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I was skimming a PB article on some racer that I'd never heard of and read one of the comments calling her a role model. That got me thinking about role models and my mtb experience. I don't, and have never had a mtb role model. I just don't get the role model thing for cycling. Back when I was a young soldier there were a few "old timers" that I admired and learned from.

Do you have cycling role models? Racers? Why?
 

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I was skimming a PB article on some racer that I'd never heard of and read one of the comments calling her a role model. That got me thinking about role models and my mtb experience. I don't, and have never had a mtb role model. I just don't get the role model thing for cycling. Back when I was a young soldier there were a few "old timers" that I admired and learned from.

Do you have cycling role models? Racers? Why?
Ironically, her husband posts here regularly.

No, I don't view have any cyclist role models.

Why? Because it's their job. If they were also serious advocates for civil rights or had some other inspirational quality, perhaps.

Edit: Nairo Quintana is the only cyclist I know of that I find interesting outside of his cycling pursuits. Dude is pretty active with promoting gender equality for women in Colombia.
 

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I guess it depends on what you think of as a "role model".

I follow Jesse Thomas (triathlete) pretty closely, mostly because of how open he is about the sport. He writes articles often, based on fan input about what various things are like. Including starting his own business while also racing as a pro knowing he can't be a pro forever. So I find it interesting seeing how a real pro athlete trains, recovers, lives life, all without it being strictly about putting his sponsors out there (he does that too of course).

I don't consider him to be a role model to me, since I am not going that direction in life. But I could see how he could be for others.
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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The problem with cycling role models is that you won't find many articles or videos about them on pb, or pretty much anywhere else. Why? Because what is a role model? Someone you can look up to, aspire to, figure out how to handle things. Like, What Would Danny MacAskill Do? Right?

But we don't really see that part of most cyclists lives. I'll hold someone up as a roll model for cycling when I see them:

1. Promoting cycling in an effective way, getting kids on bikes, getting families riding together.
2. Getting their hands dirty with real cycling infrastructure advocacy - building trails, helping raise money for bikeways, etc.
3. Riding and "showing off" good practical bikes that the average family can afford. This means a bike light enough for this role model's kids to ride effectively that a family can afford a couple of, plus a larger version that the parents can ride. Something with quality parts, that isn't an over the top "superbike" but just a durable, working bike, maybe one for the trails and one for the road, although it seems the road version may be a much easier bike to find. I maintain kids bikes in general are still too heavy for kids to ride effectively.


I'm sure there's a lot more I'd want to see too, but you get the point. A role model needs to be able to do more than rip on a $10K superbike. They need to do more than just not dope. And the "industry media" (because, lets be honest, that's where you and I will read about it, not their local newspaper) needs to think those things are worth covering, not just the latest "stoke-worthy" tricks and gear.
 

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Nothing like setting up some unrealistic expectations. Any pro or famous cyclist is going to be riding an expensive bike...if only because they have one available to ride, like anyone else would.

I follow a few racers on FB, Sagan (the only roadie) is probably the the most inspiring.
 

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Greg LeMond was an inspiration for me because aside from being a charismatic nice guy he proved that an American can be fast on a bike, the LeMond/Hinault battles in the mid-80's were truly epic. 30-some years later and I still think he's pretty cool.
 

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I have the privilege and honor of working with Joe Breeze. I volunteer as a docent at the Marin Museum of Bicycling, where he is the curator. In addition to being a world renowned bicycle designer, he is one of my dearest and closest friends. We have shared countless bicycle adventures, and he wrote the foreword in my book.

No one has more passion for bicycling than Joe Breeze. No one I have ever met knows more about the subject, and I count a lot of passionate cyclists among my friends. No one I know has done more to put people on bikes.

I have said many times that if I disagree with Joe on any subject related to bicycling, I know I am wrong.
 

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The problem with role models is that they're human and rarely live up to wild expectations.
 

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When I was growing up:

Greg Lemond
Ned Overend
Tinker Juarez
John Tomac

Now we are in an era where sadly almost no win can be seen without strong suspicion - it's been proven time and time again that doping is too easy to achieve.
 

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When I was growing up:

Tinker Juarez

Now we are in an era where sadly almost no win can be seen without strong suspicion - it's been proven time and time again that doping is too easy to achieve.
If it makes you feel any better, I recently raced against him in an endurance race. Could he be cheating? Yes. Was his performance out of this world? No. I don't know if I can get there, but it didn't look inhuman.
 

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What constitutes a role model can be highly personal. I know individuals who have traits and accomplishments that I admire and wish I were more like. It doesn't have to conform to anybody else's or any more widely held views of that a role model comprises.
 

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Bikesexual
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Ironically, her husband posts here regularly.

No, I don't view have any cyclist role models.

Why? Because it's their job. If they were also serious advocates for civil rights or had some other inspirational quality, perhaps.

Edit: Nairo Quintana is the only cyclist I know of that I find interesting outside of his cycling pursuits. Dude is pretty active with promoting gender equality for women in Colombia.
There is a guy (Nairo) that comes from very humble beginings. Most pro cyclist come from upper class back grounds, this guy comes from one of the poorest parts in Colombia and does a lot for his people. Then you add his dedication to his trade, maybe not a role model but certainly inspirational.
 

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There is a guy (Nairo) that comes from very humble beginings. Most pro cyclist come from upper class back grounds, this guy comes from one of the poorest parts in Colombia and does a lot for his people. Then you add his dedication to his trade, maybe not a role model but certainly inspirational.
In the US that is mostly correct.

In Europe, cycling has historically been a very diverse sport. A lot of guys turned to cycling to escape life as factory workers, miners, etc. Lots of very blue collar dudes from Belgium, Holland, Italy, etc.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

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Bikesexual
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In the US that is mostly correct.

In Europe, cycling has historically been a very diverse sport. A lot of guys turned to cycling to escape life as factory workers, miners, etc. Lots of very blue collar dudes from Belgium, Holland, Italy, etc.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
Interesting, hopefully I didn't generalize too much.
 

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Edit: Nairo Quintana is the only cyclist I know of that I find interesting outside of his cycling pursuits. Dude is pretty active with promoting gender equality for women in Colombia.
But we don't really see that part of most cyclists lives. I'll hold someone up as a roll model for cycling when I see them:

1. Promoting cycling in an effective way, getting kids on bikes, getting families riding together.
2. Getting their hands dirty with real cycling infrastructure advocacy - building trails, helping raise money for bikeways, etc.
3. Riding and "showing off" good practical bikes that the average family can afford. This means a bike light enough for this role model's kids to ride effectively that a family can afford a couple of, plus a larger version that the parents can ride. Something with quality parts, that isn't an over the top "superbike" but just a durable, working bike, maybe one for the trails and one for the road, although it seems the road version may be a much easier bike to find. I maintain kids bikes in general are still too heavy for kids to ride effectively.


I'm sure there's a lot more I'd want to see too, but you get the point. A role model needs to be able to do more than rip on a $10K superbike. They need to do more than just not dope. And the "industry media" (because, lets be honest, that's where you and I will read about it, not their local newspaper) needs to think those things are worth covering, not just the latest "stoke-worthy" tricks and gear.
And aren't these the qualities that we should be looking for in any role model? I have to say so. I have a lot of respect for the few local guys I know who have helped to put those who would otherwise not exercise or those who are economically disadvantaged on bicycles.

The shop I frequent now showed me this side of the cycling community. When I first started going there I had an old, beat up Schwinn, and before I bought my first mountain bike from them, the mechanic, now a good friend, told me that my bike would require a lot of money to fix, but I could donate it to them and they would fix it up to give to someone who needed a bike. They gave it to a guy who really needed one. The guy couldn't drive - don't know why, couldn't afford a car and insurance, DUI, doesn't matter. They gave him the bike and he rides it to work to this day. They also host free bike mechanic workshops for kids to practice using tools and doing basic bike repairs and will never try to get anyone to buy a bike or gear above their means. The head mechanic knows I am coming in with student pay and has let me use their tools and space to fix things as long as I bought the parts.

And it's all because they want to see people on bikes, and they want to make a difference in people's lives whether that's helping them become more fit, helping them have the means to get to their job, and teaching people skills to work on their bike.
 
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