Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Fitness
5 problems that only cyclists can relate to
‘Doing the Tour de France are you?’

BEING OUT ON the bike in the early morning on a perfect summer day is hard to beat…until a dog appears from nowhere and wants a piece of you… or you take a side road to nowhere…. or any of these mini tragedies befall you.

Obviously they’are all very much personality-based but it’s fair to say they’re all bloody irritating things to happen.

1.  A puncture while out training

John Walton / EMPICS Sport John Walton / EMPICS Sport / EMPICS Sport

Top of the list is that deflating feeling (couldn’t help ourselves there!) when you slam into a pothole, the whole bike shakes, the serenity of the ride is shattered and from the euphoria of tearing along at a nice clip you’re on all fours trying to fix a puncture.

To make matters worse you’re already late for a meeting and it’s beginning to rain… and you forgot to bring a spare tube. Got a number of a taxi handy?

2. Being under-dressed (and under prepared)

Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

Cycling isn’t a minimalist sport like running or rugby or tennis. There’s a whole range of factors to be considered before you go out training; how far will I ride, how much food do I need to bring, what roads will I take, what will the weather be like?

This final one is critical because the last thing you want (after a puncture) is to be 50 miles from home and the heavens open… and you thought it was forecast to be mid 20s all day.

3. Your Garmin stops working

Garmin Garmin

Now we’re getting even more pretentious. This isn’t one of those problems where absolutely everyone will sympathise with you – like they would if they heard you had a puncture and or got rained on.

Your speedometer stopped working because you never charged it, big deal? Well, yes actually, it is a big deal.

Cyclists are not just cycling, they’re training. They’re monitoring their speed, their average heart rate, their cadence, their power, their elevation gain, their gradient, they’re challenging strava segments, they’re racing themselves.

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If the Garmin stops working just go home. There is no point in going on like this.

4. You fall over at traffic lights

Tim Ireland / PA Archive/Press Association Images Tim Ireland / PA Archive/Press Association Images / PA Archive/Press Association Images

We’re as pretentious as we are proud but this is where the latter takes a real hammering.

Have you ever come up to an inner city/town red traffic light and tried to balance on two wheels only, refusing to clip out of your pedals until the light turns green? Yes, of course you have.

But that light stayed red a lot longer than you thought it would, didn’t it?

And in the course of the light not turning green so you could move off again you lost your balance and came crashing down in the most ungraceful way imaginable, didn’t you?

5.  You get asked are you doing the Tour de France…

Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

The simple answer is “no, I am not good enough”. And maybe it’s time you start replying with that answer.

However, we’re too polite for that, usually, so to save embarrassing the interrogator and make it sound like a really valid question we’ll reply with something more diplomatic.

‘Ah, no, no that’s for the professional guys, maybe someday’.

Bloody annoying though, being made feel shit like that!

Originally published at 0722

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