Twelve Types of Bike Commuters

Brendan Leonard presents a comprehensive, extremely scientific and factual accounting of all the various types of bike commuters in this excerpt from his new book "Bears Don't Care About Your Problems: More Funny Shit in the Woods from" Recognize anyone?
Brendan Leonard Brendan Leonard
Mountaineers Books author & creator of
July 31, 2019
Twelve Types of Bike Commuters

Everyone knows there are two kinds of people in this world, but did you know there are twelve 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 of them at once. Or maybe there are more than twelve types.

027825462-cycling-sport.jpegAPPREHENSIVE NEOPHYTE

  • Pedals onward despite visible terror
  • Will evolve to other type of bike commuter after fifteen to twenty more bike commutes


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

012956963-young-girl-riding-bicyclejpg.jpegTHE OUTLAW

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


  • Uses 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!”


  • “Just riding my bike over here, please don’t hit me.”
  • Never has dead batteries in blinking taillight
  • Possibly wears 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 with two flat tires, also possibly slowly being stripped of parts


027692518-travel-photos-new-york-manhatt.jpegNYC RESTAURANT DELIVERY GUY

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

043201697-cyclist-street.jpegNOT 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
  • Rides in regular clothes


  • 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


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


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

IG---Bears Cover 3D.jpg

For more on cycling, running, climbing, and all of their attendant pleasures and absurdities, pick up a copy of Bears Don't Care About Your Problems and follow Brendan at

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Wondering why it is that bears don't care about your problems? READ THE RESULTS OF OUR super scientific inquiry HERE.