If you’re brand new to cycling and think bikes are cool, you’re right. If you’re just getting into riding, this list is likely a glimpse into the future. And if you’re a crafty veteran with thousands of miles in your legs, chances are you know all about this stuff.
Here’s a list of seven things that you were probably never told before your cycling interest tumbled into a full-blown passion.
1. You’ll love it more and more
New things are fun and exciting. Brand new people or experiences can be like a drug consuming all your thoughts, time and energy. I distinctly remember my first mountain bike ride — where it was, the people I was with, the trails we rode, and the post-ride tacos.
Little did I know that 20 years later there would be mornings when I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited about going riding, that I’d drop everything when a new bike or part showed up, or that I’d almost instinctively walk into any bike shop I came across.
2. Parts will be everywhere
A bike is a simple machine, right? Yes, technically it is, but that won’t stop bikes and parts from invading every nook and cranny of your life.
Tubes will show up in your laundry, pedal cleats will somehow migrate into your car’s glove box, a helmet might find a home in the kitchen, and a stack of bike shorts will live at your office.
You’ll probably have bike parts — new, slightly used and completely worn out — scattered about your home, car, yard, office, you name it…
Beyond parts, cycling will infiltrate your casual clothes, the art on your walls, possibly even mundane items such as cooking utensils.
3. Spending $2,000 on wheels is normal
$2,000 is a lot of money. But no one told you that you’d be tricking yourself into buying wheels that cost that much, or some other carbon wonder thing that seems impossibly light.
Yet when you’re on group rides and everyone is rolling around on high-end bikes and gear, the absurd quickly becomes common, and dropping a mortgage payment or two on some bike part that weighs as much as a wet fart seems to make sense.
After all, you know, you just know, that the only reason Kevin is faster is because your factory derailleur pulleys are sucking up all your watts (they’re not).
4. You’re the de facto bike mechanic and expert
Since you ride a bike a lot, and have bike stuff littered throughout your life (see #2 above), it’s natural for non-cyclists to ask your opinion on bikes and seek you out for mechanical know-how.
Neighborhood kid has a wobbly wheel? Take it to the bike guy down the street. Thinking about a new bike? Let’s see what cyclist Joe thinks is best. Cyclist blows a stoplight in front of your co-worker? You’re going to hear about it.
Like it or not, you’ll become the bike expert (or punching bag) for the cycling laymen in your life.
5. Life will revolve around riding
New job? Must be close enough to commute.
Dream vacation? How epic is the riding?
New car? Can it handle a hitch-mount rack?
New house? Only areas surrounded by excellent riding, please and thank you.
Without even knowing it, taking cycling into consideration will permeate every aspect of your life.
Between riding bikes, hauling bikes around and storing bikes and piles of gear (gotta have a garage!), your decision-making processes will get a bit more convoluted because bikes and riding are not merely another determining factor, but major deal makers and breakers.
6. You’ll eat and eat and eat
Who knew skinny people could eat so much? Whether you’re training or simply riding often, it’s common to get the insatiable hunger. The one where after a good ride you can eat everything in the fridge and still be wondering if you can order Chinese at this hour.
Remember being a teenager and eating a whole box of cereal in one sitting? Yeah, it’s like that sometimes.
7. There’s always a reason for one more bike
It’s no coincidence that cyclists believe the proper number of bikes is n+1, where n is the number of bikes you currently own.
Variety is the beauty of cycling. There are bikes for slicing 50mph down paved roads, bikes for blasting 30-ft gaps while throwing big moto whips, bikes for loading a month’s worth of gear on, and literally everything in between. Cyclists are absolutely spoiled with choice.
With that in mind, it’s perfectly okay when you want another bike to add to the three you already have.
But, it’s worth it. It absolutely is. Every ride, every bike, all the time and energy, the countless dollars, the early mornings, the crashes, it’s all worth it. Enjoy the ride.