At a press conference yesterday, officials from the MABRA Statistical Analysis Council (SAC) confirmed what the cycling community has recently feared: Fred numbers are on the rise in the DC area. The data compiled by MABRA officials suggests that the battle to cull the weak from the cycling herd is slowly being lost.
Who are Freds? According to Wikipedia, "a "Fred" is a cyclist who has a ton of cycling gear, especially of the utilitarian "uncool" kind."
A Fred, however, is much more than this. A Fred may wear baggy jerseys with whimsical printed designs, running socks, tube socks, running shorts, platform pedals (preferably on a ridiculously expensive racing bike) and running shoes. If a Fred does wear cycling-appropriate gear, he chooses cycling shorts--preferably, over boxer briefs--rather than bibs. None of this is absolutely essential for being a Fred; what is essential is an attitude of superiority; e.g., "this Camelpak keeps me more hydrated than these other folks all dressed alike, behind whom I am perfectly entitled to follow and swerve dangerously."
A Fred might rig himself up a cockpit that looks like this:
A Fred believes he is every bit as strong a rider as everyone else on the ride, since his bike and helmet mirror are as flashy as any other bike out on the road. And this makes him dangerous.
Experts are divided about the causes of the rise in Freds, although they are absolutely agreed that the trend is dangerous and must be addressed.
Freds are known to come out in the heart of Summer and remain dormant in Winter. The return of Lance Armstrong to competition surely has brought out the kinds of casual ignorant boobs with limitless budgets, limited knowledge, and unlimited love of mirrors that make up the ranks of Fred-dom.
MABRA SAC Underwear Prevention (SAC UP) economist, Professor D. P. Etro, has a controversial explanation for the recent surge in Freds: "Fred populations, like other prey species, respond to natural predation. If Freds' natural predators--that is, those who slay Freds--suffer a fall-off in population or activity, Fred populations tend to respond." SAC UP's Professor Etro has noted that a number of local Fred slayers have recently suffered injuries and misfortune while in battle: "It began, to my knowledge, with the accident of notable Fred slayer, Lance Anderson." Anderson was a tireless slayer of Freds, sometimes logging 30 hours a week on his missions of doom. He fell while slaying an entire group of Freds almost two months ago, and only now is beginning to ride on his missions of death once again.
After Anderson's accident, others followed: notably, Dave Fuentes, Fred flesh devourer Grayson Church, and more recently Kevin Cross, Sean Barrie and Steven Grant.
Notable Fred slayer, Steven Grant
"Just do the math," state Etro, "if these notable Fred slayers slayed, on average, five Freds a week, and Freds mating and multiplying as they do--just imagine the numbers of Freds that would have been culled, now out there, riding around and attempting to put aero bars on their hybrid bikes?"
Etro calls on all remaining Fred slayers to redouble their Fred slayage efforts for the good of the community and the survival of the species.