Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Cyclists or Bikers or Riders?

Posted by Matt | May 17, 2007 | 6 comments so far

Today I came across an article in the Guardian by Matt Seaton, talking about why cyclists shave their legs.

What struck me as odd though, once I’d got past the whole idea of shaved legs was that Mr Seaton repeatedly referred to himself as a cyclist. I know that factually he is correct as in ‘one who cycles’. He even referred to the practice of shaving legs as a means of ‘belonging’ to the cycling tribe. But to me it didn’t feel right.

I mean, I don’t shave my legs, so does that mean I’m not a cyclist? Or that I belong to a non leg shaving tribe instead? Is that what Mountain Bikers are, a tribe of non leg shavers? It seems strange that I should read an article about cycling and find myself ultimately excluded from precisely a group of people I would expect to have some affinity with.

So what are we, us Mountain Bike folk? Are we cyclists? Well, yes of course we are. Are we Mountain Bikers? well, yes, that too. MTBers? Yup, maybe, Riders as well. What about our BMX/urban cousins? Are there any differences in all this that matter that much?

I don’t think so. Really it’s a question of emphasis. I don’t want to exclude myself from different groups just because my legs aren’t shaved or I don’t have the right gear. And I don’t want to be elitest about cycling/biking/riding. Naturally there are people with whom I have more in common than others, but if you get enjoyment from riding a bike that’s a pretty good starting point for me.

Rather than putting off people from getting involved in the sport with artificial distinctions I say the more the merrier.

And only shave your legs if you really want to.


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 6 comments on ‘Cyclists or Bikers or Riders?’

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  1. Mark says:

    Having seen your legs many times I would heartilly recommend that you DO NOT shave your legs. They already look like two bits of limp string, so being hairless as well would only empasise the issue!

  2. Muddymoles says:

    Getting fit for Mountain Biking

    It’s now only a short time to our trip to Afan in South Wales. Now, I’ve already said that the determining factor in how much we enjoy the trip isn’t likely to be our fitness. After all, we have all…

  3. Matt says:

    Hah! Mark, thanks for the advice. Don’t worry there’s no danger of me shaving my legs, I think I’d end up looking like Gollum if I did.

    It all sounds a bit metrosexual to me (although what would it feel like?).

  4. Muddymoles says:

    Girls and Mountain Biking

    Mark and I were out at the weekend, covering a good 23 miles of the Surrey Hills in what turned out to be a fine Sunday for riding. We left Bookham behind and made our way over to Ranmore, then…

  5. Related: Getting fit for Mountain Biking | Mutterings, Lifestyle | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  6. Related: Girls and Mountain Biking | Rides | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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