Roadie Snobs

Dear Roadie Snob,

I too, am a cyclist.  I’m a mountain biker (along with being President of the local SORBA chapter) and a commuter and sometimes will do shorter road rides on my mid 80s Nishiki.  Around town I wear my regular everyday clothes, my bike is old, I ride slow.  Still, I am a cyclist.  I too love bikes.  I do wish I could afford your road bike.  I spent my money instead on my mountain bike.  I do love my Nishiki, he gets me where I need to go and has his own style.  So why do you glare at me when you ride past my slow fat ass?  I’m on a bike, I’m happy and smiling.  Shouldn’t you be smiling too?  It seems like you are missing the whole point of riding a bike.  Riding a bike should be fun.  Sure, there are times you might be racing and more serious, but when riding down Riverside Drive on your $5,000 bike in your matching spandex outfit give me a smile, show your love and appreciation for other cyclists.  We all have something in common and it exists on two wheels.  We all love the bicycle so why can’t we all love the cyclists?  Geez.

(By the way, this does not go for all roadies, many of you do smile and acknowledge the love of the bicycle with other people.  It just seems that there is this elitist group that thinks they are better than everyone else.  I just don’t get it.)

Oh, one more thing roadie snob, you have spent a lot of money and time on that bike but what about your time to help create bike lanes and a more bike friendly community?  Your matching spandex outfit is less important that giving back to the cyclist community.  So relax, enjoy your ride and smile and when you have time or that money you have saved for a lighter helmet, give to a worthwhile organization.

Thanks and yours truly,



2 responses to “Roadie Snobs

  1. Spend just a little bit of time on the trails, and you will notice there are MTB snobs too, who spend $5000 on their mountain bikes. And who don’t contribute to the “cycling community” instead of spending money on a lighter helmet.

    Whether or not you qualify this post by saying you are not talking about all roadies (and I am one) , I can’t help but wonder if you have judged that rider just as much as you >think< he has judged you. And you did that based only on a look.

    Yeah… you struck a nerve. 🙂

    Do you get a smile and a wave from every single person in a car or truck when you drive? I bet not. Why should biking any different? When I ride I sometimes smile and wave or give a thumbs up or a peace sign to other riders, of any caliber. Sometimes I do not. It depends entirely on what my focus is when I'm riding.

    It would be great if everybody rode a bike just for fun, but all kinds of people ride for all kinds of reason and their motives are their own. Some are friendly, some are not. Some are group minded, others are loners and introverts. Some do it for health and fitness, some entirely for sport. Some do it to battle personal inner demons, some to work out stress. Some do it for other reasons that you know nothing about. Cycling is therapeutic for many, but not all therapy is fun.

    One thing I often do while I am riding is "write letters of resignation" in my head. When I have a lot of job stress I work out things that are bothering me before I really do get to the point of quitting. More often than not, by the time I get done riding I feel better about the situation, even if I haven't solved the actual problem, I am better equipped to handle it later.

    I'll bet I don't look very friendly while I'm doing that and I am certainly not smiling and waving at every rider I see.

    So don't worry about that rider in his matching kit and high end bike. You don't know what's in his mind. Maybe he has done MS150 or Livestrong rides. Maybe his team raises awareness for some worthy cause. At the very least, be happy that some bike company and local bike shop is making money from his disposable income and staying in business so the rest of us can also buy bikes and bike "stuff".

    That said, wanna join me and some friends for a super casual ride in Bent Creek on Monday evening? Even if I'm wearing snobby roadie clothes, I'll still smile and wave…. I promise!

  2. Gray Aldridge

    You both made good points and I enjoyed reading them both. I feel the same way to Karen when I ride, but I also am told by my wife I give shitty looks when I am thinking hard or lost in thought. I will try to be happier though, if not just cause I love to ride my bike as well.

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