Road cycling adverts – they’re all the same. Long, smooth roads. Focused, rippling muscle-man riders speeding down stunning descents. Lycra clad skinny minis grimace-smiling up the inclines and flushing with visible pride at the crest of the mountain.
Though we do enjoy all of those things – and more – when we swing a leg over a road bike, most of us know that it’s a rather rosy version of the reality.
Here’s a look at some of the harsher facts of road cycling (though, of course, we love it anyway…)
Well, this one kind of had to come first, didn’t it? Potholes are at best annoying, and at worst dangerous. Roadies riding in a group will point them out to each other, so those following have an advance warning – but there really are some roads where it feels like you’d be better of just continuously pointing.
WTF is WRONG with you, little feathered creatures?
We’re riding along, minding our own business, when you decide to fly full pelt at our front wheel. We try to adjust our line of travel, and you freak out and follow. I once killed a bird with my front wheel in a time trial (felt awful, but it was hardly my fault, the creature was determined!) – and I remember chuckling at the note next to a results sheet once that read ‘BIRD ATTACK’ next to the name of a guy who was, admittedly, pretty down on his expected time.
Birds: we don’t want to hurt you. Let’s live in peace.