A term used to describe a cyclist who rides erratically and unpredictably.

Example usage: 'Watch out, that cyclist is riding like a squirrel!'

Most used in: Urban cycling communities.

Most used by: Experienced cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 7/10

Also see: Drafting, Peloton, Slipstreaming, Paceline,


What Are 'Squirrels' in Cycling?

The term 'squirrels' is a slang phrase used to describe cyclists who are considered to be inexperienced or reckless. It is often used to describe cyclists who weave in and out of traffic, ride the wrong way down a one-way street, or otherwise break the rules of the road. This type of riding can be dangerous, both for the cyclist and for other road users.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that in 2018, 857 cyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and 45,000 were injured. Of all cyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes, 45% were observed to be riding in a manner that could be considered 'squirrelly.'

Despite the risks associated with 'squirrels,' there are some benefits to riding in this manner. Cyclists who ride aggressively are often able to navigate through traffic more quickly, allowing them to get to their destination faster. This type of riding also requires a certain level of skill, as the cyclist must be able to anticipate the behavior of other drivers and be able to react quickly to any potential hazards.

Ultimately, 'squirrels' can be dangerous and should be avoided. However, for experienced cyclists, riding aggressively can be a safe and effective way to get around. It is important for all cyclists to be aware of the risks associated with this type of riding and to always obey the rules of the road.

The Curious Origin of the Term 'Squirrels' in Cycling

The term 'squirrels' has been used in the context of cycling since the early 1900s. It is believed to have originated in the United States, and was used to describe the daredevil cyclists who would perform wheelies and wheel stands, and ride recklessly, often in groups.

The term is thought to have been derived from the behavior of a squirrel, who is known for its agility, and its ability to climb, jump and perform acrobatic stunts. The daredevil cyclists of the early 1900s were seen as having similar characteristics to a squirrel, and so the term was adopted to describe them.

The term 'squirrels' has been used in cycling ever since, and is still used to this day to describe those riders who are particularly brave and daring.

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