But, before I, inevitably, become a dominant force in the blogosphere and alter popular culture as we knew it, we need to get a few things out of the way:
First: What is a "Bikeist" anyway?
Well, I'll begin by telling you what a bikeist is not --
Importantly, a Bikeist is not a "Bikelist":
(From The Urban Dictionary)
(Pronounced: 'bike-a-list') - Someone who rides a bicycle for both leisure and commuting purposes but with no understanding of or total disregard for the rules of the road/traffic laws. One who doesn’t use the proper hand signals when turning/slowing/stopping. A person who does not wear a helmet (or wear it properly). A person who chooses to act as a pedestrian when it suits him/her (i.e. riding on sidewalks, pathways, etc.). Someone who was simply given a bike by their parents and taught no rules or considerations.
Tom: "Look at that asshole over there. Riding his bike on that busy sidewalk."
Carlos: "Stupid bikelists!"
I have to admit that, as fond as I am of this web definition, the interplay of Tom and Carlos is what, IMHO, makes it one of the all-time greatest web entries ever. Sheer brilliance! Particularly, because it provides the perfect segway to my next counter-definition:
(Pronounced: 'Poseur') - According to my buddy Mark (who is from Kansas), whom I have proudly converted to bike commuting, he is a bike-rider and not a "cyclist." Cyclists, to Mark, are the spandex-clad schmucks who zip by him on the Strand bike path without calling their pass and without slowing down for pedestrians, baby-joggers (God-forbid!), kids on bikes with training wheels, the disabled, the elderly, those in need of emergency resuscitation, or anything at all, for that matter, that interferes in any way with their preciously earned momentum. Ironically, "cyclists," as perceived by the public at large (especially Mark), are viewed much in the same way that Tom and Carlos perceive "bikelists."
Here is a recent photo of the rear wheel of the commuter bike I helped Mark pick out a year ago (cyclists, avert your eyes, this may be too much to bear):
These two bike-riding archetypes have also, both, popularly been referred to as "Freds." I love the term Fred, but, like the previous two terms, it seems to have been prone to frequent propagandist mis-use. My crack research team has feverishly Googled "Fred" for a good ten minutes, and the best they could come up with is that "Fred" began as a derogatory term slung at seemingly novice bike-riders by bonafide, spandex-clad "cyclists." Many a solo trekker, 60 miles into his or her umpteenth 80 mile segment of the Pacific Coast Bike Route has suffered the indignity of hearing "Fred" uttered under the breath of a poseur hidden amongst a gaggle of club riders breezing by in a sloppy "paceline" on their arduous 20 mile Saturday morning group ride. Ironically, many Freds embraced the term as a badge of honor, especially those who could out-pace, out-climb, out-sprint most supposed cyclists whilst riding non-racing bikes in non-spandex clothing. Ironically, many have also turned the term "Fred" on its head, using it to refer to the poseurs themselves -- Über-Freds being the apex of pure poseur ridiculousness.
So, what is a wanna-be bike blogger to do when confronted with all this divisiveness on what should be a simple task: how to refer to one's own self? Well, my decision was to do what I have always done -- pull something out of my butt. Again, I set my crack team (really, no pun intended) to the task of marathon Googling, and they are fairly certain that the term "Bikeist" has never before been posted, listed, defined, conceived, or even uttered. Thus, henceforth, I will forever be known throughout the land, sea, and air as: The San Diego Bikeist. Cue trumpet fanfare . . .
Finally, to bring my brilliant, historic, second blog post to an epic conclusion, I will provide you with my definition of a "Bikeist."
(Pronounced: 'bike-ist') One who is enthusiastic about bicycles and the riding of them.
That's me in a nut-shell. And, more importantly, is inclusive of most all members of the various bike "tribes" out there - be they cyclists, Freds, commuters, Randonneurs, racers, fixie riders, mountain-bikers, bike mechanics, BMXers, etc. While I intend to poke fun at members of all of the above factions (especially myself), this blog is not intended to purport that there is any single best or superior approach to riding and/or loving bikes. If you approach bicycles with genuine, unpretentious, enthusiasm, then this blog is for you. You, too, are a "Bikeist."
Welcome -and- one more time -- Congratulations!
Up Next: "Bikeography"