Stuff They Never Tell You About Being a Cyclist

By Adam Marsal

If I could advise my younger self on cycling with all the knowledge I have now, I would most probably have never gotten a bike. On the other hand, it’s still great fun, though. Isn’t it?

You will always long for more time for cycling, no matter how much time you’ll put aside for doing it

Despite the growing bike infrastructure, separated bike lanes, traffic restrictions and more and more bike-friendly drivers, bike commuting in most cities is still stressful

A puncture is a god’s revenge for having forgotten the air pump or spare tube at home

There’s always a stronger or more skilful biker around, riding a remarkably worse bike than you

Cleaning a bike in a flat’s bathroom is a mess

Bike cleaning of Team Sky during the first rest day of the 103rd edition of the Tour de France cycling race, in Andorra, on Monday 11 July 2016, in France. (Not in a flat’s bathroom) © YORICK JANSENS / AFP / Profimedia

Despite being safely locked, any bike can get stolen from anywhere and any insurance company will be reluctant to pay you the compensation for the loss

Transporting a bike on a plane is a bad dream

A headwind makes you suffer no matter how strong you are

Everybody thinks you’d better move from their lanes

To keep your overall fitness and prevent your back from pain, you will need to do a lot of exercise on top of cycling anyway

You will never be happy with the bike you have. Or maybe you will but, at the same time, you will crave a new one for a slightly different purpose

You need to know the traffic rules even better than drivers

Hungarian cyclists hold up their bikes around the town hall in Budapest downtown on September 22, 2009 during an environment-friendly demonstration. © BALINT PORNECZI / AFP / Profimedia

There is an unnatural law causing endless failures or at least inconveniences affecting the rear derailleur, no matter which system your bike depends on

Even in the 21st century, there is dirt and smear on the chain, regardless of how good you keep it

Losing strength and gaining weight comes hand in hand right after you take just a weeklong break

Watching Red Bull Rampage might motivate you to do crazy things you’ve never had the guts to do but it would most probably end with a horrible accident – sooner or later – as even the pros crash a lot but they ride, jump and bail off their bikes every day, so they are like cats in the air, landing miraculously on their feet most of the time

All Bowden cables should be replaced once a year. Without that, the shifting works awfully