Thursday, 2 May 2013

on the subject of freds

"Real" cyclists, whatever they are, do not like Freds.

What, dear reader, might a Fred be?

There is much blather about this on the interwebs but it boils down to this: a Fred is a person who has more gear than their apparent abilities suggest they can really make use of. Sometimes, this is true. The implication though is that the person referring to the owner of said nice gear as a Fred can make better use of that gear. Sometimes, this is also true. Also, Freds talk about training all the time. They talk about numbers. They are merciless enthusiasts who are often out to convert the heathen. But mostly they ride nice gear that costs a lot and dress the part. This makes them either genuinely smug, or gives them the appearance of being genuinely smug.

That bugs some people. Especially those who really wish that they had that nice gear who have fallen under the sway of the green monster.

However, what the term Fred really seems to refer to in practice is a person riding a nice or expensive bike who is going slower than the person calling them a Fred. This way, they can say, "You should have seen that guy I dusted/smoked/beat on his expensive bike! He couldn't ride! What a Fred!" thus implying that the victor in the one sided race up the road made better use of their money by buying a cheaper bike which they can clearly ride faster than that Fred. Moral superiority attained!

The fact that this "Fred" may have just ridden that day ten times what the "victor" in the Cat 6 (commuter MUP race) event rides in a month may not enter into the mind of the self righteous.

A person's degree of Fredliness becomes relative to the person referring to them as a Fred. A fast rider who dusts off a slower rider on a nicer bike may, perhaps, refer to that slower rider as a Fred. A slow rider who dusts off a tired faster rider on an expensive bike may do likewise. Ironically, all this does is make the name calling "victor" either genuinely smug, or gives them the appearance of being genuinely smug.

So, to avoid a bad case of pot calling the kettle black, Fred not!

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