Are roadies the worst cyclists?

Are roadies the worst cyclists?

Image: Rae Allen/Flickr

Roadies. So many rules. Not least of which these ones. I have been a mountain biker, a roadie, and just a guy riding a bike (currently still all three), and I have to say that generally, they are definitely different people in many ways. “Tribes”, as many like to call them. If you don’t think this is true, picture in your mind a recumbant rider, a unicyclist, a fixie rider, and a triathlete. None of these will be the same person. Each has their own peculiarities, but over the last number of years I have been surrounded by roadies, primarily. No group is better or worse than another, but roadies tend to make me roll my eyes the most, but then, maybe that’s just because I am around them the most. This video is funny because it’s true:

Oh, there’s the gram counting, the training, the tapering, the seriousness, the excuses, the arrogance, the general feeling around some that I have walked into a middle-school and must deal with the cliques, who’s in, who’s out, and often just because they don’t ride the right bike or wear the right gear (actually, fixie-hipsters are probably worse in this regard). It’s tiresome, sometimes. Out on the road, when you pass one going the other way, rather than a nod or a few fingers lifted off the handlebars, some just look at you, eyeing up what bike you have, taking it all in to see who is better than who. I know that some people size up other roadies because I too have caught myself doing this. Few people are immune from this type of behaviour. Mountian bike races are normally just a good time, win or lose, whereas roadies are all business, taking the local C grade crit as seriously as a pro. Like their career depends on it. Their local C grade cycling career. Even cyclocross, once a place for the uninhibited guy in a clown suit taking beer hand-ups every lap from slightly drunk and mostly naked mates, has been infiltrated by the skin-suit wearing, steely-eyed roadie whose socks are at just the right height.

I must make it absolutely clear that this type of person constitutes a small percentage of roadies. Of the people that I ride with, none of them are like this. This is the case because the percentage of people that are like this is not significantly different than the percentage of people that are like this in the general population. It just seems to me that it might be road cycling that attracts the higher percentage of these people compared to other types of cycling.

This started as just a post that was to point you towards a good article about cafe etiquette on Cycling Tips (you’ll see the conection), but seems that it may have spiralled a bit out of control! In any case, read the article. It’s truth is undeniable. Keep it in mind next time you relax all over the cafe after your next group ride.