Im in commercial insurance sales (yeah, I know, evil sales person...Boo Hiss).
So, I occasionally do in-person cold calls to businesses.
Instead of driving/CTA, I want to start cycling.
My issue is that in the back of my mind I always wonder if people will judge me for being a cyclist.
Do people view cyclist as losers that are unprofessional and unsuccessful?
Or does this belong in the category or "You shouldnt care what those types of people think"?
Do people think it's professional for you to show up on a cold call all sweaty and disheveled? Or will they allow you a shower before getting down to business?
A sweaty salesperson isnt sexy?
Im talking short distances on days that arent hot (like today).
No sweat involved.
Hehehe. I love working with The Chainlink because it's a given that I am going to ride over to where ever I am going 95% of the time. :-) I don't really end up sweaty because I don't push too hard to a pace on those meetings but I think bike shops and bike businesses would be cool with it.
I work in finance consulting, and I've worked private banking before so I know a little bit about the cold calling. I also graduated from my MBA two years ago in North Carolina. I'm born and raised in Mexico and I've spent my whole life in Mexico except for the last 3 years and a couple of summers and semesters in the state (Including a volunteer fire fighter sting in Austin, summer corporate finance in L.A., banking internship in Miami, and banking internship in NY.
So, I've done pretty professional work throughout my life (corporate finance, banking in wall street, and volunteer fire fighting).
I've also raced National Downhill races in two states in the U.S. and in Mexico. I've done Mountain Bike Marathon races of 50 miles and 5,000 feet in elevation. I've done bike camping trips and pretty serious mileage all in my trusted mini-downhill bike. I also used to compete in Mixed Martial arts when I was younger.
So far, I've come to the following conclusions:
- When a commuter/roadie sees me in my mountain bike, they think I'm an loser/idiot. Because who rides a mountain bike in the city. Probably a newby who has no idea about anything in life.
- When a co-worker sees me riding, they think I just ride recreationally and probably wear lycra and spandex. Maybe I do the occasional dirt path they might think. They might also think its probably a phase.
- When a driver sees me riding they think I'm an idiot loser who is wrong in the head. Because who in their right mind rides instead of driving a car like normal people.
Some friends of mine still don't know I have a professional finance career and some co-workers have no idea I ride or do anything fun. And I do think that's the way it should be. We should all be comfortable taking on those roles and learning to be humble. After all, those we think are losers are probably average folks like us too. Hopefully one day we can shatter those stereotypes by being a good version of ourselves in every one of those roles.
hmmm...this actually made me think of a few things.
Now that I think about, I do have people in my life that only know me as a "professional", or a "laid back cyclist".
Its super funny when someone only knows me from work starts complaining about cyclist to me.
I guess I should try to be neutral as possible during working hours.
Some people do have really strong opinions about cyclist...its not worth my time trying to combat that while working.
haha been there as well. At least this whole thing has made me think twice about boxing people into categories or stereotypes.
<3 <3 <3 Marcelo!
this seems like a very harsh and non-encouraging response, bro!
people can cycle however they want, at whatever level they want, and try the best they can, and feel their own feelings! good lord, there's enough barriers to entry AS IS, why on earth would be want to shame people for asking thoughtful questions? if all cyclists have your attitude, I am certainly not interested in being a part of your club anymore. it must be nice to be the king of the pond.
alas I forgot my card displaying me as some sort of SERIOUS cyclist, but I vote that people who have these feelings can stay in the community. /s
With cyclists continually being treated as 'second-class citizens' in our society the point of my response was that if we do not confront and challenge this image by conveying that we are professional and decent citizens deserving respect like those driving vehicles, then nothing will change. Where is the harshness in that?!
Cyclists should not tolerate being judged as less equal than any other person in their profession, and it should constantly be our mission to prove these naysayers wrong everday.