Clear Indicators That You May Be a Bit of a Cyclenaut


We all have our peccadilloes; some people have too many cats, some people eat only white food. But I think most people agree, one of the strangest groups out there has to be roadies. In my annual homage to the Tour de France, which begins June 30th, here are a few reasons why “normal” people think roadies are weird.

  • On group rides, we think to ourselves things like, “wow, that guy has a nice set of cranks,” or “that woman has one sexy saddle,” and we’re not referring to their bikes.
  • We feel naked in “normal” clothes because they don’t cling like our cycling shorts.
  • No one can sit down in our offices because our bikes are leaning against the chairs. It’s not like we’re going to leave our babies outside.
  • Instead of things in our houses being fixed with duct tape, they are simply wrapped with old tubes.
  • During most rides, we clearly hear Phil and Paul in your head as they narrate our progress and prompt us to unpack our suitcases of courage.
  • Instead of an extra shirt in our gear bags, we have extra sets of arm and leg warmers.
  • We don’t have friends. We have training partners (and this applies to all endurance athletes).
  • When faced with tough choices, we ask ourselves, “What would Lance do?”
  • We LIKE ice baths.
  • We have more cycling apps on our smart phones than we have numbers in our contact lists.
  • We find nothing strange about having around twenty things from which to drink out of in our kitchens, only two of which aren’t bike bottles.
  • It seems perfectly reasonable to eat a pint of strawberry ice cream for breakfast on long ride days.
  • We consider it a personal insult when we are passed.
  • We find two-tone skin very appealing.
  • Our senses of propriety and taste are deeply wounded when we see handlebar tape that clashes with a paint job.
  • Full carbon makes us salivate.
  • We test different positions on downhills to see if we can bend the rules of physics to increase our terminal velocity.
  • Squirrels and other darting rodents terrify us.
  • We can eat three pints of strawberry ice cream after a ride and still be at a calorie deficit.
  • Our snot rockets could seriously injure small children.
  • We plan vacation schedules around the Giro and Le Tour.
  • We automatically call out “on your left” when passing other shoppers at the grocery store. (via wejazz)
  • When we compliment someone on their flashy jersey and they say, “bright colors make you faster,” we take some time to seriously consider the possibility.
  • We don’t think this or this or this are too high a price to pay for a good ride.
  • We no longer crack a grin at the brand names “Syn Lube” and “DZ Nuts.” Lubing properly is, after all, serious business.
  • We can barely lift a bowling ball with our upper-body strength, but we could easily lift a Mini Cooper and its Sumo wrestling driver with the strength in our quads alone.
  • We buy or rent houses based largely on the length and quality of our bike commute to work.
  • We even shave your arms.
  • Strawberry ice cream.
  • We have a pet named “Cadence.”
  • There are always empty Gu packets in our washing machines. (via wejazz)
  • Dan Wuori (@dwuori on Twitter) cracks us up.
  • We find ways to work exciting anecdotes about today’s stage of whatever race into EVERY conversation. Thus, we’re left to spend a lot of time talking to ourselves.
  • We buy new bikes instead of replacing our dead kitchen stoves. Whatever, we still have our barbequeuers.
  • We wanted to name our firstborn “Thor.” (You know who you are :))
  • We hate gravel with the intensity most people reserve for brutal dictators or the guy who buys the last box of Honey Stingers.
  • Sufferfest.
  • Our partners have learned to preface simple requests of us after a long day of riding with “if you’re not too tired…”
  • We read pedaltowardsdeath to be reminded of our mortality.
  • Our bike trainers have their own rooms.

And then of course, there are the Rules. (Thanks to wejazz for telling me about these.) Any and all who understand the above, feel free to add your own!

**Just a heads up: I’ll be doing a promotional free giveaway of my novel Contract of Defiance for Kindle and Kindle app owners on July 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Swing by Amazon to get your free copy!

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All content copyright unless otherwise specified © 2008-2013 by Tammy Salyer, writer. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided proper attribution is given.