When the casual weekend ride is no longer enough and you become increasingly irritable without the bike between your legs, you know something has to be done. This might be among the first signs of your imminent addiction – that’s right, we’re implying that you are addicted to cycling!
You Know you’re Addicted to Cycling When…
Cycling Takes Hold
With cycling becoming a more regular fixture in your life, your bike will ultimately become a growing focus for your attention. Over a couple of weeks, your bike knowledge will increase, in conjunction with numbers of visits to local bike shops and certain online retailers. When you know the difference between Presta and Schrader you’re probably well on your way.
Next, as you begin to ride more frequently, you’ll take that early morning ride where the weather turns sour. However, with a face full of hailstones you’ll merely laugh, not cry and return home after a sizeable loop with an almighty smile on your face.
After a month or so your partner will have probably cottoned on to the fact that you’re spending more time with the bike than you are with them. When you see no reason why there shouldn’t be bikes scattered around the living room and your other half disagrees, you might be tempted to take a step back in compromise. However, in an attempt to socialise with non-cycling friends and complete strangers that evening, you don’t see any harm in informing them of how many miles you rode last weekend. By this point at least, your partner has probably come to accept that cycling is going to remain a part of your life for the foreseeable, because you are in fact addicted to cycling.
However, they need not worry. After all, the next morning when you see a fit, tanned, Lycra-clad young cyclist riding by, the first thing you’ll do is check out their bike – am I right?!
Things Get Serious
Moving on, membership with a local cycling club could seem like the logical next step. Your eagerness to impress will ultimately cause embarrassment early on as you set off on your first club ride at a pace well beyond your capabilities. With a bonk so bad that you have to lie on your back, pull your arms and legs tight and spasm your legs into the air to relieve the cramps, you’d be forgiven for calling it a day, but you won’t.
As you recover you’ll probably take the car out for a spin. However, you simply can’t shed those cycling habits. As you drive along, you lift your bum off the car seat as you go over potholes and speed bumps. Next, you redirect the air vents to blow cold air into your face as you imagine you’re back on the bike. Finally, you simply decide enough is enough and try to sell the car, deciding to spend the proceeds on your bike. This becomes a little bit more problematic than you first realised when you consider that you’ve converted the accelerator and brake pedals to clipless.
When you eventually do manage to sell the car, the £5000 asking price for your new bike seems reasonable. Even so, when you take your partner to the cinema that evening you’re outraged at the £6 you have to shell out for each ticket and let’s not even get started on that £4 popcorn!
After recovering from your first major bonk the previous week, it’s likely that you’ll of quickly realised you need to place increasing emphasis on your hydration and nutrition. Before long, you’ll have convinced yourself, and others, that protein bars are a taste sensation. Not only that, but you’ll have no problem in discussing the connection between hydration and urine colour with anyone who hangs around long enough to listen. Let’s not forget the increasing hunger also. After all, only a truly addicted cyclist is a bottomless pit.
Smoothly shaven legs are another clear sign of a cyclist. By this point you’ve probably already figured out that women’s razors are far more well suited to the job.
You’ll rapidly get back into the swing of things with your club, although by this stage your partner will once again have something to say when you declare you’re too tired on Friday night for anything other than a long look at the inside of your eye lids, before proceeding to complete a century in record time the next day.
Similarly, it can often seem incredibly difficult to get to work by 9AM, even for those crucial meetings, but you’ll find it surprisingly easy to meet your friends at 5AM for a ride.
While we’re on the subject of work, it’s probably worth mentioning the cyclist’s office. It’s likely that your bike will probably be propped up next to the desk and you’ll probably have a screen-saver on your work computer that is bike related in one way or another.
Even the weekly shop at your local supermarket will be affected by now. Not only will you proceed to draft down the aisles behind fellow shoppers, you’ll also yell out to inform them of your imminent overtake.
The signs will soon begin to come in thick and fast from here as the cycling bug takes hold. You’ll soon have the cyclist’s tan where the bottom two thirds of your legs, the lower half of your arms and two little circles on the tops of your hands become increasingly brown. Moreover, when you arrive at work with grease stains on your hands and view it as a source of pride, it’s fairly safe to say that you’ve just about claimed your rightful place as a truly addicted cyclist.
When your partner complains that since you sold the car, walking the kids to school 10 miles away isn’t realistic, you might be able to circumvent your addiction long enough to invest in a new people carrier. All well and good you might say, but when your first action is to immediately remove the rear seats to allow your bike(s) to fit in the back, it’s clear you’ll never be able to escape it.
As always, let us know your thoughts and reasons in the comments. Why do you think, or know for a fact, that you are indeed addicted to cycling?! And to feed that addiction, head over to ProBikeKit for all of your cycling necessities.