2017 Cycling Tips

I don’t know everything, or even much for that matter, but I do know what I like to see in people I ride with, and of course, what I don’t. Following are a few random Dos and Don’ts that popped into my head on today’s ride.

DO give a wave to your fellow cyclists on the road. These are ‘your people’. If you don’t have the energy to raise your hand, a nod works just as well.

DO buy that fancy-shmancy indoor trainer. It’ll keep you entertained while you suffer going nowhere. DON’T tell me that you can climb Mont Ventoux in 1:20 because you did it on that machine. You can’t.

DON’T ride like a dick just because you are in a group. You don’t ride in the middle of the road when you are alone; you don’t need to when you’re riding with your club either. Caveat: this does not apply to empty country roads where anything goes.

DON’T scream ‘car!’ like a banshee for every vehicle that passes you and your friends. There’s a higher chance of someone having a heart attack from surprise than getting hit by one of those cars. DO yell ‘car’ when it’s necessary, e.g. you are on the front and a blind corner and you have one coming at you and your group.

And finally, the only ‘tip’ that is relevant to this year: unless you own an artisanal brew pub, DON’T grow a hipster beard. You’ve missed the boat – the trend is on its way out. If you already have one, you may keep it for a limited time.

This is not a very exhaustive list. If you have any personal ‘dos’ or ‘don’ts’, let me know. I might be doing something terribly wrong and I never realized it.

18 thoughts on “2017 Cycling Tips

  1. I would also add that if the car is behind, always a good “car back” is allowed. I almost met Jesus because I pulled off the front exactly at the wrong time.

  2. Heartily concur for all points, especially point 1: Thou Shalt Acknowledge Other Cyclists. We’re all part of the same tribe. After a few weeks of repeatedly being ignored by roadies while bike touring in Germany, I ended chasing down a MAMIL who had leisurely passed me on a hill while slowly looking up & down without deigning to return my smile nor greeting. Found him at a parking lot and ticked him off best I could in my pidgin German.

    On that point, I’ve noticed the following patterns when it comes to the cyclist-wave/head-nod.
    1. The younger the (adult) roadie, the less likely they are to greet a fellow cyclist (presumably b/c they’re more likely to be seriously training).
    2. If you are on a touring bike, the less likely a roadie of any age will acknowledge your existence…at least on the road. Conversely, when *off* the bike but still obviously on a bike tour – say at a cafe – roadies are more inclined to start conversations (granted, sometimes they just want to mock your stats), European tourers like to keep to themselves. At least that’s been my experience in France and Germany. In Canada when you are bike touring, EVERYONE is curious if not downright amazed and tourers are drawn to each other both on & off the saddle, like magnets.
    3. If road riding with other women in the Ile de France, almost everyone does the head nod (and often a double take). Plus you get the occasional “allez les filles” shouted from passenger windows of passing cars. 🙂

    • Not sure why I never responded to this, but here goes!

      1. Good use of that pidgin German!
      2. I’ve noticed the same thing with younger riders. I chalk it up to ‘attitude’, which men at least lose over time!
      3. I think I’ve experienced the same thing when touring, but really don’t remember meeting many other cyclists on most of my trips.
      4. I never get ‘allez les gars’ from cars.

  3. As a former Tokyo daily commute rider, I’d like to add – “DON’T ride on the wrong side of the road, directly into oncoming traffic, with an umbrella in one hand, while looking at the phone in your other”. I observed (and was nearly cleaned up by) this species on a weekly basis.

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