A "Fred" is a disparaging term used by the Lycra clad, racer wannabes for the rest of us; that is, those of us who bicycle wearing comfy denim shorts, a loose t-shirt, and tennis shoes. Often you can spot a Fred riding an old ten-speed with an enormous soft saddle and the bars spun around backwards - not pedaling furiously with an anguished look on his face, just cranking along, enjoying the ride. The original Fred may have been Fred Birchmore who rode his bicycle 25,000 miles around the world in 1935. His bicycle Bucephalus (obviously a learned Fred) is now in the Smithsonian museum. In one hypocryphal incident in Italy he mistakenly got caught up in a bicycle race, passed the racers and finished first riding his loaded touring bike. Not likely, but a good win for the Everyman in all of us.
Fausto Coppi was the coolest man to ever mount a bicycle. While certainly not a handsome man, he had that sense of slightly arrogant style that only the Italians seem to be able to pull off well. He was a bit of a sinner, a ladies man, playing anti-hero to his longtime rival, the straight-shooting, religious Geno Bartalli. In the saddle he had what the French call souplesse, which translates as suppleness, but as applied to bicyclists it denotes balance, poise and grace. On his worst day Fausto was beauty on a bike.