Why is road cycling so difficult
Why didn't anyone tell us that at the beginning? Our 24 wisdoms of cycling ...
It's hard to say how many years of experience we've already had on the bike in the editorial team. In fact, there are some of us who prefer not to reveal our number of years on the bike. Out of the sheer fear that conclusions might be drawn about her real age and the actual deterioration of her rotten body.
Well, whenever each and every one of us started cycling, there are a few things we really would like to have known beforehand. Would have saved us a lot of money. And a few embarrassments on top of that.
Our 24 wisdoms of cycling
1 - That hurts!
Ever heard of someone who was very relaxed about “cycling”? Well; it turns out that the whole thing is not as easy as expected from the hand, or shall we say from the leg. Damn it: IT HURTS! In a very short time you will know the smallest gradient differences in your area. Because, like a terrier with a mouth lock, they relentlessly bite into your calves, thighs - and your ass!
2 - Hey, that's fun!
Yes, yes, only call us masochists, but we cyclists just enjoy the pain - because we know how great the reward is after suffering!
3 - Always take a spare hose and the most necessary tools with you! (To all smart people: Yes! You should also learn how to deal with it.)
Don't let a flat tire ruin your tour. If you've ever stood on the side of the road in the rain, 80 kilometers from the nearest bicycle shop (which, by the way, is closed anyway, company holidays or rest day), then you know: it's time to call a taxi.
Happy is those who have at least not left their cell phone at home - like the replacement hose - culpably and out of sheer laziness. Relieved, because you arrive home after your trip to shame, because it is a lot lighter. With a badly bent head. So it is right!
4 - Take enough food and drink with you!
The hunger branch, the dreamers may forgive us, is not a legend. You thought Hungerast, the horror of all cyclists, is something like a Nordic legendary figure? Or a horror story, invented by embittered professional cyclists, which nothing more satisfies than to spoil the joy of two-wheelers for beginners?
No! Each of us has been hungry at one point or another. And for everyone who saw his grimace, nothing is as it was before. Imagine you step into, let's say, ten laps with Wladimir Klitschko in the ring. A bicycle with square tires is available for the 25 kilometers that you have to cover to the hospital after the gossip. And uphill. This, roughly, feels like a hunger branch.
The only method - scientifically proven - to avoid hunger is: For heaven's sake, take enough food and drink with you!
5 - commuting? Doesn't always have to be annoying!
“Eight kilometers of traffic jam today; it took ‘2 hours to work. Why are the biggest idiots always in front of me of all people? "
“The train was again an hour late today. But then it was completely overcrowded. I had to nestle my face in the armpit of the exceptionally hairy man next to me for a whole hour, because otherwise there was no room. "
Sentences like this can be replaced with the following once you start cycling into work:
“I set a new record and not even the slightest lactate pain, I'm so horny! I LOVE commuting! "
6 - gutters
Avoid the dirt and the poor condition of the pavement on the farthest edge of the road. It ruins your tires, causes stone chips on the fork and down tube and leaves you no room to avoid the unexpected. Not to mention the unpleasant experience of being levered out by pedal contact with the curb.
7 - drive confidently
First and foremost: “Confident” does not mean driving everything flat like a Rambo bike that is not on the tree with three. Driving confidently means making the many small decisions that make driving safe.
That often means paving the way and backing off. But sometimes it is also a good decision to maintain your place: a cyclist who drives very close to the right side of the road and makes himself small will tend to cause motorists to overtake him just as closely. A self-confident - not exaggerated - use of space can make cycling life safer.
8 - invest in good light!
When I started cycling a lot, one day I was on my way home from work. In the dark, without light. A passerby called out something that I can still remember today as clearly as if it had happened yesterday: “Light, asshole!”. It was one of the most resolute clues my ears have ever heard. And one of the best, I have to say. So, if you don't have lights for your bike yet - go and get some. They don't cost a lot. But not having them can cost you your life.
9 - Do not wear underpants with cycling trousers
Just leave it. Believe us It's uncomfortable and, to put it mildly, it looks silly!
10 - N + 1, or: the right number of bikes
The correct amount of bikes is, mathematically expressed and also proven, always N + 1. In this highly mathematical formula, N describes the number of bicycles you already own. Do you already have a premium racer? Then, without a doubt, you need an extra bike for winter training! Oh, you already have that too? It's time for a nice cyclocross!
There are at least as many different bike variants as Team Astana had scandals in the last season. So you won't be short of desirable bicycles that quickly.
11 - drive in a club!
It often turns out to be difficult to find passengers for a tour, and in retrospect we would have wished that we had made the decision much earlier to join a bike club. Do you think cycling clubs are elitist associations of narrow-minded noses? Not even close! There are hundreds of cycling clubs all over Germany, at least one for every taste. From women's cycling clubs to village cycling clubs to giant clubs with several hundred members.
12 - Heaven on earth is a shower at work
If you don't want to be the one who regularly spends his lunch breaks alone and wonders why that is, then a shower at work will soon be a decisive criterion when choosing your next job. We are sure of that.
13 - You will be able to eat more than you ever thought possible
Two pizzas in a row after a crunchy tour? No problem! And for dessert the big sundae. If only we had known beforehand that cycling seems to be just an excuse to eat!
14 - Bicycle friends are best friends!
Few things weld together as well as surviving a hard tour in the rain over a windswept pass together. Add a couple of flat tires, a narrowly missed herd of cows and an outrageously amusing encounter with a group of hikers to the story, and lo and behold: friends for life!
15 - Some will not understand your hobby
“You get up at five in the morning on your day off to drive in the rain. Why?"
16 - You will chafe if you don't ...
We all couldn't help giggling at marathon runners masking off their nipples. But soon we lost our laughter ...
17 - You don't have to wear lycra or shave your legs
Contrary to popular belief, Lycra and clean-shaven legs are optional and not mandatory!
18 - Strava will cost you a lot of time
Once you've discovered the little orange app for yourself, your life and your surroundings will turn into a playground for cyclists. Or in a gladiator arena.
Are you afraid of being addicted to Strava? Quickly test yourself for the typical symptoms here:
Are you addicted to Strava?
19 - It doesn't get easier, you just get faster
At first, it will sometimes feel like you're pedaling in chewy syrup and you're never going to get up that darn mountain anyway. There is good news and bad news on this. The good thing is: you will conquer this mountain at some point. The bad: the syrup feeling will never stop.
20 - Still very tight? Definitely not!
It just doesn't exist: the overshoe that will keep your feet completely dry on a stormy, rainy day in February. We also know - the packaging says: "100% waterproof". Finally, in December, Santa Claus comes sliding down the fireplace.
21 - Drivers sometimes dream
From the right turn that cuts the bike path without warning, to the cuddly overtaking person who almost brushes you with the rearview mirror - you will experience one or the other tricky situation that you can not do anything about.
What is the best way to avoid that? Always assume that the other does not see you and drive with alert mind. In the city, your hands always belong within reach of your (working) brake levers. Always. And don't insist on your rights. Even if it sometimes feels as if you have to let the rule breaker who is taking the right of way feel his mistake: in the end, you will be the one who has to go to the hospital while the car at most makes its way to the paint shop.
22 - Cyclists sometimes dream
Don't be a dreamer on a bike! The driver-vs-cyclist debate is being fueled too much by chaotic two-wheel break pilots who have distinguished themselves through particularly thoughtless or simply stupid actions. Be considerate of other road users - including pedestrians - and stay as far away from idiots and trouble as possible.
23 - You will get addicted
“I'll only use the bike to get to work. Only for a few days a week. And only when it's warm. "
Sound familiar? This is how it often starts. But once you've been gripped by the fascination that cycling is all about, you're hooked. And the nice thing is: the addiction can last for a lifetime!
24 - ... and that could be expensive!
A bicycle addiction leads to a desire for more. More equipment, more bikes, more lightweight construction, more speed. There is always something that you need urgently now ...
If only someone had told us beforehand!
© Roadcycling DE 2021
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