You Are What You Is

You Are What You Is

With all warranted respect and admiration for Frank Zappa, purloining the title from his great ditty seemed the perfect way to start off a post about RKP’s first-ever reader survey. We start this with one great known—you’re a bunch of cyclists, so no surprises there. There is, however, a second piece of data that drives this survey. I’ve had a number of heavyweights in the bike industry—some of the people I most admire in this biz—tell me that RKP has the brightest, most thoughtful readership to be found in cycling. It’s a compliment of the highest order. What led them to this conclusion are your comments at the end of our posts. By playing nice, you’ve proven yourselves a thoughtful, insightful bunch. And because the industry has the opportunity to interact with you there, that makes you especially interesting. Even though there are times when you might be suspicious that they are telling you what you should buy next, they want to know who you are and what you think.

We received roughly 1000 responses, which was far higher than I had expected—thank you!

My history in publishing allowed me to guess at how many of these responses would go, but there were some good surprises and one disappointment. Rather than break out each and every percentile, I’m going to present the meat of the bell curve to help the bigger picture emerge.

Without further explanation:

Age: You’re a bunch of grownups; 79% of you are between the ages of 35 and 64.

Sex: The testosterone is easy to find; 95% of you are guys. I was bummed to find out we had so few women among our readers.

Marital Status: Someone thinks you’re cute; 75% of you are married.

Education: You’re a smart bunch; 78% of you have a college degree, and slightly more than half of those have a graduate degree.

Residence: You’re masters of your domain; 77% of you live in a house and 78% of you own your home. I should have asked how you use your garage space.

Income: You know how to land a good job; 68% of you earn $75k or more. You know we sell T-shirts and kits, right?

Kids: Most of you like little people; 49% of you have one or two kids, but a whopping 37% opted not to pay to have someone barf on you. I can hear your disposable income from here.

Riding Frequency: You kids are a bunch of addicted lifers; 81% of you ride between three and six days per week. Marketing managers are going weep with joy when they read that.

How Many Bikes: It’s clear that one is not enough. A whopping 75% of you have three or more bikes (and of those 15% of you have more than six bikes). This just feeds the adage that the correct number of bikes is N+1.

Bikes You Own: It’s possible that a few of you don’t own road bikes as some of you didn’t respond to this question, but the revelation here is just how many of you own something that isn’t a road or mountain bike; 83% of you have something that isn’t a road or mountain bike, while 25% own mountain bikes.

Thank you to everyone who participated. I’ll be doing a couple of drawings for schwag soon. And based on your encouragement, I’ll do another survey sometime, though not next month.

,

23 comments

  1. SteveB

    Re: what do we do with our garage space
    Surely you know this is where we keep our bikes and our wine.
    It’s a never ending battle to keep enough floor space cleared to do
    what bike maintenance I do myself.

    1. David

      The garage? Cars are relegated to the garage, bikes are in the house! That’s what the spare bedroom is for.

  2. SusanJane

    I had no doubt about the male part of the regulars here, yet there is also significant support for women’s cycling. Whenever it comes up plenty of guys talk about equal prize money, better equipment, bigger support, the UCI’s roll, etc. on these threads. So it’s not just that all of you ride, but that you care about everyone else riding as well…. kids and teens included. We should all be proud of that. Cycling isn’t just testosterone. Cycling isn’t just tech, races, and crisis du jour. Tell your sponsors and everyone else. RKP is different and that’s why we keep reading.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      SusanJane: Thanks. I do what I can to welcome women readers, and I’ve been trying to cultivate a batch of women contributors as well. It means a lot to see those efforts resonate with our women readers, but at a certain level it means even more that our women readers would recognize the egalitarian leanings of our male readers. I think I’m going to put your last two sentences in my next media kit.

  3. Ken

    Not a criticism here but, just wondering if the photo at the top of this piece was deliberately selected to illustrate the survey results or is perhaps ironically coincidental. . .a group of middle-aged white guys. Yes, that’s most of us but I wish it weren’t.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Ken: That’s Curtis Inglis, Steve Rex, John Caletti and Sean Walling, a bunch of California frame builders I like and admire, so there’s that. Then there’s the fact that I think their smiles suggest that they are ready for a bike ride, so that’s pretty cool, too. And then yes, there’s the fact that they illustrate rather well just who this bunch of readers tend to be. More diversity would be welcome, but I flat-out love these guys, and by extension, the bunch of you.

  4. Eto

    Patrick,

    I like that you want to understand your readership more by asking questions of us. Personally, I would have been willing to answer more questions should you have asked. Unlike other sources of questionnaires, I trust that you are doing it with integrity and value the insights you gather.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. Hans M. Ruppenthal

    Ditto what ETO said. I also have a fondness for women’s cycling and agree that we need more coverage, races etc. I could care less about the WNBA or other women’s sports but women’s cycling is really cool. I am reminded of the London Olympics Road Race. Wow!! Tough as nails. Thanks for the great site.

  6. StevenToby

    When my wife pulls her car into the garage, she starts counting bikes to see if there is more than before.

  7. MCH

    The garage space comment is intriguing – at least to me. I recently chose to not to move back to So CA because it would entail the loss of garage and basement space. Well, there were other reasons too. In any case, the comment implies storage space for toys. In addition to bikes, I’d be curious about readers’ other interests. For me, it’s hot rod Audis and Ducatis, skiing, RC airplanes, wine, and even some shooting sports. I think I need a bigger garage!

  8. Zach

    I’m just glad you think we’re smart……Keep up the good work. RKP is a shining light in a beautiful sport.

  9. hackintheback

    Thanks for sharing the results. I find it funny, though unsurprising, that I’m in the majority for every answer you note above. Perhaps that’s why I find myself in agreement with the majority of the articles and the commentary on the site; i.e., I’m basically just like everyone else (despite what my dear Mom tries to tell me)?

    As for the garage space…2 cars and – as of today – 12 bikes, as my wife just added her N+1 to the collection this morning.

  10. Mike Cress

    Cycling has brought me into a closer realtionship with my 29 year old son than I would have thought possible. The time we have spent on the road together will always be some of my most cherished memories. Just this week as we gave an all out effort on a favorite Strava climb, we encountered 3 horses, seemingly inspired by our efforts, who charged along side us we neared the summit. The spontaneity of the moment and the wonder in my son’s, “Awesome!” will stay with me forever.

    1. Mike Cress

      Oops…need an edit button. Meant to post on Friday Group Ride #215. Guess I’m not one of the smart ones :-)

  11. Girl

    I agree that the readers of this blog are different: respectful, sophisticated, polite. I read other blogs (and laugh and love them) but some of them are intentionally irreverent and vulgar. (Hey, we need a little irreverence in our lives.) Here, the readership appear to be thoughtful and considerate. RKP seems to appeal to decent folk who happen to love cycling.

    Keep up the great work! I always look forward to new posts.

  12. Rick

    I hide my bikes (and kit) in my basement workshop so no one (i.e., wife and three kids) is quite sure how many bikes I have or how my limited disposable income is being spent. Although my wife has a pretty good idea!

  13. teacherlady

    It’s a busy time of year, so I didn’t visit RKP for a few weeks, or I would have added one to your XX chromosome readership, to <75k, to 3-6 times and a hundred plus miles a week, to 3+ bikes, to partnered, to home owning, and (take note, marketers) fat. My bike is worth far more than my car, and my bike clothes cost more per outfit than my work clothes. So please, make cycling clothes for people shaped like me: short and fat, even

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>