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15 things every cyclist loves — explore the best bits of riding bike

The stuff that makes you feel good when you're out riding

Here's our pick of 15 things that we think every cyclist loves. Are we right or do you disagree? Let us know down below.

1 Reaching the top

Marrakech Atlas Etape Robin Kitchin 102

Even if you love the climbs, there’s something about reaching the top that gives you an instant boost. Whether it’s Alpe d’Huez or a humpback bridge, it’s a job well done.

2 Riding with a tailwind

WInd Power (CC BY 2.0 reynermedia|Flickr)

WInd Power (CC BY 2.0 reynermedia|Flickr)

Ride with a tailwind and you feel unbeatable, like your legs and lungs got stronger in the night. Very, very occasionally the wind will change direction during a ride and you’ll get a tailwind on the way out and a tailwind on the way back. On these days you think you're Eddy Merckx.

3 Dropping your mates

Panarotta 1.jpg

The fact that they’re your mates only makes you want to drop them more.

4 Green traffic lights

Traffic light tree (CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg)

Traffic light tree (CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg)

Remember that day when every traffic light you passed was on green and you just sailed through? No, because it has never happened. One day it will, though, and then your life will be complete.

5 France

Le Semnoz-Crêt de Chatillon (CC BY NC 2.0 will_cyclist|Flickr)

Le Semnoz-Crêt de Chatillon (CC BY NC 2.0 will_cyclist|Flickr)

Yeah, the cycling might be good around your way but France is the gold standard. Le Tour, of course, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Paris-Roubaix… Mind you, there’s Italy too. And Belgium.

6 New bike clothes

Image of road.cc Women's race cut jersey

Yes, you’ve got your old favourites but you can never have too much new stuff. Don’t blame me; I didn’t invent greed/avarice/capitalism.

7 Light stuff

canyon_ultimate_cf_slx_9.0_disc_movistar_edition_12spd_campagnolo_-_crank.jpg

It doesn’t matter how many times you’re told that being aerodynamic is more important than shaving off a few grams, light kit always puts a smile on your face. That applies to your frame, handlebars, wheels, shoes, body… Pretty much everything, in fact.

8 A clean bike

btwin_ultra_900_cf_105_-_riding_3.jpg

Clean bikes are faster. Well, they might be. They certainly look faster. On the other hand, a dirty bike shows you’ve been riding it, so that has it’s merits too. Confusing.

9 The sound of a freehub

Some freehubs sound so ace you’ve just got to stop pedalling and listen to them ticking away from time to time. Not for too long, mind. That’s just slacking.

10 Trying a new route and it works out

Garmin Edge 1030 map

I’ve got a hunch that this road will join up with another one that I know. I try it and it does. Hurrah! Just call me Mr Garmin.

11 New bar tape

Lizard Skins DSP Dual Colour bar tape

Every road bike can be improved by the application of new bar tape. Fact.

12 Beating other riders away from the lights

Hectic street racing in Oxford (CC BY 2.0 Tejvan Pettinger)

Hectic street racing in Oxford (CC BY 2.0 Tejvan Pettinger)

It might not be the Olympic final but every victory counts. You're Le Patron until the next set of lights.

13 PBs

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Sean Rowe|Flickr)

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Sean Rowe|Flickr)

Even the least competitive cyclist likes to beat their time from point A to point B. Better your personal best by a second and you feel brilliant, miss it by a second and you feel crushed, yet that’s only a difference of two seconds. That’s just the way it is.

14 Coffee and cake

IMG_0688

They’re pretty much essential.

15 The post-ride shower/bath

Rubber duck (CC BY-SA 2.0 vallgall|Flickr)
(CC BY-SA 2.0 vallgall|Flickr)

The more achy your legs, the better it feels.

Go on then; what did we miss?

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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