New word needed to differentiate cyclists

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Dogtrousers, 2 Apr 2019.

  1. Dogtrousers

    Dogtrousers Kilometre nibbler

    The English language needs a new word to describe people who ride a bike as a form of transport rather than sport, because of the animosity towards “cyclists”, according to Britain’s greatest Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, a 29-time world champion in cycling and swimming

    In Dutch, a “normal” cyclist is a fietser. A Tour de France-type cyclist on a racing bike is a wielrenner. English should make a similar distinction, ... We need to realise that a cyclist isn’t just a Lycra-clad yob, as per the stereotype, and that cyclists are just people on bikes moving around on a mode of transport.

    I think that's a bit daft.

    Because it buys into and accepts the concept of the "lycra clad yob" as if such a thing is really widespread. Because a lot of people commute wearing lycra. Because as soon as you start to look hard at the idea and come up with a clear and unambiguous definition for the word, there are so many edge cases and exceptions it starts to lose any meaning.

    Lastly, because it will make me feel discriminated against: As non utility but non sport cyclist, who doesn't wear lycra I demand my own word!

    Please merge if already posted. I did look but didn't find.
  2. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran


    I totally agree, just because you wear lycra does not make you a yob. I liked the simple 'person on a bike' to humanise things, but let's be honest the average motorist just sees us an an inconvenience.
    david k, Toshiba Boy, dave r and 4 others like this.
  3. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    I'm a lycra lout and proud of it.
    Oldbloke, ianrauk and screenman like this.
  4. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    If motorists prefer to be called 'drivers' then maybe cyclists could be called 'riders' ?
    dave r likes this.
  5. Pat "5mph"

    Pat "5mph" A kilogrammicaly challenged woman Moderator

    As long as they don't mistake us for horse, motorcycle or moped riders ^_^
    dave r and Oldbloke like this.
  6. As per usual I think she makes a valid point. I won’t tell anyone I’m a ‘cyclist’ anymore, because I’ve found that most people associate the term with a FPKW, HDAU, shouty, self righteous, hand wringer. I tend to tell people I like to ride a bike, that seems to invoke less instant bile spouting.
  7. bladderhead

    bladderhead Well-Known Member

    I just tell people I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike. When they ask me if I ride it on the pavement I tell them I want to ride it where I like.
    ozboz, 12boy, woodbutcher and 13 others like this.
  8. kapelmuur

    kapelmuur Über Member

    I’m in Flanders on holiday and was bombing along at 20mph+ (an 18mph tailwind) on my road bike and in full Lycra when I heard a woman telling her children ‘pas op, fietser’

    I was very offended as I was sure I was a wielenner.
  9. lane

    lane Über Member

    I ride for leisure and wear lycra but I do not need a special word to make it clear to the casual observer I am not a tdf competitor.

    In seriousness there is a more clearcut differentiation in Holland the difference is easy to observe but not so much in the UK.
    theclaud likes this.
  10. bladderhead

    bladderhead Well-Known Member

    If I was in Holland I would be a liegfietser.
  11. In the States, we have many modifiers for cyclist, but refer to the cyclist not ordained into the lycra as a "Fred"or "Doris". This includes commuters, it seems, although commuters vary as well. Some are folks who cannot get a car,(or driver's license, because the judge won't let them, due to previous DUI or DWI conviction) and those who ride to work for health, although it probably would be healthier if we all rode away from work. Perhaps we should be either racing cyclists or volkscyclists.
  12. DaveReading

    DaveReading Veteran

    I'm a bicyclist.
  13. bladderhead

    bladderhead Well-Known Member

    They just beetle along.
    tyred, alicat and Gravity Aided like this.
  14. I'm air cooled, as well.
    tyred, BrumJim, dave r and 1 other person like this.
  15. PK99

    PK99 Guru


    Most cycle commuters I've seen in Belgium and Holland are of the pootle variety on upright bikes and are in normal clothes riding quite short distances into work as cities are smaller.

    A significant proportion of London cycle commuters are lycra clad speedsters riding longer distances on their commute, hence discussions here about showering facilities etc at work. Many (see discussions on here) seem to use commuting as training.
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