Cyclists come in all shape and sizes, but all personalities as well. Do you love your cycling history, or keep up to date with the latest tech trends?

The Hedonist

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The kind of person who bangs on about how great it is to ride a bike. The sound of rubber on asphalt, the smell of the countryside, how being on two wheels gives them a new zest for life.

Often seen riding really old or rickety bikes, because “that’s the way cycling should be”.

“It’s great to be part of the cycling fraternity,” they tell you about five times on each ride, regaling stories of how they got up at sunrise to be able to ride to the sound of birdsong.

Pipe down, son, and do your turn on the front.

The Masochist

“Doing any riding this week, John?”

“Yeah, I’ve signed up to a 100-mile time trial on Sunday morning.”

For many mere mortals, a century ride is a thing to aspire to and will likely include several coffee stops, a lunch stop and sometimes a dinner stop. But doing it against the clock? Get out of here.

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The Masochists are the type of cyclists who tell you they’ve spent their weekend doing hill repeats of Winnats Pass, which is at least 50 miles from their house and they took the scenic route to get there.

To the outside world their exploits seem ridiculous, but to them it’s all about the challenge.

The Accumulator-of-miles

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Not to be confused with The Masochists, The Accumulators take any opportunity to rack up the miles, even if it means making their life significantly harder.

The kind of person who wheels out the £7,000 Bianchi racing bike for a trip to Tescos when they need a loaf of bread. Have you ever tried to retain an air of respectability in a supermarket in full lycra and cleats?

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Of course, they Strava every little ride with detailed descriptions of their journeys. “To the shops and back – needed to pick up the wife’s ointment” they write about their one mile jaunt.

“Every little helps,” they tell you. It’s no coincidence that’s also the slogan of their favourite supermarket.

The Hoarder

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“New bib shorts Jenny?”

“Yeah, I spotted them when I was buying a second pair of aero shoe covers and I couldn’t resist a bargain.”

Hoarders have a different kit for every month of the year, and you rarely see them wearing the same jersey twice. They’ve got a whole drawer in their house dedicated to their collection of knee warmers.

Arguably these riders are the easiest to buy Christmas presents for as their thirst for new kit is insatiable, although finding something they’ve not already got could be a challenge.

The Fairweather Cyclist

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These people spend hours of their lives plotting potential routes on Strava and then never actually ride them because “the weather looks a bit iffy”.

Be it meteorological problems or an unidentified niggling injury, these riders will find any excuse not to get out on their bikes.

>>> 10 excuses we make to not go out riding

Often these are the riders in your friendship group with the best bike, always cleaning it and adding new things gadgets as a motivation to use it more, before realising that the roads might be wet as it rained last Thursday, and deciding that, actually, they don’t want to risk getting their bike dirty

The Tech Geek

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This is the kind of person who can spot a compact FSA chainset from 30 metres off and notices immediately if you get a new headset cap.

We all love some shiny new things for our bike, but the Tech Geeks know everything there is to know about the latest trends. These riders are often too poor to buy a drink at the coffee stop because they’re saving for their new gadgets.

While they know all there is to know about the technology itself, they are often completely useless at fitting it on their bike or fixing it if it goes wrong.

The Condescending Tech Geek

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This is the kind of person who can spot a compact FSA chainset from 30 metres off and then berates you for the other 29 metres for your decision to purchase such an apparently terrible item with such obscene gear ratios.

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“A real man rides a 53/39,” they snottily sneer at you, and they’ve not even started on slating your decision to plump for £300 wheels when there’s better ones on the market for ‘just’ £500 more, like the ones they’ve got.

The Statistician

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“If we’re to climb that mountain in an hour we’ll have to average 300W,” they tell you, putting their calculator and power charts down.

This despite the fact they’ve never put out 300W in their life, let alone on a 10 per cent gradient for 60 minutes.

Anyone who uses Strava can get a little engrossed in their stats after a ride, but the Statistician will be able to recall their exact progression up that hill near their house at will, and often without prompt.

The Commuter

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This is the person in the office who sits with a smug look on their face as Jean from Accounts slumps in 20 minutes late after being stuck in traffic.

When Barry from Sales comes in 10 minutes later, after suffering from a series of cancelled trains, The Commuter pipes up: “My ride to work was lovely, I was at my desk just half-an-hour after leaving my house.”

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Usually seen slopping porridge on their keyboards and uploading the same six-mile route on Strava two times a day.

The Extreme Commuter

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Similar to the above, but this is someone you know lives 30 miles from work and yet they still cycle in every day.

“You must have to leave early to get to work, Steve?”

“Not really. I was out the door at 5.30 this morning.”

These are the cyclists who don’t really need a bathroom in their house, because they shower as soon as they get to work.

After slopping porridge on their keyboards they then proceed to eat heavily throughout the day to replenish the calories they burned through on the way to work, and prepare their bodies for the two hour ride home.

The Historian

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“That was like when Eric Vanderaerden won stage 10 of the 1984 Tour de France,” The Historian chimes after they sprint past you.

They can instantly recall the result of any race in history, as well as the components used on most of the bikes used.

Like The Hedonists they’re likely to ride a really old bike, maybe a replica of Giovanni Battaglin’s 1979 Colnago with ridiculous gear ratios. As such they often avoid routes with major hills as they physically won’t be able to get up them.

But if it was good enough for Eddy Merckx, it’s good enough for them.

  • Jdog

    ahem

  • Lite Roadie

    What sometimes hurts is when YOU are the tired one and some fresh snob drops you thinking you’re such a noob…

  • Bloodshot

    Hi. It’s been a year but you have the best post on this story. I wish I knew a group of riders like that. None of my local friends ride. The times when I have ridden with local riders I’ve felt like an outsider because I’m not “serious” enough about the sport.
    Once when I went to visit a college friend who now lives in SoCal. we went for a ride (I’m a flat lander, he’s OCD). We were out for a glorious ride when after a while he decided to shoot up a hill. I got to the top and he was nowhere in sight. I got to an intersection and had to wait for him to come back looking for me because I had no idea where I was. On the way home he picked a hill that was so steep I had to get off and push. The experience ruined a really great day of riding in a beautiful area.
    I hope you are doing better by now and are able to get out now that the nice weather is with us again and are with that wonderful group of people. It makes me feel good to know that they are out there.
    Cheers.

  • Adude

    While I do love doing that on my cheap fuji. You have to think…Is that guy properly warmed up yet? or is he coming back from a 30 mile ride that included a bunch of hills?.

    I know that after a hill ride and during my cool down, for the life of me, I do not have any energy to deal with someone on a dinky bike to pass me.

  • Mary Roach

    I ride with one group (whenever I can manage to get up off the couch, no, I’m kidding, and the Main Goal of those rides is where we are going to eat. Unfortunately, I missed a ride back in the springtime that started like this (1) Meet at coffee shop to have coffee and snack, (2) Ride a loop that ends in #3, (3) Have dinner together. These are the absolute BEST people on earth, and I love them very very very much. I’ve been sick for the past 2 years, but as soon as I get well again, I am going to ride with the Sparky Taters again. They also go on destination rides, to the Four Burroughs (something) in New York, all the way down the East Coast of the United States, to that giant ride in Iowa, and last year to the Florida Keys. Oh God, how I love those people! They are the most generous, giving, supportive, patient people on earth. Each of us has a nickname, and mine is “Turtle.” My training buddy (we do triathlons also) and I have a group ride we organized that we call “The Persistent Turtles.” We are slow but we will eventually get there. The purpose of our ride is to invite and encourage ANYONE who can (a) ride a bike and (b) has a bike, and (c) wants to learn to ride on the road eventually, (d) just wants to improve. We are not fast, although we are occasionally joined by super-fast cyclists who offer to coach us for free. We fall sometimes, but we do work on how to fall properly (never put out your hands!!!). We share gear, lights, helmets, gloves, tubes, etc., with newbies. Sometimes, we ride on the greenway, in neighborhoods, and on the quieter open roads. One evening, in the autumn of the year, we flew down the greenway in a pack of 7, right on each other’s wheels. It was pretty scary, because one chipmunk or deer would have been the end of us, but it felt so damn good. The air was cool and crisp, and the leaves were coloring, and I could smell cut grass and hear kids playing football. We all have great lights on the front and back, and it’s very exhilarating. Alright, that’s my story for now. When I get all healed up and well again, I shall be riding with The Turtles again. We are famous in our cycling community.

  • Mary Roach

    Oh my God in heaven, you about made me pee my pants!!! That’s the “funniest of the day” for me. LOLOL!!!! And, um, I have a lot of friends that would fit that description.

  • Nuna Ya

    Extreme Commuter that’s me

  • doug vlad

    It’s the mountain biker that’s associated with microbrews which I am proud to say that I am one Love much craft beer. Beach cruiser guy goes to the convince (store for this his 24 oz most likely a PBR

  • COL S. Trautman

    A little while back, i was riding up this local hill, a very short hill but you gotta push to go fast. So I’m going up quite quickly just spinning in the saddle and I’m in cargo pants and a hoodie. Suddenly this other guy in a kit and a Time carbon bike(which probably cost a few grand) just passes me and looks straight ahead as if he’s going so fast he doesn’t have time to look at me and act like a human being. I don’t exactly know how hard he tried to do that but my guess is he did everything in this power to catch ”this guy in the cargo pants” because he’s ego wouldn’t allow him to just sit behind someone without a cycling kit on a cheap bike. I think he was super frustrated.

  • Tinkjumps

    This subspecies is also known to ride almost exclusively in flip flops and inhabit the space in or near microbreweries.

  • Zogzog

    Funny, yes I can identify. Sometimes this ‘type’ will also deliberately slow down on club rides after he has singled out his victim, who he wants to humiliate on the new carbon bike. The let the guy pass him by and get him to act a little cocky, when he sneers at your junk bike on the way by. Once hooked, proceed to completely demoralize the rider on every uphill. They have a bunch of good lines ready to totally decimate the ego of his target, until he probably won’t show up for another club ride again for at least a month.

  • Zogzog

    If the guy rides because it allows him to eat whatever he wants, then yes. The guy probably wouldn’t ride much at all, if it wasn’t for his love to thrown down whole pizzas or anything else he wants. Typically, this ‘type’ often puts in mega miles and feels sort of smug or clever that he has figured out how to eat all he wants. I’m not talking about stuffing oneself, but just being able to wolf down pizzas, steaks, milk shakes, quarts of ice cream, whatever. On characteristic is that they often chose long rides that have a pizza shop at the half-way point, and figures its not that bad, since he can ‘ride it off’ on the way back.

  • COL S. Trautman

    Yep, I’m the one who likes dropping people on nice bikes (although not as fit as you said, I do ride a crappy ”carrera” road bike). There is no better feeling than passing someone on a carbon bike, in my cargo pants, and watch their face as they try their personal best to pass by me and not look at me as if ”everything’s cool’ to justify their bling bike.

  • deephate

    That’s me!!

  • Tinkjumps

    Yep. I know the species.

  • Guy Ross

    Yeah, we have no idea how that works (or doesn’t). After spending a few Ks with him it becomes apparent she is likely most happy when he is not at home.

  • Tinkjumps

    Either that or he’s on the divorce diet.

  • Guy Ross

    Funny, I’ve got a guy in my group who rides 400 km a week and slowly but surely is packin on the kilos. He would be ride to eat?

  • doug vlad

    There’s the cruiser guy. Usually bear chested,but when he does wear a shirt. It has a slogan “I’d rather be surfing/skating” Has a PBR Proudly displayed somewhere on his bike. You never actually see him ride. Just sits on the bike looking at the girls, and doing weird handshakes with people he refers to as”Bra” Hasn’t had a hair cut in over three years. Sometimes has dreadlocks

  • TangerineGray

    I can relate to No’s 1 and 15…and then I usually bore everyone down the pub afterwards as well!

  • Zogzog

    Tinkjumps, your’s are all good and should be added. There are several more too, like the obsessive egotist who thinks that he is the “best there-is and ever-was” and who talks down to anyone daring to ride alongside him and look like they remotely might present a challenge.
    Then there’s the type to ‘ride-to-eat’. They are in extremely good shape, other than being about 25 pounds overweight. On the flats, they can ride the piss out of almost anyone and dominate all the descents, but gets crushed on any long climbs by weekend riders who rarely ever ride. In their minds they think they can easily lose weight but never do.
    Also, the ‘poser’ and ‘granddad’ have to be included for sure.
    And there is another type, not already mentioned, who tries to be the ‘sleeper’ with a crappy looking bike and clothing to make them look like they don’t know anything about bike riding or don’t ride much. But they train almost as much as pros do and have the highest fitness level to be competitive in a Cat 1-2 race. And they spend their time telling only their closest biking buddies how they crushed the feelings of some ‘racer’ on a $12,000 bike, by dropping them, at least once, preferably letting them catch up and proceeding to humiliate them once again, while rubbing in how little they ride. I knew a guy like this and he also had a beach cruiser that he would take out and crush club riders with regularly, up and down hills, it didn’t matter. The point is that his goal in life was to humiliate as many people as possible on the bike. Does anyone else know people like these?

  • Nic Lowe

    Also; There’s nothing like a few sneering clichés to make the average smug cyclist feel superior.

  • Nic Lowe

    If you’re not a combination of virtually all of the above then what are you doing on this site ?

  • Tinkjumps

    Let’s see. There’s the following:
    1). Extreme mountain bike guy. The guy who can be found on a thirty pound, fully suspended MTB that been covered in mud for so long it has geological layers.

    2). Recumbent guy. Usually an aging hippie who rides a machine with under seat steering and eats quinoa and granola at his desk while deriding the “wedgie” bike riders.

    3). Fat Spandex guy. A fifty something guy whose wife left him a few years ago and who took up residence in McDonalds in the aftermath and now wants to remove his head from off the top of his fathers body. Frequently seen in the latest replica team shirts from all the top UCI events. Also frequently has a bike that costs north of $10K.

    4). Fixie guy. A twenty something kid, normally working as a bike messenger, with single digit body fat and a single strap portfolio case and a shirt that says “if it ain’t broke, it’s fixed”. Also frequently unemployed, over pierced and heavily tattooed.

    5). Retro Girl. Rides an old style bike with an oversized front mounted basket that looks more like a prop that escaped a Mary Poppins movie set. Rarely rides faster than ten miles per hour and frequently seen with flowers in the basket.

    6). Night Rider. A rare species seen only at night with a dazzling array of LEDs, headlamps, flashers and Scotchbrite reflective gear. A subspecies is observed riding neon yellow bike frames custom painted in garages known, but not discussed, like fight club.

  • David Chadderton

    The Grandad

    Started pushing wheels at 3 years of age, long distance rider at 14, club racer, never won more than a handicap prize, always loved riding outdoors, dreams of winning races and sprints, still races and sprints at a slower speed than children, knows what riding in a club run was all about, given up wearing a HRM, does not have, or want, a power meter, ignores fashion, records rides in hand-written diary, abhors rudeness, mainly rides in the sunshine, literate, writes articles few understand, has nothing of carbon fibre on any bike, rides the road, MTB trails, bike paths and velodrome, admired Reg Harris and Russell Mockridge, loves outdoor and cycling, never intends to cease riding.

  • Bob Dobbins

    You drink heavily, like warm weather and probably listen to The Eagles.

  • BobB59

    I have to pick only one?

  • Mark M.

    You forget “The Poser”. The person who has all of the gear, talks all of the game, but makes excuses about why they suck on the bike.

  • Fodos Skordi

    I don’t ride a racer, I ride a Cruiser. So what have you got to say about me?