Based on observations of bicycles primarily in Thailand, I have compiled a list of profiles of the different Bicycles most typically seen:
Description: An older v-frame bicycle, easy to mount for even the smallest of jockeys. A large front basket usually carrying an umbrella or goods from the market
Jockey: An older woman or man, age 50+, often wearing slipper-style shoes and a sun hat
Typically seen: in the morning, in small to medium-sized towns and in residential areas
Description: The bicycle is an older v-frame, usually mis-sized for its jockey. Popcorn or takeaway food dangle from the handlebars.
Jockey: A student wearing a school uniform, knee socks, and a huge school backpack
Typically seen: in the morning and afternoon, as transport to and from school
Description: Newer, straight-framed bicycle, typically with water bottle holders, and grip tape. Usually traveling in packs.
Jockey: Man or woman aged 25-40, wearing spandex shorts, a quick-dry shirt, and a helmet
Typically seen: early in the morning or in the evening, mostly on weekends
* The Spandexy usually feels the most camaraderie towards us and shows it through waving or stopping to ask us where we are going or to check out our bicycles.
Description: Not yet ready for training wheels, the tricycle allows for even the youngest jockeys to ride
Jockey: A young’n, usually using her legs for power and totally unaware of the existence of pedals
Typically seen: in driveways or residential areas, and on weekends
Slow but Steady
Description: This bicycle is usually creatively rigged so that it can transport a lot of goods – everything from bamboo, roots, and herbs, to building materials and foods – from the rural areas/ fields and to the towns and cities.
Jockey: An older man or woman, wearing a sun hat or headscarf as protection from the heat, pedaling very slowly
Typically seen: on long stretches of roads between towns or in rural or agricultural areas
Description: A v-framed bicycle, usually with a bell and sometimes with a basket
Jockey: A mother wearing house clothes or pajamas, usually with a baby propped on the seat, or strapped to her back
Typically seen: in residential areas, traveling up and down the street, or around and around in circles to entertain or soothe the baby to sleep
Description: Singles speed straight-framed bicycle, usually neon colored frame, tires, and wheels. Minimalist – no water bottle holders or accessories
Jockey: a child or teenager, wearing skinny jeans and a flat-billed cap, usually pedals standing up, and travels in a gang or equally cool riders
Typically seen: on the weekends and in the evenings, around the central parts of a town or city, less seen in rural areas
Tandem – redone
Description: A v-framed bicycle rigged to carry two (or three) passengers, a rear rack supports a second passenger
Jockey: A father-daughter duo, or friends, or siblings. The more senior of the two pedals, the other holds on dearly
Typically seen: on the way to and from school, around rural villages at any time of the day or week