Any cycling enthusiast will probably tell you that being a cyclist, for the most part is pretty damn awesome. You get to see and experience life from a different perspective. I am totally infatuated with cycling and my only regret is that I didn’t ‘get into’ it much earlier in life. But for all of the exercise, exhilaration and freedom cycling gives you, there are problems which non-cyclists just won’t understand.
We are largely disliked
Cyclists are generally disliked by most other road users, especially taxis, van and lorry drivers. Also pedestrians, the media, non-cyclists, other cyclists, anyone who thinks they pay road tax – and………you get the idea!
Having non-cycling partners, families & friends
If you cycle and your significant other cycles – well then you are lucky! But for many of us who took up cycling after our relationships or friendships began, our two-wheeled passion isn’t always shared. If people change the subject when you start talking, its because they don’t like, are not interested in or even care about cycling. To them, it’s boring (…gasp)! It’s OK though, they can never take away your spirit. Or the continuous thoughts of all things road/mtb/track or ‘cross’. Best to just let them do the talking.
A solo-ride puncture on a cold day
This is a biggie. It’s a cold January morning. You are 20 miles into your Sunday solo ride and your back tyre punctures. A puncture on any day is a pain in the saddle, but when its 2ºc with a windchill of -3º its a big deal. The motivation to continue the planned ride ebbs away as your cold fingers fumble to replace the punctured tube and force the tyre back on. The whole time repeating to yourself “I will not make the pick-me-up call of shame”! Non-cyclists will give you no sympathy for this soul-destroying mechanical. You may even find that some cyclists will come up with unhelpful comments like “I ride with tubeless tyres….!”
Tips: Cycling Survival Kit
What to wear
Choosing the right kit to wear is a science that we cyclists will often get wrong. Doesn’t matter what the weather person says on breakfast television, you can be certain to experience being under-dressed on a sunny day and over-dressed on a cloudy day.
Buyers Guide: Autumn Clothing
The inconvenience of needing a mid-ride pee
Despite all attempts to have a wee before you leave or at the cafe stop, you can sometimes find yourself getting caught-short mid ride. This in itself is only part of the problem. Depending on your location and the time of year, finding a suitable and discreet place for a comfort break can prove difficult. The chances are that during the summer there are no gaps in the roadside hedges. Whilst the rest of the year, there are too many gaps in the hedges. Not good when your safety-conscious self is wearing a hi-viz jacket or jersey.
OCD – Obsessive Cycling Disorder
If this is not a ‘real thing’ – it needs to be made into a real thing! It doesn’t matter how strong your will is, cycling is like a drug and you can so easily get hooked. But its not just an obsession with the ride. Its all of the ‘stuff’ that goes with it. Different clothes for each season, different shoes for each type of ride. And don’t even get me started on the justification for owning more than 2 bikes….
Let me start by saying I love Strava. I have been a premium subscriber for some years now and never begrudge paying for membership. But for many cyclists it becomes the first thing we check. Sometimes even before we have walk through the door. If you so wish – you can even find out how well you have done on a given segment during your ride. Thanks to the ‘Live Segment’ technology on GPS computers. Sadly, non-Stravarians (made that up) will not understand that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from a little PR medal or K/QOM crown graphic on a mobile phone screen.
I think just about every cyclist will relate to this – but time is generally an anti-cyclist. Whether it’s family commitments, work getting in the way or the only free time you seem to have to ride your bike is when you should be asleep. Somehow time manages to find a way of puncturing your ride plans. Someone will say something like “why don’t you just go out for 20 mins” but your stubborn side is already in a sulk and you respond with “its not worth it now”! In the end, the bike stays sat in the garage and an opportunity is missed. Of course there are cyclists out there who clearly have too much time on there hands and seem to be riding every a large amount of hours. I say “good on them” – I am not jealous on little bit……!
To be honest, this is a pretty tongue-in-cheek post about Cyclist Problems some of the pit-falls of being a cyclist. But the positives far out-weigh the negatives and I am in no hurry to give it up.