Better Biking is our new bike column by BicycleSPACE Marketing Manager Tony Pelton
Don’t be that guy.
We’ve all seen him (or every-once-in-a-while, her), a lycra clad, portly, expensive carbon frame riding man barreling down the mixed-use path barking, “on your left” as he narrowly avoids a mom and her stroller. This gentleman is, what we in the industry—and many of those who are not—call a “Fred.”
Fred, may be a dentist, a lawyer, an investor, you name it. But, Fred’s career isn’t that important in the scheme of things, what matters is that he has too much money to spend, buys more then he can handle, and uses it in a completely unacceptable fashion, pissing everyone off from cyclists to motorists and strollered moms to crochety old folks. Basically the gamut.
Example: While riding to a colleague’s birthday BBQ in Bethesda a fellow with an aero helmet (read, $300 helmet) riding in his time trial bars came blitzing down the Capital Crescent Trail at a speed exceeding 25 miles per hour. He proceeds to buzz a cyclist ahead of us and snaps, “move the fuck over!” without breaking his cadence. Now, I’m not the biggest proponent of speed limits, I do enjoy riding fast, but on the CCT there are runners, families, dog walkers, and commuters. Riding 10 mph over the speed limit is not only dangerous on the CCT, it’s down right Fred-ly!
So, if you know a friend, family member, or acquaintance who spent above their ability on a bicycle, yells at others on public trails, and cycles like an agro-maniac take that person aside and tell them the sad truth. You’re a Fred and no one enjoys your behavior. Next time you’re on the trail and you see a lycra wearing weekend-warrior speeding down the trail towards you make sure to shoot him (or again, sometimes it’s a her, or a Freddette) your most disapproving sideways glance, and yell, “don’t be that guy.”