The Seven Deadly Sins of Cycling

By Martin Atanasov

For most of us, who took the next step in evolution and finally grew a pair of wheels instead of legs, cycling is a religion. We spend most of our free time on our bikes and when we are at work, we are secretly watching cycling videos on YouTube or, even better, reading We Love Cycling articles.

Today we will preach about the temptations of cycling and, more accurately, the Seven Deadly Sins of Cycling.

Cycling training
Are you a cycling sinner? © redsnapper / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia


Greed takes many forms when it comes to cycling. On the one hand, there is consumerism greed where you save your repair kits and never bring along a spare tube or even a pump. It’s way cheaper just to use your mate’s stuff, isn’t it?

On the other hand, Greed can also be the feeling that you are missing out. So, whenever you think, “nah, it’s not that dark, I can have another run at this black trail” or “let’s go for another 30 miles” or “no need to go back, we can outrun the storm”, you need to be aware that Greed is taking hold of you. It typically ends badly or even worse. You should always know your strength and try to mute this nagging voice that tells you that you might miss out on something. It’s much better to have the opportunity to do it some other time rather than get stranded or, even worse, crash.


Typically, fans of this deadly sin aren’t too pleasurable to ride with. If such are missing from the group, they are eyeing down everything that walks by. This behaviour often leads to unexpected nose-dives to the asphalt, thus making the sin deadly, not just in a theological sense.


Getting rid of extra weight on long rides is one of the best added bonuses of cycling. After all, the human organism works as a simple engine – if you use more energy than you consume, you will use the reserves, which are stored in the form of fat. The Gluttonous riders disregard this simple truth entirely and make it their mission to consume at least 15,000 calories over the break. A three-course meal with 2 beers and the famous homemade dessert (every restaurant has a famous homemade dessert these days). But that’s not all. After the ride, they eat again, as if they survived a famine. They completely misunderstand the purpose of fuelling up your body for a ride.


Sloth is the most frustrating sin of them all. On the one hand, you are too lazy to even go for a ride, which is a mortal sin on its own. On the other hand, even when you go for a ride, you lack the motivation to push yourself. You are bored and probably wondering when to go and watch the new Batman movie. Don’t! It’s a trap.

Even when riding in a group, you always skip your turn to pull, you hide behind in the pack and generally try to avoid any physical activity that might push your pulse above 100 bpm. The sentence for this sin, however, is given sooner rather than later. You can never feel this wonderful feeling after a good hard ride, and that’s a punishment enough.


You are red in the face, the picturesque vein on your forehead is pulsing, and you sweat like Victoria Falls during an unusually rainy season. Yet this Instagramable look doesn’t come from climbing Alpe d’ Huez in under half an hour but because you’ve been yelling at someone for the past 45 minutes. Your victim might be anyone: a rider who can’t keep up with the group, a pedestrian who decided to cross the road, tourists on the bike track, a car that passed you by. It doesn’t really matter. You don’t need much to start your tirade.

As you might imagine, you are not a pleasure to ride with and, most probably, you need to clear your head a bit. Luckily for you, riding a bike is the best way to do that. All you need is to find a place where there is nobody else. I know, Antarctica during the night will be perfect.


Everyone has a better bike than yours, better gear, a better group. You name it. Or at least in your head, those are the facts. Thus, you buy a new bike every other week, and now you’ve taken a third mortgage on your home to buy that awesome DH MTB. You’ve kicked out your spouse since you don’t have enough space to keep all your bikes, yet the next time you go for a ride, you still see that Jimmy has a better bike, helmet or brake levers.

The truth is that all your gear is just fine. It’s you that sucks but don’t worry, this is easily fixable. While your envy is well placed, it’s directed at the wrong thing. You don’t need your friends’ stuff. You need their skills. So, there is only one way. Sell your soul to the devil at any crossroad and become the best damn (literally) bike-rider of all times… Or just ask your friends for some tips and practice till you get better. Whichever is easier.


Pride is good for you in small doses. Especially when you actually have something to be proud of. However, riding your bike doesn’t automatically make you the king of the road, and you still need to abide by traffic laws. Moreover, you are not entitled to a round of applause at every traffic light you decide to stop. Just enjoy your ride and let others be themselves as well. The road is for everyone, even for a sinner like you.

Which is your sin?

Usually, in this part, I often get to the philosophical conclusion that we have a bit of everything on the list but even though I’m a fan of a few of those sins, there are cyclists out there that have none of them. Yes, there are true angels among us who are the perfect ride buddies. So, are you one of those rare few or do you enjoy a sin or two?