It was Sunday evening. The day before April Fool’s day. The twins were putting food coloring in the milk and rigging tripwires to spill confetti in every bedroom in the house (yes, really, in both cases).
Meanwhile, I had just one fairly weak idea: I was going to do a “Note from Fatty” prefacing a post saying that in order to monetize my blog, I was going to need to step up the number of ads — and then put dozens and dozens of ads scraped from other sites right in the middle of the post. One after every couple lines. All of them just leading to Bike Snob NYC’s oft-used Just Kidding image.
And then, late in the evening, I got an invoice in the email from SurveyMonkey, which I had subscribed to in order to help the twins collect data for their science experiment a couple of months ago, then neglected to unsubscribe from.
A light went on. “I’ll conduct a marketing survey for my readers,” I thought, “and just ask whatever pops into my head.”
It never even occurred to me that the results of that survey might actually be interesting.
And yet, they are. With just under 1,000 responses (the limit above which I would have had to begin paying $0.15 per additional response), I have a distressingly accurate picture of who you people are now, and the manner in which you are likely to answer very strange questions.
For your edification, I would like to present the highlights of this data.
Who You Are
First of all, almost exactly a quarter of you self-identify as female.
The rest of you are something else, though I have yet to distill all that data into anything meaningful. A sample of responses, however, include:
- 1 single-cell amoeba
- 2 hermaphrodites
- 1 person clarifying “After a vasectomy and too much time in the saddle I’m only 50% male”
- 7 claiming to be various Star Trek species (Klingon, Vulcan, Romulan)
- 1 who reproduces “via binary fission”
Which means, to my delight, that I (age 46.75) am older than the majority of you. Also, I like the fact that 51 of you skipped this question.
To my delight, readers of FatCyclist.com seem to be a very prosperous group:
I’m really pleased at the fact that more than 75% of you make more than $100,000 per year. If I were an advertiser, I would totally pay attention to this metric and start advertising to this very prosperous readership right away, and I also wouldn’t look too closely at the options presented in this question.
Wanting to get a sense of the things my readers would spend a large amount of money on, I asked, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?”
Of course, this is a reference from the Barenaked Ladies song, “If I Had a Million Dollars.” But I was surprised at some of the results, shown here sorted by their popularity. Specifically, more of you would buy a monkey than art. Your least-likely purchase is John Merrick’s remains. To which I must respond: How do you think that makes John Merrick’s remains feel?
Bicycle-Oriented Spending Habits
One question on your mind is surely, “Do FatCyclist.com readers ride their bikes a lot?” Sadly, I never got around to asking that question.
However, I did ask how many bicycles you’re likely to own.
So, if you’re being honest — and on April Fool’s Day, why wouldn’t you be? — more than half of you own between 3 and 9 bikes. Which makes me really happy, because that means I own more bikes than most of you.
What’s startling in that breakdown is what kind of bikes you’re likely to own:
Mongoose edged out Huffy, though Huffy started the day with a lead. I suspect that this is due to the fact that Huffy riders have an earlier bedtime.
Bikes, of course, are only a small portion of the things FatCyclist.com readers spend money on, as the below graph clearly demonstrates.
This indicates a number of very important things:
- A lot of you are very likely to buy tubes, pastries, and post-ride beverages. Especially pastries and beverages.
- Quite a few of us buy jerseys that fit too tight.
- Charts can be super-duper confusing if you want them to be.
Also, this question was a deal-breaker for a lot of readers. Roughly 25% of you said to yourselves, “OK, I get the joke, time to move on,” and bailed out at this question, rather than continue slogging on.Which is too bad, because this is where the survey started getting good.
No, just kidding. It just kept getting more ridiculous.
You may wonder why I included the question, “How many days in a typical week do you wear false eyelashes or extensions.” The answer is simple: I put this in because it was a sample question in the survey software, and I found it intriguing.
And now that I asked, I’m caught between interested and surprised; I find it kind of weird that so many of you — like, more than half of you — are pretty much always wearing false eyelashes.
And I didn’t even know there were such things as eyelash extensions.
From there, naturally, we clearly needed to find out more about your makeup-wearing tendencies. Specifically, I was interested in how cyclists’ likelihood to get tattoos relates to the rapidly-expanding tattoo-obscuring makeup market:
The market for tattoo-covering makeup market is evidently enormous amongst my readers, which raises the question of why you’re all getting tattoos in the first place, and probably infers that you frequently make poor decisions after a night on the town.
Digging deeper, I asked you, “Considering that makeup companies, tattoo artists, tattoo removal companies, and attorneys all advertise heavily on the internet, please describe your favorite place to ride a bike.” Some of your common responses included the following:
- Inner city roads near tattoo parlors
- To my attorney’s office after getting a tattoo
- Places where M-dot tattoos are made. Those guys ride slow and are easily dropped
- Through a makeup factory on the way to getting a tattoo
- On the Internet
I was amazed at how often “outside” appeared, though I probably shouldn’t have been. And I was really amazed at how often “on the internet” appeared, because that makes no sense whatsoever.
Your Ideal Bike
The single largest revelation in the survey results was that there is complete unanimity on how much money should be spent on a bike, and what color it should be. Observe:
Survey participants were also allowed to enter a color of their own choosing, so long as the length of the color was three characters or less. To my surprise and delight, almost all readers selected red. Though quite a few managed to type “blue,” which means the survey-taking tool wasn’t paying very close attention.
Cycling Lifestyle Blog Reading Habits
As a blogger who is aware that other bike blogs exist, I was interested in your perception of other “popular” cycling blogs. The responses were startling:
Wow. If I were these guys, I’d be concerned.
Why, then, is my own blog so popular and successful and award-winning? Your answers were as kind as they were accurate:
- Shameless begging / self-promotion
- None of the rest of them need the reassurance awards bring
- Easy access to fat, balding, shirtless men
Innovative Food Consumption Habits
How do FatCyclist.Com readers eat? Pretty much how you’d expect:
Honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed that there wasn’t more blue in the above chart. But I’m even more disappointed in the reactions I got to the question “Why do you suppose so few people have discovered that peanut butter on a slice of cheddar is DELICIOUS?”
Clearly, prior to taking this survey, a large majority of you had never tried this most delicate of delicacies, while comments on this question were a mix of encouraging and extremely discouraging.
- My life has just changed
- Its weird how much we have in common
- Ugh, because it is gross
- Because it is bizarre
Sad. But not as sad as the way I felt at seeing this:
I’m sorry, but the correct answer is okra. By a lot.
To gauge the wisdom of my readers, I asked a few questions that required deep thinking.
What does it mean that 85% of the respondents choose “True?” I don’t know. But I choose to interpret it as a good thing.
Next, I assessed the endurance of my readership, asking them how many more questions they thought were coming down the pike, versus how many they could tolerate. The results were telling:
And finally, I assessed my readers assessment of the survey itself, within the survey.
As a followup, I asked for suggestions for better joke ideas for next year. Responses included:
- Sagan pinching a koala (and many other variations of Peter Sagan either pinching or getting pinched)
- A survey with actual funny questions
- Anything (This was the second-most-common suggestion, which means that according to many people, I somehow managed to pick the very least funny of all possible jokes to play, which is an accomplishment of its own, I suppose)
- Potty humor
- Something with ferrets (This reminds me of one of the funniest, best-written things I’ve ever read)
- A fork in the eye
- The weight loss video, backwards. (I almost did this, but didn’t want to go to the effort of changing the dates on all the pictures)
Of all replies to the question, “What would be a funnier joke,” however, one was by far and away the most common. And that was: “Your face.”
Which means, I believe, that a lot of my readers are in the fourth grade.
Still, 364 days early, I’m happy to oblige: