you a Fred (or Wilma)?



Heading To Main Street Park

Dallas Cycle Sunday

Riding Up To Lake Lavon Dam

Written by dickdavid

September 10, 2011 at 6:20 am