The Daily Commute

12/5/2013

It’s twice as fast as taking the tube, so I’ve been cycling into work since September. When you do this you start identifying the stereotypes. There are three, and I love cycling with these guys - it's endless fun.

The hipster

Usually male, has a beard. Wears non-sun glasses. Likes miss-matching socks, usually brightly coloured, like red and green stripes on the left, and yellow on the right. Trousers are stove-piped, and (bizarrely) need keeping clear of the gears with a trouser clip. Obligatory leather man-bag slung across his back, he often rides a fixie with retro racer handlebars. Handlebars notwithstanding, he sits ram-rod straight on the bike, which looks even more hilarious when he wears a helmet.

All the gear, no idea

Always male, likes skin-tight lycra and sits on a very expensive bicycle. Also has orange or blue mirror glasses, a GoPro Hero on his helmet, cycle computer on the handle bars, and a Fitbit on his wrist. Looking at his over-developed calves and the advertising on his skin-tight shirt you’d swear he’s in the time-trial stage of the Tour de France. This type is competitive, and amazingly not the sharpest pencil in the drawer - when the traffic light goes green he’s in low gear, stands on the pedals rather than sitting on the seat, and furiously pedals away. Because of that low gear he’s in, his feet make him look like the roadrunner. All that low-gear torque and bodyweight make him shoot off the grid like a McLaren P1. Only to brake like a McLaren P1 at the next traffic light which, being phased with the traffic light we just left, turns green just as soon as he's bled off all his speed.

Mid-life crisis

Always male. Bald or balding (nothing wrong with that, but it appears to be a requisite). Usually found on a collapsible bike, often wearing something like a business outfit. Competitive, but tries really hard to hide it. He sits on his seat, tries to look like it’s effortless, but pedals so hard he’s sweating like Vanessa Feltz on a treadmill. Easily angered, his profanities are often heard before he's seen.


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