Who was that???
Well, let me tell you some inside information about those bike enthusiasts. It use to be much worse back in the day, but not as much now.........although I still see it now and again: You have your "racer-type" ride one night a week. A guy shows up to the start of this racer-type ride on a road bike with triple chainrings, an inch and a half of spacers and a stem with a bit of a rise to it, spd mountain pedals with mountain bike shoes, hairy legs and maybe even a mirror attached to his helmet or eyeglasses. Some of the racer guys there might think......geesh......this guy is a "Fred". And worst, maybe even roll their eyes and wonder why in the world he would even bother showing up for "this" ride.
Well, I'll put it to you this way - don't discount the "Freds". Some Freds I know ride.......a lot!! As in, they put in more time on the bike than most of us........combined! Many times, they ride in conditions that people fear - cold, rain, wind, dark, very early mornings, late at night, in snow, etc. They have a will that won't give up during the most intense and discouraging moments on the bike. They have stories to tell you about rides that will leave you in disbelief. And......many of them.......are friggin' FAST!!!! Their time on the bike shows time and again that they're lean, mean, riding machines - and they could whoop most of us time and again out there on the road. They might be riders we've never seen before, unknown riders who have absolutely ZERO desire to even think about entering a race - no no, they ride because they love it. They love the bike, love the riding, love the outdoors. And, they're the real deal. No shaved legs, no $7,000 wonder-bike, triples forever, hairy legs and mountain shoes. So what - they're riding.
So, the next time you see a "Fred" out on one of your racer-type rides or out in training, give a shout out or a wave, and treat them with respect and encouragement. Those are the people out there who show us the true meaning of riding our bicycles.