More Cycling Sub-Types!

Way back on Monday, I wrote a post detailing the composition of a few major cycling subtypes.

After some reflection, however, I realized I’d completely overlooked a few important groups (see, I told you I’m a roadie).

In the interest of cycling-world unity, then, I shall now attempt to rectify my egregious oversight.

Of course, in the process, I might just make things worse.

So, without further ado…

More Cycling Sub-Types!

In our last installment, we touched on a growing Cycling Sub-Type: the Die Hard Commuter. It so happens that the Die Hard Commuter has a close cousin in the cycling world — a cousin we might call the Utility Cyclist.

Pie Chart: Composition of a Utility Cyclist

The Utility Cyclist: Cargo Bike, Kids, Bungees — these are the heavy lifters of the cycling world. When it comes to the Utility Cyclist, there is no load too large or too small.

The Utility Cyclist is like the Die Hard Commuter on steroids (though some of them don’t ride in bad weather). Need a refrigerator moved? Call a Utility Cyclist. Chances are they’ll have the bike and trailer to do the job.

No one can argue that Utility Cyclists don’t get things done. Heck, that’s the whole point. However, if you’re looking for a cyclist who knows how to relax, look no further — ahem, down here! — than the low-slung figure of the Recumbent Pilot.

Pie Chart: Composition of a Recumbent Pilot

Some cyclists distrust the mysterious ways of the Recumbent Pilot. However, the Recumbent Pilot — with his comfortable footwear, relaxed ride position, and terrifying speed on descents — doesn’t actually care what a bunch of tap-shoe wearing pajama-mavens think. The Recumbent Pilot is secure in his (or her) unique being, and also in his (or … well, probably not her) abundant beard*.

It is possible that the Recumbent Pilot reaches his pinnacle in the figure of the Tandem Recumbent Team — a veritable phenomenon that probably requires its own essay. However, most Tandem Teams share a few characteristics: a bicycle built for two (or sometimes more than two), matching jerseys, and the ability to argue over directions as if they were riding in a car.

Pie Chart: Composition of a Tandem Team

The Tandem Team: part pilot, part stoker, part annoying backseat-driver who thinks you should’ve brought the GPS, or at least printed a cue sheet. Good times, good times.

It’s possible, of course, that Tandem Teams never argue. It’s hard to really be all that upset when you’re on a bike — and, frankly, any time I’ve encountered a Tandem Team on a group ride, they were smugly grinning in their own repleteness. Who needs a group ride, after all, when you’ve got your group right there?

Then, who needs a group in the first place? Some of us are entirely secure in ourselves. Some of us don’t need group rides, or even two riders. Heck, some of us don’t even need two wheels.

Yes, sisters and brothers: that’s right. I invoke, then, the name of the true iconoclast of the cycling world. You may meet her on road or off, or even on stage: an obligate fixed-gear phenomenon; a master of balance and sublime concentration; utterly unscathed by the opinions of others.

We may not readily admit it, but come on: in those lonely moments surfing the web late at night, who hasn’t come across a picture of this true Lone Wolf of the cycling world and experienced a flash of envy at his freedom, his balance … his sheer elan?

You know, my friends, of whom I speak: wrapped in a cloak of her own inscrutable iconoclasm cometh…


Pie Chart: Composition of a Unicyclist

The Unicyclist: Master of the One True Wheel

I think that’s about all that can be said.

*Perhaps a bit ironically (given the fact that Cycling Lore causes one to expect all recumbent pilots to resemble Jerry Garcia), the sole recumbent pilot I know personally goes beardless. He knows there are many paths up the mountain, and that even if it takes ‘bents a little longer to reach the top, they will go screaming down the other side, terrifying roadies all the way.

P.S. I’m a-leavin’ … on a jet plane! …So I’m not entirely sure when I’ll make my next post. Don’t worry, though — I’m not dead, I’m just getting married.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2012/05/09, in Cycling Subtypes. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “I’m not dead, I’m just getting married.”
    Hmmm…. close enough?

    I’m the bald-faced recumbent pilot mentioned. I only personally know one recumbent rider with a beard, and I rarely see him these days.

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