• Patrick Gabrion

Biker or cyclist?

Biker or cyclist? That's a good question. Who am I? Which am I? It's a state of awareness I really hadn't given much thought. But then I decided, "Why not think about it?" So I am.


I ride a bike. So does that make me a biker? I've never been to a biker bar, but my awareness knows that's where motorcycle gangs hang out. On the surface, a rougher crowd that probably wouldn't appreciate the Spandex look — hence my reasoning for not going to one. I've never heard of a cyclist bar, but it sounds like a grand idea. They could serve bananas, rice cakes, and energy shots and gels as appetizers.


I'm bad to the bone.

If one looks up the difference between biking and cycling, it indicates both are used. But cycling is more common, while biking is more ambiguous. It can mean going by bicycle or by motorbike.


Deciding to delve a little deeper into the subject, I took an informal survey of many of my friends around the country. The question put forth to them was as follows: Do you consider yourself a cyclist or a biker? Here's what they had to say:


Jeff S. of Texas — “I’m a cyclist. Bikers ride motorcycles and wear leather.”

Cory L. of Maine — “I’m a cyclist. I equate biker to an engine-powered cycle and/or the term biker gang.”

John W. of Maine — “I'm a cyclist. (The term biker comes up) when dialoguing with a non-cyclist. It seems most of my friends who don’t ride bicycles call me a biker.”

Jon J. of Maine — “I’m a cyclist, because I love to bike.”

Kacey M. of Pennsylvania — “I’m a cyclist or rider if context is already there. Biker is more commonly used for motorcycle. Biker bar, for example, always refers to motorcycle. But I never say ‘I’m going for a cycle,’ it’s always ‘I’m going for a ride’ or ‘Do you want to ride tomorrow?’ I only ever say ‘bike ride’ if talking to someone outside the circle who wouldn’t understand that, of course, that is what I mean by ‘ride.'"

Jim B. of Michigan — “I consider myself a biker, because the next bike I buy is going to be an e-bike.”

Casey B. of Maine — “I prefer the term cyclist, unless I’m speaking to a non-cyclist. Then I’m not picky about my vocabulary.”

William F. of Florida — “I’m a cyclist and biker, because I ride both.”

Maynard S. of Florida — "I like to drink and swear ... guess I’m a biker!"

Alan C. of Maine — "I'm a cyclist. A biker is a motorcyclist. It (the term cyclist) gives us our own title."


All valid points of view. But truth be told, and consistent with the majority of the above statements, I've always considered myself a cyclist. It just sounds more pure and natural. Let's all go for a ride, no matter what we call ourselves!

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