Regardless of discipline, cycling is cool. You often feel pretty epic over-taking other cyclists, blasting down a trail or just wearing your new clip-in shoes. As a whole, cycling is a pretty awesome hobby and sport to give into.
Although, this level of "coolness" is not solely down to the bike and the kit - sadly. It's down to you, the rider. And while we love to get out there and give it our all, cringe-worthy tragedy can strike at any time, and render you feeling like a loser.
You're not alone though. Awkward things do happen, tears are shed and you may just want the Earth to open up and swallow you whole, but then you learn to laugh about it later - much later in some cases.
Here's our run down of those annoying cringe-worthy moments that remind us how uncool we can be...
Awkward things my body does...
- Runny Face: Like a tap, your nose and eyes will insist on streaming. You may not even be a hayfever sufferer, or have any particular allergies, but your face will leak. Chronic cases lead to crusty eyes, and very unattractive DIY nose tampons of tissue.
- I have to pee. NOW: Everything is going great, and just as you're the furthest away from a loo as you can possibly be... you need a wee. So you stop the group, you spend an age looking for that perfect hedge where you awkwardly try and squat, and cover yourself. All the while adopting the meerkat stare to ensure no one catches the full moon, and you don't pee on your shoes!
- The Saddle Shuffle: If you've not found your ideal chamois and saddle combo, then you know you're going to suffer the uncomfortable truth about cycling. It starts with a little soreness of the sit bones, then the soft tissue starts to ache and before you know it, you're off your saddle and giving it a wiggle at every opportunity.
- Your body doesn't listen: A seemingly pleasant ride can go wrong so quickly. You may be looking at the perfect line to take, but your body just does its own thing. Then before you know it, you're on the floor, or hugging a tree.
- Wobble fall: It's been a long day, your body is tired but you're feeling pretty good about yourself. Just remember to regain your land legs when you dismount. Forgetting you're clipped in, or suffering from jelly legs can lead to the ultimate awkward falls.
- Random moments of hysteria: You're over-thinking it. You've over-thought it. You can't do it. Time to cry on the side of the trail or road for 10 mins. After which, you're fine and carry on. Why brain, why?
- Shift scare: When you're riding up a super steep climb, totally focused. Then you go to shift gear - to make the going easier - and accidentally shift up. You panic and do it again, and again - until you have to accept defeat and stop
- Now? Are you kidding me?: Mid ride, and you get a little visit from the cramp monster. It's like shark is nibbling at your womb.
- Bug invasion: I wouldn't want to hazard a guess at how many bugs I've eaten, how many have bitten me, and how many have nearly blinded me. Coughing, spluttering and frantically dancing around to get that wasp away from you, just makes you feel like a doofus.
- Leg Warmer Slip: When you're riding along and suddenly become aware one of your leg warmers is falling down, exposing a triangle of cold flesh to the unwitting world.
Awkward things when riding with others...
- We're matching: It isn't as bad if they are a friend, but turning up for a group ride to find you're wearing the same kit as another triggers those long lost feelings of high-school drama.
- I am the snail: It's a new group, or a new route maybe. But you're at the back and getting dropped. Especially awkward when talked up your fitness and love for the ride. It's made worse when they have to circle back to check on you!
- I love you. I hate you: You're out with your riding possé and as they ride off ahead, leaving you puffing in the dust, you consider whether you really need any friends at all.
- Bunny hop freeze: When riding in a group and everyone else bunny hops a curb. You realise you're not confident jumping something so high on teeny road tyres - so panic deciding if you should look for a drop down or just accept the impending thump...
- Getting caught perving: They've rolled up into the bike park, and you just can't help but stare. That stunningly strong, blinged out bike is the stuff of dreams, and all you can do is look it up and down. Then you realise the owner is sat on top and staring right back at you. Quickly, roll away!
- Getting rear wheeled: Getting in the flow of a trail, and you're feeling good. Dare we say, cool? Then a hotshot rider comes firing at your back end, but there's no where safe to pull over. Panic stricken, you bimble your way down muttering what can only sound like "sorry", and "oh god".
- Over-taking fail: You've been behind this person for ages and you want to show off, push on and get ahead. You end up gassing yourself out so much trying to over-take that you can't maintain speed and they quickly catch you up again.
Awkward things I should have learnt by now...
- Gloves: You grab them before you run out the door and then realise, you only have one. Mum had the right idea stringing them together through your coat when you were a kid.
- I'm not prepared: Rocking up to a group ride to find everyone is packs to the eyes with supplies. Suddenly your lonely water bottle doesn't feel very thirst quenching, despite how you tell them all: "I'll be fine. Don't worry about me".
- Chamois Cream: You forget the chamois cream, and insist you'll be ok this one time. But you're not.
- Sun cream eyes: You're riding on a hot day, all covered in good quality sun cream. Then you start to sweat and wonder why your eyes are stinging.
- You hate that jersey: It may look nice and it may match your kit, but don't forget you have to ride in it. Nothing worse than tugging and pulling on a jersey because it keeps riding up to expose your belly!
Let's not forget the near death experiences we fear and face after every first climb either!
We've racked up an inordinate amount of awkward moments, and these are just a few! So take it from us, laugh it off and embrace it.
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