Misunderstood and unloved: 11 worst things about being a cyclist

Posted on: February 12th, 2019

worst things about being cyclist

We all love the bike…. most of the time. Cycling is a thing of beauty and once the bug bites there’s no escape. But it’s not all fun and games and at times we really question why we do it!


Cycling is simply a case of speeding from point A to point B and the fastest guy wins, right?

But how on earth can Mark Cavendish win so many stages on one Tour de France and be so far down overall and then pull out? What a nonsense sport.

Cycling is a sport that few understand and we, as riders, have had enough.

We take a quick rattle through 11 of the worst things about being bike riders.


1. Being asked ‘Do you do the Tour de France?’

worst things about being cyclist

The simple answer is ‘No, I am not good enough’. And maybe it’s time you start replying with that answer.

However, we’re too polite for that, usually, so to save embarrassing the interrogator and make it sound like a really valid question we’ll reply with something more diplomatic.

‘Ah, no, no that’s for the professional guys, maybe someday’.


2. Near misses on the open road


3. Being half-wheeled in training

worst things about being cyclist

Whether the perpetrator knows what they are doing and what it’s socially unacceptable is irrelevant. You can see it, and chances are you’ll get really riled up.

Half-wheeling is a common mistake made by over-enthusiastic newbies to the group who want to lay down a marker. But what they’re actually achieving is pissing everyone off.

The rider opposite will move up to be in line with their wheel, which proves the catalyst for the half-wheeler to edge forward once more. It pushes up the pace more and more until the group blows to pieces and fists starts flying.


4. Being asked ‘Where did you finish?’

worst things about being cyclist

So we burst our arses in the break all day hoping to stay away to contest the finish but the escape gets caught and we’re too tired – or not brave enough – to contest the sprint at the end. We slip way down the bunch and roll over the line in 75th.

Try telling someone you train 20 hours a week and finish 75th. It’s usually met with a confused look that says, ‘you need a new sport’.


5. Losing arm warmers or leg warmers

Ever move house and you’ll swear ‘never again’ if you lose an arm warmer making the move; it’s that annoying.

One arm warmer is pointless. And if they weren’t so bloody expensive you’d throw one away to pretend you never had them in the first place if one gets lost.

The key to this is to always, always, always wrap them inside each other, except in the wash. These things grow legs at night and leave the cupboard. Tie them up!


6. Really bad headwinds (with rain)


7. When the Garmin doesn’t work

worst things about being cyclist

This is enough to stop even the hardiest souls from going out training. For what is training without the numbers on that screen to tell you how fast you’re going?

It’s called cycling. But really cycling is what tourists in Amsterdam and postmen in urban areas do.

Training is what cyclists do; cycling is what non-cyclists do. The difference?

Cyclists have Garmins on their bikes, postmen don’t. And if the Garmin packs up mid-ride Turn around at once and go home because going any further is pointless.


8. Being asked ‘How many hours a week do you train’?

worst things about being cyclist

Us cyclists, we’re a cranky breed, aren’t we? We don’t understand how everyone isn’t more like us.

Why can’t they appreciate that we simply have to be in bed early, train 20 hours a week, get our asses kicked from one end of the season to the next, spend thousands of Euros on the best technology and kit and get little in return.

There is the personal satisfaction though. Or if we’re very lucky, a small amount of cash for a place in a race no one cares about.


9. Getting a puncture

worst things about being cyclist

Training is hard at the best of times, even more so in the winter when you just want to get out, smash it, and get home with a few hours logged.

But nothing is more soul destroying than when you or a training partner punctures.

Unless he’s a mechanic for a WorldTour team you’ll be stopped for up to 10 minutes; maybe 20 if the person is inexperienced.

It’s not uncommon for others in the group to set a time limit to have it fixed, after which the group continues riding with the unfortunate one left behind.


10. Bonking

worst things about being cyclist

Whether in a race or training, if this happens you’re screwed. If in a race, you’d doubly screwed because the pace is hotter and the time you’ll lose will be enormous.

If you’re out training you can either eat the food you’ve brought, or stop at a shop and buy some.

Either way, you’ll be crawling for the guts of 20k unless you get something into you.


11. Not bringing enough clothes

worst things about being cyclist

You’re dying to show off the new kit so you opt against bringing a gilet… or a winter jacket…. or shoe covers… or gloves.

But the group decides on an epic today because the weather is fine. Or at least it was fine until the rain came down after three hours and you’re two hours from home.

That gleaming new kit is no more. And the sky-high morale of earlier is lost somewhere in the puddles beneath you.

It’s a long ride back and absolutely no one is going to offer you a single thread to warm you up. Note to self; in future check the weather forecast before going out!