No matter whether you only get out on the road bike once a month, or you’re a day in day out veteran, when you’re out with the group you’ll be riding with at least one of these guys. Do you fit into one of these stereotypes?
The cheapest gear, a rusty old steel bike – but more watts than you can ever dream to throw around. A lot of the commuters will ride day in, day out. Nothing will phase them, they’ve ridden through rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind. They’ll almost always volunteer to sit on the front and they’ll often work like a dog.
They may have the squeakist bike – but they’ll know exactly which jackets are waterproof and they’ll have all the tips and tricks for keeping warm through the winter. It’s unlikely that this rider will ever be the late guy.
The Maps Guy
This guy knows the roads like the back of his hand and never fails to deliver. You say what you want and the response is usually “oh I know the perfect route”. Always timed to perfection, always exactly as described and never lost. Coming up with town or village names 10 miles from home that you didn’t even know existed. They’d be the best tour guide going if you ever had visitors.
The Old Bloke
This cycling veteran has seen it all. From bikes that used to be made of bone before the invention of metals, and tracks shared with the dinosaurs – the old guy will bring a bike debuted in the 1970’s and a kit to match. Doesn’t engage in the chat about strava, garmins, tyre widths or watts/kg. He’ll never be up out of the saddle, but never at the back.
Can hit almost 100km twice a week because they don’t know any different. You’ll be in absolute awe of the old rider and hoping that when you’re they’re age, you’ve still got it too!
Whether it’s out on the road or down at the local cafe, this rider is often the most useful in the squad. They’ll fix anything you throw at them, and often they won’t even have to use their tool kit. An extensive knowledge of every issue you could possibly think off, complete with the biggest tool collection in the group – keep them close.
Probably works within the bike industry – at the local shop or otherwise. Often on a brand new demo bike, with more gear & widgets than you can get your head around. You’re not quite sure if they’re doing any riding on this space ship. Complete with all the new accessories and kit to match.
If you want to talk about something other than the cycling industry then don’t prod for information on any new products. Can talk for hours – usually more money than sense but the last to buy the round.
This person may not completely know what they’ve got themselves in for. They’ll have a standard road bike, probably quite a weathered one that’s been sat in the shed for a while. The newbie probably won’t have made the venture into cleats yet – let alone bib shorts.
Questionable decisions are their forte at junctions, nobody quite knows what’s going to happen. If nothing else it brings an exciting element to the ride, and a refreshing change to the standard cafe chat.
Shaved legs, a squeaky clean bike and the darkest shades in the bunch. You’ll know the racer from the moment you see them. They’ll be the first on the attack, and always pushing on the front of the chaingang. If anyone fancies a go at the bottom of the hill, they’ll light it up in the race to top.
Usually in very smart kit, you can tell the racer from the wheel sucker cause their kit is often the cleanest at the end of the long ride as they’ve spent half their time off the front trying to split the pack.
The Late One
You can call them, set their alarm for them, wake up in their house. There’s no way you’ll ever get this person to be on time. They have an almost impressive knack of making themselves late and everyone else has to wait for them.
You’ll have tried everything from telling them you’re meeting an hour earlier, to making them text you as they leave. But it won’t work for this one – they’re a lost cause and they’ve usually forgotten something in the process.
Quite often one of the smaller riders in the group, the first at the cake bar and the last to leave. They’ll pile in a main, some crisps, chocolate, coffee, cake and more to take for the road. They’ll be finishing off your left overs without a hesitation and they’re probably half your size.
With a teenage metabolism there seems to be nothing this bottomless pit can’t handle. Man vs Food? Get them over here, we’ve got a rider that’s up to the challenge.
The Number Cruncher
Obsessed with Strava, Trainingpeaks and power. They can be found at the cafe stop talking about what their average left leg power was through each part of the stroke. Occasionally won’t be able to ride hard as they need to be dictated by the magic numbers on the little computer attached to the front of their bike. Often lets the numbers get in the way of the fun – and can probably be found running/swimming from time to time.
The Social Media Tart
As bad as a teenager this rider can always be found on the phone. Selfies, photos, videos – you name it – they’re doing more photography than riding. Their Instagram story lasts for hours but you swear they only did 3 minutes of actual riding. Often got a back catalogue of images from your ride – although you can’t seem to prize their phone from them.
Occasionally seen with a GoPro – you’ll rarely find them on the front of the bunch. Instead they’re hunting for the perfect light to go with that “perfect” social media moment.
Always the dirtiest at the end of a long ride on the road – spent far too long on the back wheel gasping for air. Whether it’s someone coming back from injury, spent too long down the boozer through the winter or their fitness just isn’t where it used to be. You know you won’t drop them, though they’ll never do any work until the very end of the ride.