There is something magical about riding a road bike. It brings you to the most beautiful places, helps you improve your fitness, and perhaps even makes you achieve a hoped-for victory. But there is also a downside to all that beauty: cycling does not go the way you want it to 100% of the time. And although we would rather think back to the coolest adventures on the bike, we think it’s a good idea to make a list of common mistakes that we have all experienced, so that you can avoid them.

1. The click pedal…

Think of it as hazing in the wonderful world of cycling. It takes some getting used to in the beginning, popping in and out of the pedals. And it’s hard to get it right when waiting at the traffic light for the first time with your racing bike.

2. Bonking

Just cycling around with some training buddies is never a bad idea. But if the group rides around aimlessly, it can still lead to a small (personal) drama. It is good weather and your legs are ready to carry you far, until an hour of cycling away from home you get to deal with a so-called bonk. Where is the nearest village?

3. Bicycle pump? Not necessary!

Tire levers? Check! Inner tube? Check! Bicycle pump? Nah, I never have a flat. And if I ever did have a flat, there are probably other cyclists or houses in the area — until you are in the middle of nowhere with a flat and all cyclists around you are tourists. Time to test who your real friends are.

4. Route check?

According to the weather app, cycling conditions couldn’t be better, so it could be time to tackle that one climb (about 50km away by bike). But you’ve never been there before. You reckon it will not be that difficult to find the way, right? Normally it wouldn’t be. But a blocked road, closed bridge and the lack of a big arrow towards your goal ensure that you have to give up the search. On the positive side, at least you’ve logged a bunch of kilometres.

5. Empty battery

Normally your bike computer will last for several rides, but the previous ride was a lot longer than usual. Halfway through your ride, it indicates that the battery is empty. Out of the window with your Strava statistics …