We all know skill and gear are not correlated.
This is the essence of fredism - that people out there have bought all the gear the websites recommend, have watched all the YouTube videos, know the names of all the different parts of the bike, but are yet to actually ride.
When you see some faker on a $4000 machine with shiny new kit, while you schlub past in a t shirt, you really wanna believe he is that Fred.
You tell yourself Steel is Real, Aluminium is Also-Premium, and that what matters is you're out there turning over the pedals.
But inside you know what that guy is thinking: "Look at this fucking noob." Your shoulders slump, and you can't quite maintain the level gaze of the proud predator.
Sora is 9 to 5;
Tiagra is keeping muesli in your bottom drawer so you can eat breakfast while you peruse your emails;
105 is greeting your boss each morning when she comes in and farewelling her each night;
Ultegra is not just wearing through both trousers in your two-trouser suit, but also eroding the fabric of your swivel chair;
Dura Ace is using a beautiful blue sky Saturday for a ride up in the lift to work on that important client's document;
Di2 is a stress-induced penchant for creepy websites, an ex-wife whose hate-filled phone calls you don't answer, a lot of emails sent with post 11pm time stamps, and a heart-attack aged 39.