When you ride your bike for transportation, you feel a sense of solidarity with the other types of cyclists you pass on the street. It doesn’t matter if they’re on expensive road bikes, run-down fixies, or tandem bicycles… these are your people. They’re like your weird extended family, and you can’t help but love them. But while you respect all those who pedal instead of drive to their destinations, you can’t help but notice the very specific different kinds of cyclists that you come across. Hardcore commuters are a totally different breed than fair-weather exercisers who dust off their bikes come spring, and the old hippie biking with organic groceries in her basket moves at a much slower pace than a Lycra-clad triathlete in training.
Even if you don’t ride your bike much, you’ve probably noticed the many people who do — maybe you've even sworn at them from behind your steering wheel. But before you lump all bike riders into one category, praising or cursing our eco-friendly and sometimes reckless ways, you should really get to know the cast of characters who prefer riding through the city on two wheels… I like to think we’re a pretty awesome (and entertaining) bunch of people.
1. The old guy in a fluorescent jacket
Whether he moves at hyper-speed or snail pace, this guy is a fixture on the road. And thanks to his spiffy attire, you can't miss him.
2. The hipster college student
Flannel? Fixed gear? Chrome backpack? Check, check, check.
3. The bike messenger
This is the hipster college student who didn't find a job after graduation. He or she is still sporting a roll-top backpack, but can now weave between cars, dodge doors, and roll through stop lights like a pro.
4. The serious roadie
Zipping down the road in Spandex and a racing jersey, this cyclist means business. He's probably in his mid-30s or 40s and training for a triathlon. He used to wear a Livestrong bracelet... until Lance Armstrong betrayed him.
5. The BMX dude
This kid's probably in high school. When he's not in class, he's attempting tricks at the skate park or in a parking lot. And if this dude is a grown human... he probably doesn't act like it.
6. The bike share user
Ah, that clunky blue cruiser sticks out like a sore thumb. This rider has no clue how to ride on busy city streets, and is the bane of many a car driver's existence.
7. The righteous one
Old or young, this person despises cars and longs to move to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, or any other bike-friendly city. He or she doesn't own a car, and enjoys reminding people how much pollution they create with their vehicles.
8. The eco-friendly parents
Like the righteous ones, these young parents believe in green living. Whenever they go to the grocery store down the street, they haul their kid in a bike trailer.
9. The cool girl
Even on a bicycle, she's dressed to impress in some impossibly cool outfit, like she came out of the pages of Nylon. The bike messengers and hipster college students can't help but stare when she rides by.
10. The bar crawlers
Usually out in masses during the summer when bike bars and brewery crawls are a thing, these 20-somethings like getting tipsy on two wheels. Safe? Questionable. But you'll want to join them anyway.
Images: Broad City; Tumblr (8); Giphy (2)