We cyclists are a friendly bunch, and most of the time we feel a special affinity with other riders – they understand the struggles of rainy mornings, and the pure exhilaration of bombing downhill on a sunny afternoon. Even if we have completely different jobs, lifestyles and backgrounds, we know we’ve got something in common.
However, there are some occasions when we can’t help but feel a little bit frustrated with another rider. Here are the 7 types of riders who get on our nerves...
The Rules Don’t Apply To Me Rider
Most cyclists have been shouted at or abused by a driver at some point. This is never ok, regardless – but alongside ‘you don’t pay road tax’ (most of us pay taxes AND tax our cars), ‘cyclists don’t obey the rules of the road’ is one of the common arguments drivers use to justify their behaviour.
Every time one of these drivers sees a cyclist flout the rules, they add more wood the furnace of their aggression. So excuse us if we feel a little irritated ourselves when another rider sails past us as we wait at the lights.
The RULES Devotee
No – we’re not referring to people who follow the Highway Code. As discussed – we respect these people. By ‘The Rules’ we refer to the not-unwritten cyclists' code that is mainly a Bible to the roadies – the Velominati rules and all the stereotypes they encompass.
There’s nothing wrong with injecting a little class to your riding – but living by the book and insisting everyone else does the same is just not cool. Maybe we like our short socks and we’re proud of our quirky colourful saddle? Go back to your double espresso, bike snob…
Another traffic light situation – shoaling is when you’re waiting at the lights, perhaps alongside several other stationary cyclists. Suddenly, another rider arrives at the lights and glides past everyone else, depositing themselves in front of every other waiting rider.
This behaviour would probably be ok if you were an elite cyclist – but unless you’re absolutely convinced that you’re going to be setting off faster than everyone else, it’s not ok. There’s nothing more pleasing that overtaking a shoaler 5 metres from the lights.
The Wheel Sucker (who we don’t know)
There are scenarios when wheel sucking (sitting on the wheel of another rider to save energy) is ok – namely when the two riders know each other, and the sucker is notably weaker, or having a bad day.
Wheel sucking may also occur between strangers when the benefiting rider has made some sort of admission to exhaustion, or is at least making an effort to offer respite to the leading rider from time to time.
What’s NOT ok is when a complete stranger latches themselves to your wheel, and stays there – making absolutely no acknowledgment or apology. Granted, they don’t actually cause you to do any extra work than you would have been doing on your own, but there’s something energy sapping about giving someone else a free ride.
Once again – this is mostly annoying because it gives drivers an excuse to hate on cyclists. And it makes us cringe at the thought of the nasty crash it could cause.
When it’s clearly dark, you need lights to ride on the road legally. Refusing to do so is dangerous, you genuinely cannot be seen – and if someone knocks you off, you might well leave them on a lifelong guilt trip through no fault of their own. Put a white beam for your front, and a red one for your back, and stay safe.
The One With All the Excuses
Listening to this rider is just exhausting. There are a plethora of available excuses – and yes, many of them may be entirely true. But honestly, it’s not about ‘performance’ unless it’s actually a race. Outside of racing situations, it’s best just to relax and enjoy. And on race day – just let the best woman win.
We once asked the Editor at our brother title RCUK about this – and he insisted men who overtake women seconds after being overtaken absolutely don’t have gender on the mind. We beg to disagree. Some men are comfortable enough with their masculinity that they’re ok with letting a woman overtake – some are not. The latter class are immensely annoying.
Of course - despite their sometimes flaws, we do love all our cycling comrades. Here are a few examples of things nearly all female cyclists are guilty of saying...