Once you get the cycling bug, life is never the same — and that’s just one of the many things the majority of the population doesn’t understand. Here are 10 things only cyclists truly understand.
THE PLEASURE OF SMOOTH ROADS
Vehicles with today’s fancy suspension feel almost the same on rough roads as they do on smooth ones. Because of this, most people don’t have a true appreciation for freshly laid blacktop. Cyclists, however, have a different understanding of the bliss that comes with rolling down a new stretch of super smooth tarmac.
THINKING NOTHING OF WEARING ALL LYCRA
When done right, suspenders can be a fashion statement. But when worn with shorts, any sane observer would likely laugh in your face. For those of us who are sort of into Lycra, this silly sounding clothing option is called bibshorts — and they’re pretty much the best, most important article of clothing ever invented.
DOGS CAN BE VICIOUS
It is indeed a horrifying experience to be on a leisurely ride through the country, enjoying the trees and the cool breeze, only to have your sweet silence broken by an unleashed barking beast of a K-9, lunging at your rear wheel with extra sharp razors for teeth. For the non-cyclist, encounters with pooches are likely tail-wagging, licking fests and not terrifying, heart-pumping, ride for your life thrill-ride that is so often our reality.
GETTING DROPPED BY FRIENDS IS REAL
Most people who join a friend for a workout go to the gym and spot each other while they take turns on bench press. When you get invited along for a workout as a cyclist, and your friends just all happen to be in better shape than you, it’s possible you can find yourself way at the back of the group staring at everyone’s backsides as they all slip away from you on that lonely 6-mile climb.
But don’t worry, they’ll joke around and laugh while they wait for you at the top. Sound like something a person who isn’t a cyclist would think is fun way to spend a Sunday? I think not.
LAYERING IS AN ART
Should I go arm warmers and a vest or softshell jacket? Is it cold enough for tights or should I just go with leg warmers? It says 20% chance showers on Weather Underground — do I really need to carry a rain jacket? Is it cold enough for fingered gloves or can I get away with fingerless?
These are the kind of wardrobe decisions the everyday person just doesn’t have to make.
IT’S NOT A COMMUTE UNLESS YOU’RE SWEATING
Your coworkers may head in to work sipping coffee, wearing makeup, dressed in slacks and smelling fresh and clean. However, if you’re a cyclist, or more specifically a daily commuter, you are on the opposite side of this coin.
Lycra, sweat and the tapping of cycling cleats mark your daily entry into the office, along with plenty of staring eyes watching you as you pass — and that’s not considering a rainy day. To pull this off you’ll need plenty of self-confidence and a dash of I don’t care. This-is-why those of us who call ourselves cyclists are truly a rare breed.
READ MORE > A CYCLIST’S LOVE LETTER TO BIKE COMMUTING
CHRISTMAS IS IN JULY
For most, December is the most wonderful time of the year. Seeing family, having time off from work, presents beneath the tree, good food and hot cocoa are just a few of the things to look forward to. While those things are awesome, if you’re a true cyclist, you know the best time of year is actually July.
Sunny skies, summer vacations to try new routes, extended daylight for all-day riding and 21 days of being totally inspired by the Tour de France makes for an unbeatable month on the bike.
YOUR LIVING ROOM ISN’T JUST FOR TV
In most households, the living room is a place for relaxing and watching TV. If you’re a cyclist, particularly those of us who live in small spaces, the living room can double as an indoor cycling space when we’re unable to get outdoors. In fact, if you do this type of thing often, chances are you’ve come across the pain cave once or twice and understand just how torturous of a place it can be.
THE GARAGE ISN’T JUST FOR YOUR CAR
Garages were originally built to protect your shiny automobiles from the rain, debris and sun. For the cyclist, a garage is also a necessity — but for completely different reasons.
For those of us who own a collection of road, mountain, fixed, commuter and gravel bikes, there just isn’t room to store them inside, and keeping them outdoors is completely out of the question. The garage is the only reasonable option, and with the space required, your cars just might end up in the driveway. The good news is any extra room you have after moving the vehicles outdoors gives you plenty of room to set up a ridiculously awesome bike mechanic oasis.
READ MORE > 35 SIGNS YOU’RE A CYCLIST
HOW GOOD A BEER REALLY TASTES
If you’re a beer lover, then the right bottle of suds probably tastes good all the time. But there’s something about that epic six-hour ride on a hot day — the one that you burn 3,000-plus calories on and barely crest the ultimate climb — that makes a post-ride cold one about 10 times more delicious.
Then again, just about everything else you can think of to eat or drink after an intense day on the bike should taste pretty awesome, too. It’s one of the many perks of being a cyclist.