So yeah, last night I rode out to meet a buddy for a beer, and a fellow in the bar commented to me how the lack of clipless pedals and the "loud" lighting on my road bike precludes me from being a true cyclist. Also, he mentioned that I ordered a Newcastle instead of PBR, so I wasn't "keeping it real".
I didn't want to get into a whole debate with the guy because since he had obviously had a few too many PBRs, the discussion would go nowhere. I did ascribe the pedals and the lights to the same factor, my almost getting hit by cars in the past. My bike does have SPDs, but I choose to ride with the adapters on them so I don't have to lock my feet to the pedals as doing that makes me nervous about close calls with cars. The lights are somewhat obnoxious I guess, but they have the same effect as that laser bike lane thing, so for me, the tradeoff is a good one.
The one thing I couldn't even counter on, was that not drinking PBR makes me a fraud as a cyclist. Most of my bike-related choices are very pragmatic, I don't drink PBR not to make a political or social statement, I just happen to prefer various other beers. Not to knock anyone who enjoys that beer of course, I just didn't realize it was such a hot button for some people.
So then, should one compromise a bit to be official in the cycling community, or was my next-stool neighbor last night just a blue ribbon snob?