The cycling community is almost like its own little nation. We all share one hobby, or ‘nationality’ – we’re all from Cyclocity (or Veloham?) – if you like. However, within Cyclocity there are a number of diverse groups.
We tend to either ride alone, or in groups with our own demographic. On a weekend, roadies will go on club rides, usually then split into further sub-sects of ‘racers’, ‘sportivers’ and ‘out-for-a-piece-of-cake-half -way-ers’, MTB riders collate together at a car park somewhere but I’ll admit I’m less well versed in all that.
When commuting, however – the different groups tend to have to interact a little more. Now – I love you all – everyone from Cyclocity is awesome – but there are some riders I meet on my commute who I love to hate.
1) The cyclist riding without bike lights
I’m a safety girl – sorry to admit it, but I rather like the idea of riding with lights so that car drivers can actually see me. Maybe I’m just boring, but I quite like that reassurance that I’m not going to give someone behind the wheel the shock of their life while I just roll along like the invisible (wo)man. If you don’t have lights – check out the 5 best selling bike lights here.
2) The Stalker-Like-Rider-That-Rides-Too-Close-Behind
This is particularly prevalent on a windy day. Now – in cases where a person is on a club ride, and their friend is starting to get tired – grabbing a free lift home is totally fine. But strangers? Either overtake, stay back, or acknowledge your trying to hitch a ride and share the work. Drafting is ok if it’s agreed between riders – wheel sucking and stealing a space in the slipstream like an easy-ride-thief is not ok.
3) The cyclist that stops in front of you at traffic lights
Apparently this is called shoaling – so if it’s prevalent enough to have a name, it seems many fellow cyclists have fallen victim to it. Rider A is stopped waiting for lights to change from red to green, Rider B rolls to the lights and stops in front of rider A – for no apparent reasons assuming this is acceptable behaviour.
If we’re more honest, it’s more annoying when rider B actually sprints off faster, because at least when we overtake rider B five minutes down the road we get to feel good. When there is a rider C, D, E and so on involved during busy commute times, of course it’s more of an issue when space starts to run out.
Well, this just kills your pride – doesn’t it? Out for a jaunt, feeling pretty sprightly.. and BAM – there’s someone on your right waving cheerily from a Bropmton/MTB/otherwise less speed efficient bike. I don’t really hate this rider, really they have to be admired, I just hate that they’re making me feel bad.
5) The one that hates being chicked
This is one for the girls out there, and it’s a bit like the above, but with a role reversal and a less than amicable reaction from the overtaken rider. You’re out enjoying an easy ride – a commute, maybe a ‘recovery ride’, and you have the audacity to cycle past someone of the male sex. You might smile, wave, say hi. Before you know it, the overtaken rider is sitting on your wheel, huffing and puffing away like we’re in some sort of re-enactment of Froome/Quintana alla Tour de France. After a mile or so, he might try and SPRINT past – only to be reeled in again a mile down the road. It’s very childish – but it must happen a lot, because there is a whole range of clothing dedicated to it (chicked.com)
As I said- every rider above shares the same hobby as me, and I’d extend a friendly spare tube/pump to any of them on any day – but that doesn’t stop them getting on my nerves at times. If you’re feeling in any way riled up, I suggest you check out our post ‘7 things you should give up to be a happy cyclist‘.
Anyone got a rider they love to hate?
Correction: We had a bit of problem with our WordPress software publishing the wrong version of this article. In an early version, we mentioned helmets in the first section. This understandably raised some eyebrows. I apologise for that and I will be more careful when hitting the publish button in future to be certain the correct version of the article will be live. I read all articles prior to publishing and have the final say, so the responsibility lies with me. Andreas
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.