As people who love to cycle, we are aware of our rather unpopular image in the eyes of other road users. But even off the bike, cyclists can still be recognised by a number of specific characteristics, which are not altogether flattering. Recognise any of these?

1. Lazy

Cycling fast costs a lot of energy. While weekends offer the perfect opportunity for long rides, we’re not much use during the rest of our (free) time. Because if there’s enough time to train, then training is what we’ll be doing. Every kilometre, or hour on Zwift, adds to our personal database and our fitness. This means that once off the bike, we spend the rest of our time recovering. In other words: the sofa becomes occupied. Could somebody pass me some healthy snacks?

2. Quark

Protein is highly important for the recovery process in which our muscles almost permanently find themselves. Quark contains a lot of protein. Our fridges are full of it. But only for a week. After every training session the racing cyclist will eat a whole 500g pot. Could you pick up some more quark at the supermarket, please?


The creative cyclist who has time on their hands may also be found in the kitchen making then eating quark cake. Protein!

3. Peckish? Hungry!

But the pot of quark is purely functional. It by no means compensates for the amount of calories that we burn up during our cycling trips and training sessions. So, after a long ride in the cold, anything remotely edible and, preferably, sweet will be attacked. Say goodbye to all the muesli bars. And chocolate chip cookies. And just about everything else.

4. Normal bike

Racing cyclists love to ride fast. But after all those hard-earned kilometres on the racing bike, it seems that we lose the ability to cycle slowly. This includes rides on a normal bike. So if you’re cycling through town with a racing cyclist, get ready to put the pedal to the metal. If you’re able to keep up at all, that is…

5. Pain cave

Nowadays there is absolutely no excuse not to train. In the past, us cyclists may have bailed on a group ride when the rain came tumbling down. But now there are a huge variety of alternatives to outdoor cycling — the home trainer is one example. And because it often rains in northern Europe, it’s best to be prepared, and so many of us inevitably end up converting one of the rooms in our houses into a “pain cave“. Handy to know if you are looking for a new home.

6. Selective cleanliness

One possession that us cyclists will always need to clean is the racing bicycle. But that in no way guarantees a spick and span house. The container marked ‘cleaning energy’ unfortunately has only enough in it for one (or maybe two) bikes. Walk into the bedroom and we will see we have left our cycling clothing all over the place, and empty energy bar wrappers on the kitchen table.

bike cleaning

Rule number 1: the bicycle will always be clean!

7. Razor

The fight over shaving equipment. Racing cyclists like to look good, and that means shaving our legs regularly. It just looks better when we’re on a bike, OK? But actually buying our own shaving equipment for our legs? Mmm. Luckily there’s often a razor lying around in the bathroom. Nobody will notice, will they?

Recognise yourself or your partner? See also: Five irritating types of rider on cyclosportives