Why are pro cyclists so approachable and friendly?

Ask a Pro Question Q Phil GaimonI went to the start of a stage at the Amgen Tour of Cali­fornia this year. I didn’t know any of the riders person­ally, but I was surprised to find them very approachable and friendly, especially compared to other sports. Why is that?

You like bike racing, but that puts you in the minority. Most pros realize that no matter how famous, well-paid, or fast you are, 99 percent of the world considers you an inconvenience that needs to get the hell out of the road, and they can’t tell the Tour de France from a gay pride parade. They see a few seconds on TV every year of dudes wearing colorful tights, crashing in France, and think “That’s a sport?” So when we encounter a true fan, we like to chat, because it makes up for all the rednecks who throw beer cans at us.

Ask a Pro answers every question you’ve always wanted to ask about pro cycling. Recently retired pro cyclist Phil Gaimon gathers the absolute gems from his monthly Q&A feature column in VeloNews magazine into Ask a Pro and adds a dose of fresh commentary and even more acerbic and sharp-eyed insights.

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