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What is a Cyclist?

CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
edited July 2011 in Commuting chat
There are loads of threads about RLJing and riding on pavements and other antisocial behaviour by cyclists but in my experiance I have seen little evidence of it however, maybe I am being a little selective.

I see plenty of under 18's riding on the pavement or adults in jeans on an old knackered MTB but I don't particually class these as cyclists, more people on bikes. I guess I look at it in the same way as someone kicking a football about in jeans isn't a footballer but someone playing in a organised game would be.

This isn't me being snobish that they don't have decent kit/bikes etc, it is simply that I see cyclists as someone that takes an active interest in cycling as opposed to simply hoping on a bike occasionally. Because of this I think that Cyclists are unfairly accused of the bad behaviour as I think a lot of it is simply people on bikes.

Am I talking rubbish? (It wouldn't be the first time) or am I simply nieive by not living in London?

Posts

  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    A cyclist is somebody who rides a bike. End of. You don't need to have "an active interest in driving" to be a driver, you just need to be somebody who drives. Same thing.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    But to drive (legally) you have shown an interest in driving because you've had X hours of lessons, paid for at least two tests, learnt the highway code etc.

    I think it's more analogous to the football example.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • clarkey catclarkey cat Posts: 3,641
    cy·clist/ˈsīk(ə)list/
    Noun: A person who rides a bicycle.

    But I know what you mean. Maybe you mean 'avid cyclist'
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    cy·clist/ˈsīk(ə)list/
    Noun: A person who rides a bicycle.

    But I know what you mean. Maybe you mean 'avid cyclist'

    Just like footballer=person who plays football.

    But you're more likely to refer to the kid in the park kicking a flat football while wearing jeans 'a kid playing football' than a footballer.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    I guess the nub of my problem is with being lumped in with everyone else who has sat on a bike when it comes to classing what 'cyclists' do.

    I'm sat there, in traffic, on the road in front of a car waiting for the lights to change. Some guy wheels past on the pavement on a bike, then hops on to the road and through the red, you can imagine the people in the car thinking 'bloody cyclists'.

    I'm the cyclist, he is just on a bike. I do think it fits with the football analogy better.
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 2,386
    Either way, I see lots of people who look like avid cyclists not following the letter of the law. In London anyway.
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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,937 Lives Here
    This is why it's difficult ot educate people that ride a bike but are not avid cyclists. How do you get to them? Knock 'em off when they rlj and beat it into them? Seems a bit harsh. Problem is a lot of people don't care enough to bother what others think.
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    veronese68 wrote:
    This is why it's difficult ot educate people that ride a bike but are not avid cyclists. How do you get to them? Knock 'em off when they rlj and beat it into them? Seems a bit harsh. Problem is a lot of people don't care enough to bother what others think.

    Absolutely. There doesn't seem to be anything we can do but then we get tarred with the brush of people who have no particular interest in our hobby. I guess this is simply a problem of generalising/steriotyping.
  • Redhog14Redhog14 Posts: 1,377
    So on a tangent:

    Drivers: are they all the same? - those who wait patiently behind you till they are sure they can pass safely or those who feel they need to see just how small a gap they can fit their big metal box through both are drivers but have differing points of view. Same for pavement hoppers and RLJ's.

    I am firmly not an RLJ nor pavement hopper on my bike for the same reason I don't do it in my car. I don't think I properly understand people who get angry at others who are RLJ's. Is it becuase they have seemingly gained an advantage or is the the recklessness of their actions which could put them and others in danger?
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,484
    When does a pedestrian become a walker?
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  • nationnation Posts: 609
    Always worth pointing out that people who don't have an interest in cycling can't/don't generally differentiate between enthusiast cyclists and people on supermarket BSOs with the saddle so low it's sitting on the top tube.

    They just see "a cyclist" in either case.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Walker
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    Pedestrians:
    london_pedspace2.jpg
    :wink:
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    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Redhog14 wrote:
    So on a tangent:

    Drivers: are they all the same? - those who wait patiently behind you till they are sure they can pass safely or those who feel they need to see just how small a gap they can fit their big metal box through both are drivers but have differing points of view.....

    Read the posts on here, then you'd see that many make same judgements of mottorists

    eg rants about White van man or BMW drivers , bus drivers etc rather than being about the one person who upset them

    we are as guilty as anyone
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  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    bails87 wrote:
    But to drive (legally) you have shown an interest in driving because you've had X hours of lessons, paid for at least two tests, learnt the highway code etc.

    I think it's more analogous to the football example.

    But to ride a bike you need to willfully and deliberately get hold of a bicycle and take the time to learn to ride it, although you may have been three when this was does, it matters not.

    Cyclist is someone that rides on any machine that can be described as a bicycle.

    If I ride a BSO to the pub for a few pints, dressed in jeans, sandals and cowboy hat, with a pipe hanging from my lips, I am no less a cyclist than if i am hareing over the Outer Hebrides in full touring gear with panniers.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I suppose as other have said, anyone on a bike is a cyclist, but I know what you mean, I don't tend to regard kids on BSOs in jeans as cyclists somehow....
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  • hfidgenhfidgen Posts: 340
    I guess the nub of my problem is with being lumped in with everyone else who has sat on a bike when it comes to classing what 'cyclists' do.

    I see your point and I do rather agree, but good luck convincing the rest of the world to class you apart and judge you differently :P
    FCN 4 - BMC CX02
  • clarkey catclarkey cat Posts: 3,641
    HOW ABOUT THIS FOR A DEFINITION:

    a cyclist is somebody that you'd recognise as being a habitual rider of bicycles even when they are not riding a bicycle.

    ithangyou
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    HOW ABOUT THIS FOR A DEFINITION:

    a cyclist is somebody that you'd recognise as being a habitual rider of bicycles even when they are not riding a bicycle.

    ithangyou

    Slightly hunched gait due to tight hamstrings?
  • Redhog14Redhog14 Posts: 1,377
    HOW ABOUT THIS FOR A DEFINITION:

    a cyclist is somebody that you'd recognise as being a habitual rider of bicycles even when they are not riding a bicycle.

    ithangyou

    Not sure how that works - if they are not in possesion of a bicycle when you see them how do you know they ride one out of habit? And what if you habit is just down to a need for transport? (i.e. you can't afford anything else)

    A cyclist, to me, would be someone who takes an active interest in cycling and the culture of cycling.

    Definition - Culture:
    [C or U] the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time

    My brother has a bike which he even rides sometimes but I would not suggest he is a cyclist.
  • IrvinetIrvinet Posts: 117
    I guess the nub of my problem is with being lumped in with everyone else who has sat on a bike when it comes to classing what 'cyclists' do.

    I'm sat there, in traffic, on the road in front of a car waiting for the lights to change. Some guy wheels past on the pavement on a bike, then hops on to the road and through the red, you can imagine the people in the car thinking 'bloody cyclists'.

    I'm the cyclist, he is just on a bike. I do think it fits with the football analogy better.

    I think this is a pretty clear case of a "No True Scotsman" fallacy. I am afraid that plenty of cyclists regularly break road rules, no matter which definition of cyclist you want to go with.

    But then plenty of drivers break road rules on every single drive and plenty of peds do the same on every walk through London.
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  • .
    If I ride a BSO to the pub for a few pints, dressed in jeans, sandals and cowboy hat, with a pipe hanging from my lips, I am no less a cyclist than if i am hareing over the Outer Hebrides in full touring gear with panniers.

    Ah, so you are going to the pub are you? Does that make you a drinker or someone who drinks?

    If you regularly frequent the pub for a skinfull you might be described as a drinker who rides a bike; if you regularly cycle and on this occasion have stopped off at the pub for a quick one, I'd describe you as a cyclist that drinks.

    People tend to get defined by the characteristics that they exhibit most frequently or most visibly.

    I drive as well as cycle, but many people drive - it is the ardent cycling that makes me different to most other people I know, hence I'm a cyclist that drives more than a driver that cycles.. I think....
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    In London, in my experience about 50% of avid cyclists ie commuters RLJ.

    Not good.
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