Are you Fred?

Bobby asked what a Fred is. According to the Glossary of bike terms and slang, Fred can either be the poseur buying more bike and kit than he’s capable of utilizing; or he’s (and Fred is generally a “he”) the bearded utility cyclist with sandals, rack, pannier or milk crate and with jeans tucked into his socks. I personally follow this second definition.

Fred “has mishmash of old gear, does’t care at all about technology or fashion, didn’t race or follow racing. Often identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. Used by ‘serious’ roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable ‘freds’ drop the ‘serious’ roadies on hills because the ‘serious’ guys were really posers. This term is from road touring and, according to popular myth, ‘Fred’ was a well-known grumpy old touring rider, who really was named Fred.”

I sometimes do the lycra and tights thing on my commute, but I almost always go Fred and I do so proudly. How about the rest of you all — Fred with an old bike completely rigged for commuter use; or are you kitted out with shorts, jersey, wrap-around shades and lightweight shoes?

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