Cycling has a social order as highly developed as any caste system on the planet. But it's a secret. Unfortunately, all was revealed on Rec.Sport.Triathlon some time ago, and I'm the only one courageous enough to make this highly classified information public. In response to occasional requests to repost this information, I'm placing it here. Now, you only need a web browser to know who to snub.
So, here it is, by popular demand, the Modified Cycling Food Chain.
The first attempt left out mountain bikers, an unforgiveable sin. The
comprehensive list is the response to a popular uprising from
Modified Cycling Food Chain
Yes, I was remiss in leaving mountain bikers off the list. A fatal
mistake. But thinking about where they go unleashed a whole tidal wave
of obvious flaws. So, after conducting detailed research, I have created
the definitive list for all cycling snobs to provide much-need guidance
on Who To Snub Without Remorse. I provide this service to all of you
free of charge.
By the way, I don't care if mountain bikes are 60% of the market. If your knobbies have never been off the pavement, then you are The Rest of the World.
Here's the Modified Comprehensive Cycling Food Chain:
- Roadies--Cat I/II
- Trackies--All, but they must own their own track bike
- Roadies--Cat III/IV
- Roadies--Cat V
- Triathletes--Age Groupers wearing Speedos in a group ride (plus all of below)
- Triathletes--Age Groupers with forward position, 650 wheels, aerobars and normal cycling clothing
- Triathletes--Age Groupers on normal road bikes with aerobars
- Tourists--Loaded, cross-country, self-guided tours
- Tourists--Loaded, cross-country, guided tours
- Tourists--Loaded, organized vacation group
- Tourists--Non-loaded, organized vacation group in mountains (e.g. Pedal the Peaks)
- Tourists--Non-loaded, organized vacation group in mere hills (e.g. Texas Hill Country Tour)
- Tourists--Weekend century riders
- Club riders with Fancy Road Bikes
- Club riders with Normal Road Bikes
- Club riders with Aerobars
- Recreational MTBers (off-road only)
- Commuters with fenders, panniers, and lights
- Commuters with panniers and lights
- Commuters on racing bikes
- The Rest of the World
Messengers are orthogonal to this ranking.
If you are riding in a group, you gain Obnoxiousness Points for acting as if you are higher on the list, and Humility Points for acting as if you are lower on the list. Both points are Bonus Points, depending on who you are trying to impress.
Now, you must adjust your position based on the following Unspoken Rules (never read these aloud):
If your bike is Italian, you may move up one notch. If your bike is British, and you are a tourist, you may move up one notch; otherwise, you must move down two notches.
If your bike is aero, and you are a triathlete, you may move up one notch.
Move up a notch this year only if you have nine-speed. Move down a notch for each cog short of eight (nine starting next year). [Editor's note: It's next year, so subtract one point for each cog short of nine.]
Move down a notch if you have a triple up front, unless your are a tourist. If you are tourist and have only two chainrings, then move down to the Tourists--Weekend Century Rider rank even if you have panniers.
The Uniqueness Limit allows only two bikes of the same make and model in any one group. If the limit is exceeded, then all riders of the offending make and model must move down a notch for each excess bike.
If you have visible scars, you may move up two notches, unless you are a mountain biker. If you are a mountain biker and have no visible scars, you must move down one notch. If you have scars in an area that is not displayable in public, and you can persuade a member of the opposite sex to admire it, then you can move up two notches, but not in combination with below.
The above is correlated to the Getting Regular Sex factor. If you are getting any, and you are male, then move up four notches. Add two more notches if your partner is in the riding group. Add another notch still if everyone else is flirting with her. This factor does not apply if you are married, even if you are getting regular sex. (This section was not added by me)
If you ride a team jersey for any team you have never joined, then you must move down two notches. If your jerseys are tattered from use, then you may move up a notch. If you are a roadie, and wear sleeveless jerseys, then move down a notch. Drop a notch if your jersey advertises a brand better than the one you own. Drop four notches if you are wearing a T-shirt. Drop four notches if you are wearing non-cycling shorts (unless they are speedos).
If you do not shave your legs, move down three notches.
If you ride Campagnolo, move up a notch, unless it's Record, in which case move up two notches. If you ride Shimano, move down a notch, unless it's Dura Ace, which is neutral.
If your bike is titanium, move up two notches. If it is high-end carbon, move up one notch. If it is aluminum, move down a notch, unless it's a Felt, in which case you can move up a notch until it breaks. QR's are neutral, but only for triathletes. If you are a tourist, and your bike is not steel, move down three notches.
If you have aero wheels, move up a notch, unless you are a tourist, in which case move down a notch. If you ride tubulars, move up a notch.
If you ride with toe clips, then move to the bottom of the list.
Move up a notch if you train on a fixed gear in the early season. Move up another notch if you train on a real track bike. [Added recently: Move up four notches if you ride a fixed gear in the Virginia hills.]
Move down a notch for each stupid question.
Move down four notches if you use the phrase "I'm a triathlete" in any group of Roadies, Trackies, and/or Club Riders.
Move down a notch for each 15 pounds excess weight,unless you are wearing a Speedo, in which case move down two notches.
Pronounced cycling-short tan lines move you up a notch, but only in the Summer. In the Winter, such tan lines move you up two notches.
If, during the application of the above Unspoken Rules, you ever dip into the The Rest of the World Category, then you must stay there. Subsequent Bonus Points become null and void. Note that non-roadies may choose not to participate in the above ranking system. Roadie participation, however, is required. I hope this detailed approach to this serious problem will assist all of you in determining who to snub.