Guest Writer: Jenny Oh Hatfield is a self-professed cycling junkie who is an equal-opportunity bike rider; she’ll ride road, cyclocross, track, touring and mountain bikes – pretty much anything with two wheels. When she’s not producing content for KQED, she’s usually sharing cycling-related content on Google+, Twitter and Flickr. She’s married to The Bearded One and they live in Oakland with their two adorable Shiba Inus.
Back in December, I was hanging out at the Pilarcitos’ Bay Area SupercPrestige cyclocross holiday party held at the Presidio Sports Basement when Yukie Nakamura’s name was called by Tom Simpson for one of the raffle prizes. We joked via Twitter that I should have impersonated her and gone up and claimed the swag on her behalf. Later on, as I chatted with Andrew Yee of Cyclocross Magazine and Kelly Chang, we swapped stories of mistaken identity, i.e., the Asian “alllooksame” syndrome.
Certainly, it’s generally hard to distinguish between cyclists when you’re clad in the classic “helmet/sunglasses/kit” combo. Everyone’s got the same cycling cyborg appearance, especially if you’re in a team kit. Most of the time, the individual’s bicycle is the key to distinguishing one pedaler from another. Whenever I see a cyclist in “civilian” clothing – particularly someone I don’t know well — it often takes me a minute to recognize them sans spandex.
So to help combat this problem, I’ve created these handy “Asian NorCal Cycling Superstars” cards. You can download them, trade them — maybe they’ll help you from embarrassing yourself in the future when you think you’re heckling Kelly at the next ‘cross race, but you’re really yelling at Yukie – or mis-tag May as me on that photo you’re sharing on the Book of Face.
Now that you’re familiar with our drink and cheese preferences, you know how to make it up to us if you accidentally mis-identify us (although somehow Yukie seems to have avoided this problem thus far.) And I’m hoping Andrew will do a round of “Asian NorCal Cycling Superstars” for the dudes, like Steven Woo, Greg Tsutaoka, David Cheung and Alden Tanaka…
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