cycling truths

Cycling Truths #1

The quicker you get, the more new words you use

As you start getting quicker and taking yourself more seriously as a cyclist, you will invariably start to upgrade various pieces of kit in order to maximise your new found athleticism. You will also start to upgrade your use of cycling-related language.

For example, once you’ve bought wheels that are light and expensive you will refer to them as ‘hoops’, rather than mere wheels. Because you’ve spent around a third of the cost of your entire bike on them, calling them wheels is now somehow not enough. Calling them ‘hoops’ gives the impression to the listener that you are now part of an exclusive club that requires a whole new set of words. 

Hoops (Photo: Ralf Roletschek - Wikimedia CC)
(Photo: Ralf Roletschek – Wikimedia CC)

The same applies to tubular tyres. If you graduate from standard clincher tyres to the more racy tubulars, you will clearly be far too quick and in far too much of a hurry to waste three whole syllables on them…tub-u-lars…and so they become ‘tubs’.

If, as a result of being in such a hurry, you have a crash, when you tell your mates about it later it becomes a ‘get down’, or you simply ‘dropped it’. This is far cooler, and suggests that you are at ease with the whole thing; crashing suggests panic, drama, and high pitched squealing, but no, you simply hit the ground, lost most of the skin from one side of your body, and leapt back onto your bike with a nonchalant shrug (at least that’s your story, and there’s no-one around to prove otherwise).

Get Down (Photo: Sean Hogan - Flickr CC)
Get Down
(Photo: Sean Hogan – Flickr CC)

Despite the nonchalance, of course, you should always be wearing a helmet…or should I say ‘lid’ (as in skid lid).

You get the idea.


6 comments on “Cycling Truths #1

  1. biking2work

    We also called it a lid in the ‘ 80s & ’90s but that was in cricket circles


  2. I like melon protector or brain bucket myself. Oh, and I need new hoops now because mine only cost 1/8th the rest of my bike! I’ll have to rectify that (my wife sends you a scowl oh evil one). 😆


    • Ha ha, whatever hard-earned cash you spend on your bike is your responsibility, especially when it’s up for discussion with your lady wife!


  3. Nice fun post! I am on the other end of the cycling spectrum being retired. I no longer ride for speed, but I still love being on my bike. Instead of the cool sounding and expensive ‘tubs’ you bought, I chose kevlar-lined (yes, the stuff they make bullet proof vests from) ones that are more resistant to flats. Cyclling is a beautiful experience no matter what end of the spectrum you enjoy it from.


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