The 12 Types Of Bike Commuters

drawing of a blue ribbon reading "I rode my bike to the office (once) (it's still at the office)"

Everyone knows there are two kinds of people in this world, but did you know there are 12 types of bike commuters? That’s right. Here they are. You might be, or have been, or know someone who is, one of them. Or more. Or maybe there are more than 12 types.

Apprehensive Neophyte

  • Pedals onward despite visible terror
  • Will evolve to other type of bike commuter after 15-20 more bike commutes

Righteous Indignatius

  • Commute has higher purpose than the standard just-getting-to-work utilitarianism. Is for fitness, for environmental reasons, possibly enlightenment, for avoidance of psychological fatigue that comes from driving in traffic every day. Still every once in a while is affected by traffic or individual drivers who try to kill him/her, must scream or give finger to cabbie/pizza delivery driver/texting driver drifting into bike lane

The Outlaw

  • Aggressively breaks traffic laws, gets pissed when motorists make similar infractions
  • Fuck you
  • And you
  • So angry

No Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothing

  • Fenders
  • Does not look at weather forecast to determine whether today is an OK day to ride to work; only looks at weather forecast to determine clothing strategy
  • Fatbikes to work in blizzard
  • “Dave, are you sure you wouldn’t like a ride home from work today? I mean, it’s RAINING out there!”

Appreciation and Real Fear of Death

  • Just riding my bike over here, please don’t hit me
  • Never has dead batteries in blinking taillight
  • Possible reflective vest
  • Never rides without helmet


  • Rode bicycle to office once
  • Left bicycle locked to rack in parking garage or in front of building forever
  • Bicycle still there, dying slow death, two flat tires, possibly slowly being stripped of parts

UPS/FedEx Truck Driving Bike Commuter

  • Doesn’t actually ride bicycles, just uses bike lane for parking spot whenever possible
  • I’ll just put my flashers on

NYC Restaurant Delivery Guy

  • Somehow goes 22 mph without pedaling, never heard of e-bikes

Not A Cyclist, Just Guy Riding Bike Around City

  • Would never ride a bike if he had a car/enough money to ride the bus
  • Not sure what the big deal is about
  • Rides in regular clothes

Bike Cop

  • Is police officer
  • Rides police-issue mountain bike
  • Has gun
  • Rides on sidewalk
  • Is actually at work on bicycle, as opposed to riding to work

DUI Guy/Girl

  • Bikes only because of suspended license
  • Flipped-up drop bars
  • Sometimes smokes while riding

Drunk Guy/Girl

  • Bikes only to/from bar
  • Sometimes forgets bike at bar
  • But isn’t DUI Guy/Girl, see, because not driving to bar



More stories like this in my new book, Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems, out now.

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12 replies on “The 12 Types Of Bike Commuters”
  1. says: Henry

    Yep, dead on. Righteous Indignatius here, however, I’ve toned down the finger-flipping and fuck-yelling. It doesn’t help much on one’s path to enlightenment.

  2. says: mcr

    part righteous indignatious, part no bad weather only bad clothing right here…though really, i want to ride my bike to work every day because its the easiest, fastest and absolute most fun way to get around.

  3. says: scoTt

    I passed a woman once who had a cell phone and cigarette in one hand and beer in the other while riding down the street… I really wanted to stop and take a picture, but she kinda scared me.

  4. says: mike in new toronto

    I have a “one-time” guy in my office who rode twice. His first bike had a wheel stolen, so it’s sitting in a back corner. His 2nd bike is just fine, but it’s kinda cold today, so it’s been sitting next to the first one for a couple months now.

  5. says: Brigham

    Spot on dude. For the follow up post, you might mention cat 6 racing. I’m guilty but got great satisfaction from passing dudes on fancier faster bikes.

  6. says: Knuckler

    I think of them more as phases. Every commuter will experience most if not all of them over time, that is if they keep at it. And sometimes will go through all 12 on the same commute.

  7. says: Bemeron

    Currently a No Bad Wx, occasionally smug when passing Appreciation & RFD, elevated testosterone when actually get to pass a full-kit roadie. Soul soon crushed by NYC (Portland) Restaurant DG.

  8. says: Mike

    So Brendan, what category does your friend Nick fall into? Or is he a blend? Right now I’m in the ncdmv waiting to renew my drivers license and yes I pedaled here, lol!

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