The Chainlink

I'm pretty new to Chainlink and the biking community in general. Despite having obsessively ridden for the last few years, I've always been pretty spartan about it and was never terribly interested in diving into the culture. Anyway, maybe I'm crazy but there's a pretty noticeable dislike for road bikers around here (multiply it by 1,000 if they're going fast) and I'm just wondering what's the deal with that?

I have a few bikes and I dont fit into any one particular category of biker. Cross for commuting and getting around. An old mountain bike for hooking the tagalong up so I can ride with (ie tow) one of my kids. And yes, I have a road bike for the weekend. It's carbon. I wear lycra. I ride fast. I love it. Point is, I think I can pretty much appreciate most types of riders since I'm all over the map.

The few other road bike folks I've ridden with are practically militant about being safe and courteous. I try to be the same. I commute along the LFP during the week so I encounter issues almost daily, and honestly, they're almost never with road bikes, even fast ones. All of my experiences with these people have been pretty good. 

So what's with the seemingly universal disdain for people traveling fast on road bikes? Obviously I'm sure there are instances of ill-advised passes or some other unsafe move, but every strata is guilty of doing stupid stuff, yet it seems like there's a special kind of dislike reserved for road bikes around here.

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Brian,

If other roadies were like you, this conversation probably wouldn't happen.

As I said, maybe I want to much, but I do expect professional-looking cyclists to know better and follow the rules. Really, if one invested so much in all that equipment and clothing, does that person have nothing left for a headlight?

I am sure you do a headlight and turn it on after dark, right?

Brian Schuster said:

I don't really understand the open disdain for road bikes or those wearing Lycra.  I exclusively ride a road bike, wear cycling clothes, and follow the rules of the road to a tee (sometimes being a huge inconvenience). [...]

Aside from speed, the fact that many of these cyclists seem to come out of nowhere adds to the aggravation.  Most are very quiet and tend to startle others when they zoom by.  One second, you're out enjoying a nice stroll or casual cruise, the next, you need to hold your line while some freight train whizzes by within inches of you.

As mentioned, shared paths are just not the place to go fast ... for a variety of reasons.  And if you're coming up on others and really want to end the lycra-hate, slow down to their pace when you pass by.  Problem solved.

As I said, maybe I want to much, but I do expect professional-looking cyclists to know better and follow the rules.

That, and it is easy to get lumped into a group when you are wearing a uniform. Ive seen posts about complaining about the hipster (fixie) genre of cyclists. Most posts are about an individual wearing that subcultures uniform or riding that subcultures bicycle. If one of you acts like a jerk, it reflects on the whole group, just as if one is a real nice cyclist. If you are offended by others, generalizations, then either set a even better example, call out people who do stupid things, or don't wear the uniform.

Am sending you a friend request right now ;)

Brian Schuster said:

Head light and red tail light on at all times of the day, not just dark ;)  I set it to blink to increase visibility

Serge Lubomudrov said:

Brian,

If other roadies were like you, this conversation probably wouldn't happen.

As I said, maybe I want to much, but I do expect professional-looking cyclists to know better and follow the rules. Really, if one invested so much in all that equipment and clothing, does that person have nothing left for a headlight?

I am sure you do a headlight and turn it on after dark, right?

Edited to reflect the angry, though rather hilarious reply:

1) I'm not apologizing for liking women.

2) I'm also fairly sure not a single woman I've ever known personally, even briefly, would call me sleazy. And I don't think we ever met, angry-for-no-reason dudette!


Julie Harpring 7.6 miles said:

Gross dude! Keep your male gaze out of my comment replies!

I'm another roadie like Brian, ride safe like Brian.  This conversation is still happening though.


Serge Lubomudrov said:

Brian,

If other roadies were like you, this conversation probably wouldn't happen.

Brian Schuster said:

I don't really understand the open disdain for road bikes or those wearing Lycra.  I exclusively ride a road bike, wear cycling clothes, and follow the rules of the road to a tee (sometimes being a huge inconvenience). [...]

That, Marcus, is probably because not all roadies ride like you and Brian.

I daresay that most ride as careful as you. Just like most drivers (even cabbies) drive responsibly (otherwise we'd all be dead by now).

But it just take one idiot to kill you.

Marcus Moore said:

I'm another roadie like Brian, ride safe like Brian.  This conversation is still happening though.

I have been riding road bikes while wearing lycra or wool for 35+ yrs. I went through the "it ain't cool" phase from mountain bikers, to the triathletes, to the messengers and then hipsters all who dislike lycra, now it is the commuters. The same folks who argue day in and day out for equality and fair treatment on the roadways. I stop for 99% of red lights, always yield the right of way at stop signs and generally try to not influence the traffic pattern. If cars do not stand on their horns or have to zoom around me I know I did my best to coexist.

The lakefront path is a multi use path,  people in lycra make up a small percent of users (especially in the summer) Everyone just wants to get from point A to point B, and most importantly back home to point A again. No one is breaking any laws by passing you on the lakefront path and ruining your serenity. No one is breaking any laws by not announcing they are about to pass you, or by yelling it too loud. Who made up these "rules"?  Treat the path like you would a highway, you would not drive in the left hand lane unless you are overtaking someone, you wouldn't switch lanes without looking first. and you would not drift from one lane to the next for no apparent reason.

The bottom line is that is just a bike ride, get over yourselves and ride your damn bike.

To be honest, during my commute, I see many more riders with "beater bikes", divvy bikes, or fixed gears that ride the way that most of you think roadies behave.  Blowing red lights, shoaling, zipping around at 25 + mph with a boombox on the panniers during rush hour on the LFP.  However the main difference is you don't see me or many other roadies bashing on these types on an open forum. 

Nonsense. I see roadies bashing non-roadies all the time. In fact, that is precisely what you are doing in the two sentences preceding the one in which you claim not to do it. (And if anyone has managed to hit 25+ mph on the trail with a boombox attached on a freaking Divvy bike I will eat my hat. Come on, at least try to make your baseless stereotypes at least vaguely plausible.)

Take it to your tumblr, shitlib.

Julie Harpring 7.6 miles said:

I think you mistook my meaning. I was calling you a gross dude, but I changed it before your reply to call you a sleazy dude. It's awesome that you like women, but no one likes to be objectified.

Serge Lubomudrov said:

1) I'm not apologizing for liking women.

2) You better watch your grammar, dudette! (See: COMMA [,] dudette!)

Julie Harpring 7.6 miles said:

Gross dude! Keep your male gaze out of my comment replies!

Michael, I'd send you another request if we were not connected already ;)

Michael A said:

[...] I stop for 99% of red lights, always yield the right of way at stop signs and generally try to not influence the traffic pattern. If cars do not stand on their horns or have to zoom around me I know I did my best to coexist.

Im sure that if half of the posters of negative roadies knew that particular persons name, then that person would be called out by name on sites like this. I don't believe that anyone has disdain for all roadies just the few that act like jerks. Those are the ones that make all of roadies and cyclists in general look bad. The more roadies that behave like you three, the more people will not dislike you. Unfortunately, like most things, a single negative far outweighs a single positive. So once again I believe that the majority of posts are about a single occurrence and not the whole group. It just happens that they are wearing a full kit and that is a way to distinguish that particular rider. So yes until all roadies behave like you there will be conversations like this. This isn't about you or this subculture of cycling its about the person acting like a jerk who just happens to be wearing this uniform.

Marcus Moore said:

I'm another roadie like Brian, ride safe like Brian.  This conversation is still happening though.


Serge Lubomudrov said:

Brian,

If other roadies were like you, this conversation probably wouldn't happen.

Brian Schuster said:

I don't really understand the open disdain for road bikes or those wearing Lycra.  I exclusively ride a road bike, wear cycling clothes, and follow the rules of the road to a tee (sometimes being a huge inconvenience). [...]

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