Whoever or whatever triggered your cycling passion certainly didn't warn you about these.
We all started pedalling somewhere: on the road, in the mountains or on the track. At the end of the day, we're all cyclists who love riding our way thanks to the adventure and freedom we find on the bike. It wasn't always like this...
Like with all hobbies and new experiences, there's a steep learning curve involved and cycling is no different. There's suddenly loads to learn about everything from the bike, to the kit and even etiquette - not to mention the fitness!
We've rounded up a selection of realisations and experiences that will befall all cyclists in their first year of the bike...
You Develop a Bike Brain
The world of two wheels will flood your thoughts and dreams. Thinking about your bike, your next ride and what new shiny bits you need to treat your steed to some bling.
You Realise it Never Used to be so Hard
As a kid you remember cycling the streets with your mates and going on adventures for what seemed like hours and days at a time. Carefree pedalling filled your youthful days, but as an adult, you quickly realise your inner child isn't as fit.
Sometimes it Hurts
When you first start out on the two wheels, you use muscles that have previously been dormant for years. New aches and pains from muscles you didn't even realise you had are all part of the package.
Your Priorities Change
You'll want to spend all your spare pennies on your hobby, even if that means forgoing that night out and living off beans on toast for a while.
You get Numb Bum and Bits
Your first ride out may have been in your gym shorts and leggings, but you quickly discover the God send of chamois pants... Once you overcome the feeling of wearing something skin-tight that's a cross between a nappy and a large sanitary pad.
You're Full of Bike Talk
Apologies to friends and family, but you have the bug now. Cycling is the first thing to roll off your tongue in conversation. When someone asks you what your weekend plans are, you just reply in miles.
You Wave Goodbye to Space
With women's cycling clothing becoming more stylish and varied, it's easy to get carried away with those pretty shorts and attractive jerseys. Before long, you've binned your casual clothes to make room for your cycle ones.
Bikes have Roles
Your new bike may be clean, beautiful and expensive, and with it comes a sense of wonderment and adventure, but you'll learn there's a place for your steed. Whether your mountain, road or urban, your bike is fit for one purpose.
With this realisation, may come the desire to expand your stable to include a couple more bikes, with different roles... (N+1 gets dangerous, mind).
Your Legs will Never be the Same Again
Chain slap and bruises -A.K.A Bicycle Kisses - dapple your arms, legs, bum and tum which often have other's question what you really get up to on the weekends. Embrace them, they are the mark of the cyclist and your fellow riders will nod in appreciation and understanding.
You'll Discover How Vast the World is
Doesn't matter if it's an hour away or right on your back door, you'll discover new places to explore on two wheels. Cycle paths open up to you and bimbling around your neighbourhood and show you sights that you never knew existed.
Your Realise it's Become a Love Affair
You may never think it possible, but before you know it, your bike will be your love affair. You'll take care of it, miss it, love it and have the most fun on it. And you'll affectionately name it of course.
Your Home Becomes Cycle-ified
You just can't contain your affair to the trails, tarmac and bike room for long. Cycling inspired home-wares will start rolling throughout your house.
You Discover Wonderful WD40
You'd never think you'd enjoy cleaning so much, but washing your faithful companion becomes a pleasure. You'll find yourself washing it even when you don't need to, then just sit back and admire its beauty. Cleaning products begin to smell good, and when you learn they do body-washes, you jump at the shower kits.
You Become a Mechanic (in training)
4mm / 5mm / 6mm, those Allen keys and multi-tools will become your trusted sidekick. With a multi-tool in your pack, you're practically a bike mechanic now. Though countless mistakes will probably show you there's still a lot to learn.
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
You won't know what you have, or how much you love your bike until you're away from it. The only remedy is to appreciate every mile you spend together.
Nobody warned us, but we're sure glad we stuck with it. Cycling is the ultimate freedom machine hobby and so easy to fall in love with.
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