There are so many things to appreciate about the journey of becoming a cyclist. With the ever-present opportunity for a personal record, the potential discovery of a new road or the accomplishment achieved through increased fitness, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re working towards the completion of a specific event, mastering a particular skill or simply riding for fun, there will inevitably be some milestones you’ll be able to look back on and smile.
Regardless of your level and what you do (or don’t) eventually hope to accomplish, it is important to celebrate the little landmark moments that help you realize how far you’ve come since you first started riding bikes. Here are a few of our favourites.
Hitting the 50-mile mark
For many cyclists, 50 miles marks their first “big” ride. A formidable achievement to be sure, although this might become a standard procedure in the future, the first time you’ve pedalled half a century deserves a little celebration. It is also reason to look with anticipation on what is still to come. Once you know you’ve got the skills and stamina for those long rides, there’s nothing stopping you from crushing 70 miles, 80 miles, and beyond!
Your first time sporting those beloved cycling tan lines
Proudly exhibited by pros and amateurs alike, it’s irresistible to share a hilarious photo of your first crisp cycling tan lines. A sign of both distinction and dedication within the community, it’s fun to show off that you’ve taken your hobby to the next level. Don’t despair if they happen to appear at the most inopportune time, they can act as a conversation starter at that wedding or major event you’ve got coming up next weekend. That being said, also don’t forget to practice sun safety and know that as a cyclist, you’ll be going through copious amounts of sunblock.
The exhilaration of riding clipless pedals
This is a big hurdle for many and for good reasons. It’s intimidating and feeling unlike anything you’ve likely experienced before. But once you get the hang of it, you’re about to discover a whole new dimension of cycling. Clipless pedals allow you to feel more connected to your bike, experiencing it as a direct extension of your strength and power.
Your first road rash
Hopefully, this doesn’t go hand in hand with the milestones mentioned above but if it does — just embrace it. If you ride on the road long enough, you’re bound to encounter an unpredictable accident eventually. Hopefully road rash is the only injury you ride away with and it’s ok if the mental recovery from a crash takes some time. If you do come to ride another day though, it’s a testament to your love of the sport and the strength and character it has helped you cultivate.
Taking a Strava title for the first time
Whether you’ve had your eye on the prize for months or simply kicked things into next gear without even realizing it, seeing your name in the #1 spot on the Strava leaderboards is a pretty awesome feeling. If being the fastest, at least somewhere, on your bike isn’t a little pleasure in life worth celebrating, then we don’t know what is.
Getting lost, and finding your way back again
Having the confidence to explore an area without a pre-planned route is a bold and exciting move. The freedom to go ahead and get a little bit lost on purpose is what bike riding is all about. This is the best way to discover new beautiful and remote places and to embrace your sense of adventure.
The feeling of putting on your first “real” kit
Slipping into your first matching jersey and bib shorts is a feeling like none other. You may have been rocking some nice hand-me-downs or a mix-and-match combo prior but having your own new kit means you’ve invested in your sport and are ready to level up. You’ll instantly feel ready to go oh so much faster and chances are — you will.
Becoming part of a team
We often preach the good books of the cycling community and with good reason. For many cyclists, this is the most valuable gift that their bike has given them. Regardless of how serious or formal your riding pals are, being part of a group means you have people to share your passion with, in addition to valuable sources of riding wisdom.
When those around you officially recognise you’re a bike fanatic
Often marked by the first time you receive a first bike-themed knick-knack as a gift, this is the moment when the people in your life see you and think of cycling. You may have thought of yourself as a cyclist for a while but this is the moment that your friends and family do too. Thankfully, you can never have too many bike-patterned socks or Christmas ornaments, right?
Being able to help others out on the group ride
Being able to pass down the wisdom that was once shared with you is one of the best feelings out there. The moment you realise you’re in a position to provide help and encouragement to the newbies is a special one. It’ll help you remember what it felt like to be there and to appreciate how far you’ve come.