Cycling is addictive. And it changes people (mostly for the better). You start out with a healthy desire to get fit and lose a few pounds, but before you know it you own a closet full of Lycra and your garage is packed with carbon fibre. But how do you know when you’ve crossed the Rubicon from an ordinary cyclist to an obsessive?
1. You treat the Tour de France like other people treat TV dramas
If you answer phone calls in July with the preamble “Don’t tell me what happened during the Tour today” until you’ve seen that day’s coverage, then the signs are ominous.
2. You plan your summer around the Tour
July is a sacred month for cycling obsessives, to be protected from interference at all times. If you can’t convince your family to go and watch the action in France, then you plan your days to ensure uninterrupted Tour coverage.
3. You take weight and aerodynamics a little too seriously
Weight matters to serious cyclists. After your shower, stand in front of a tall mirror and be honest. Do you have rounded shoulders? Are you skin and bone? Can you count your ribs? Have you shaved your legs? Then you’re in good shape! And it’s not just body weight that counts. As a cycling obsessive, you find yourself examining every part of your bike and kit to shave a few grams off. Once that’s done, you let out a wry smile as you lift your bike up with nothing but your index finger. Yes, you’re obsessed.
4. You speak in cycling code
“I raised my RPM but it pushed up my HR and gave me a greater IF for increased TSS. The higher W’bal improved my VAM, but I really need a higher FTP with better W/Kg.” If this sounds like a regular conversation you’d have with your coach or clubmates, you’ve taken your cycling to the next level of obsession.
5. You’ve spent a small fortune on cycling gear
If you own the most expensive shoes in the house (even if you still live with your mother); if the bike on the rack on top of your car is worth more than the car itself; if half the clothes in your closet were handmade in Italy from shiny Lycra and if you can never have enough bikes in your garage, then you’re definitely an obsessive cyclist.
6. You check Strava before you’ve dealt with your offensive post-ride BO
Cyclists know that when a ride wasn’t recorded on Strava, it didn’t really happen at all. And sometimes, our obsession with Strava comes before personal hygiene when we relive a ride in detail before having a shower. If you pump your fist in joy on the windiest days because of the Strava segments you’ll be able to set PBs or KOMs on, and if you’re devastated when you don’t get enough “Kudos” after a ride, then it’s official: you’re a cycling nut.
7. You know exactly how to find serenity
And finally, if you know in your heart that the solution to any of your troubles is a simple bike ride; that your worries fade away when you’re cycling in the late evening sun, with the fields bathed in moonlight and the sound of the wind in your ears; then you, my friend, are obsessed with cycling. And proud of it.