Saturday 3 September 2016

Top 10 signs that you are a road bike fan boy/girl

I have owned a Brompton - more than one in fact - for several years now and I am sure you are aware I have dipped my toe into the bathwater that is road bikes. Now displaying a few of the following doesn't necessarily mean your are a complete road bike fan boy as far as road bikes are concerned, but the more you have, the higher your score on the fan boy scale.

#1 Fashion

Let's face it, cycling can be expensive. If you have spent a wad load on you bike and general cycling paraphernalia the amount of disposable income you have for normal day to day clothes might just suffer. The pursuit of owning a particular brand of cycling jersey, or bib shorts has meant you care more about looking good on the bike than you do when not on the bike.

Another worrying trend is the quite terrible affliction that causes you to actually wear items of cycling apparel recreationally - cycling caps, king of the mountain get the idea.

#2 Talking too much about cycling

With your new road bike you might just start to talk a little too much about cycling. When asked at for example work what you are doing or what you did at the weekend, you find yourself providing a substantial recount of your cycling event, route and how many miles you did. Heaven forbid you might even mention things like cadence.

In polite conversation you might steer the conversation towards the above so that you can again, talk about cycling.

#3 Online

You find your internet habits are ones that are dominated by cycling. You are on forums, cycling retailers looking at more cycling gear and even looking at cycling videos on YouTube of people ascending the Aple d'Huez or descending a perilous narrow knife-edge track in Bolivia!

#4 Treating your bike gear like a small child

You find that a speck of dust or bead of water almost induces a panic attack. A box of cleaning products are out as soon as humanly possible in order to polish, clean and make sure your precious bike, cassette, drive chain and wheels are spotlessly clean.

#5 Other embrace the fact you are into cycling

If #2 is taking place it won't be long until others notice you are into cycling. When it is your birthday or Christmas you get cycling themed cards or presents.

#6 Bib shorts

Now that you are a proper cyclist on a proper bicycle you ditch the waist cycling shorts you used to use and invest in pair of bib shorts. Standing in the mirror in perhaps the most unflattering of tight fitting garments, resembling a wrestler from the 1970's you care not a jot! This is what the professionals wear and if it is good enough for them... The terrible thing is actually wearing bib shorts and jersey for a short cycle down the road for a pint of milk.

#7 Farmers tan

If #6 is taking place in the summer months you will develop a farmers tan. lifting up the tight line of your bib shorts you will notice a contract between a tanned thigh and one that Elizabeth I would have been proud of. A similar contrast awaits you when you lift the sleeve of your jersey.

#8 Cycling cafes

Via #3 you have probably found a range of cycle friendly cafes with the words veto, pedal, lock, cycle in the name. While there you partake in latte and espresso and perhaps an almond croissant. Sadly, there isn't always a cycle cafe where you want it and you try to convince yourself that in selling coffee 'Greggs' and 'Wenzel's' are sort of cycling cafes!

#9 Clubs and sportive

It isn't good enough that you own a gleaming road bike. Soon thoughts turn to joining a club. Before that though you enter a sportive and/or charity ride which allows numbers 2, 3, 6 and 7 to run wild.

#10 You need to cycle

You pretend to be interested in doing other pursuits but really you are in fact thinking about cycling and where you might go next. Cycling is addictive and is good for the mind, body and soul and you cannot wait for your next big ride.


  1. full of insights:) have gone your path, but now mostly dipping my toe in the next pond, mtb. its like being nine years again. but today going for a club road ride. and beware; those are dangerous.

    sometimes i take my 2sp 69t chainwheel commuter brommie to those events. no problem going 20 mph in a peleton with that bike. but today i will use my 90s pinarello bought for 350€ a few years ago.

    so nice to have you back on the orange pages.

  2. I started off on a Brompton (still love it), but found myself on a road bike too. Am definitely guilty of many of the above points. One thing is that there's a lot more online media about road bikes than Brompton bikes, to satiate one's daily reading appetite.

  3. You certainly caught my attention with the mention of an almond croissant.



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