9 Things to Know Before Dating a (Hardcore) Cyclist

Let’s face it. Dating is hard enough as it is. But when you meet the mythical, beautiful creature that is a cyclist, it’s hard not to move forward with them and pedal it out. (See what I did there?).

But first, here are a few insights and tips, so you know what kind of amazing, yet aggravating fun you’re getting yourself into.

1. They Speak an Entirely Different Language
It’s as easy as riding a bike, right? Wrong. Rosetta Stone doesn’t make a program for the language that is Cycling, but they should. (Cycling’s a pretty darn expensive sport, so they’d likely prosper from this. Just sayin’! 😜). Cycling for Dummies already exists so… 

...here are are a few cycling terms to get you started:

  • Century = A 100-mile long bike ride. Yes, you read that correctly -- 100 miles. “'Cause you know I'd [cycle] a [hundred] miles if I could just see you tonight,” cue Vanessa Carlton playing the piano on a bike.
  • Saddle = The bike seat. Because I guess it’s as easy as riding a… horse?
  • Cadence = The rate at which a cyclist pedals. Sounds like a 90s pre-teen name, if ya ask me.
  • Hammer = To ride hard. Hammer it out, y’all! 
  • Fixed Gear = A single-geared bike with no brakes. No brakes? No thank you.
  • KOM = King of the Mountain, a.k.a. the best climber. Or as Borat says, “King of da castle, king of da castle.”
  • Push(e)r = A rider who pedals in a large gear at a relatively slow cadence, relying on the gear size for speed. Or an AWESOME cycling brand (insert shameless plug here 😏).
  • Kit = A two-piece cycling suit consisting of a top, also know as a jersey, and a bottom, also known as a bib. Kind of like those awkward high school wrestling uniforms. Speaking of kits…

2. They LOVE Spandex
When I say “love,” I mean it. Almost obsessively. And we're not talking your plain jane kind of spandex. We're talking loud and proud. The brightest colors, the wildest fonts and shapes, highlighting all of your favorite parts about them... couldn’t help myself! Try not to stare -- I dare you. It’s impossible.

3. They Also LOVE Strava

What’s Strava? Think Google Maps meets Facebook… and maybe a little bit of Tinder, if you’re lucky.

The GPS tracking… the performance tracking… and oh my, the leaderboards. They can’t seem to beat that one time. (Must’ve been someone on a moped, right?). But they’ll keep trying, dammit. And they’ll definitely keep talking about it.

4. You Will Lose a Good Chunk of Your Weekend Time Together
Most of us work the typical 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Most of us also spend weekends relaxing. But no, not cyclists. Likely why a common motto of theirs is “Eat. Sleep. Cycle. Repeat.” It really is spot on.

Let’s break it down. They wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to get out nice n’ early. They ride all day. All. Day. And then when they finally do get home, they clean their bikes for at least an hour before taking a 5 and a half hour nap. Saturday, what? Oh, hello, Sunday. Repeat.

Tip: Want to be an extra caring partner? Cook them a nice meal to come home to. They could use the calories… a couple thousand, to be exact.

5. They’ve Likely Gotten Hit by a Car
Yeah… especially if they’ve lived in a major metropolitan city. As awful as it sounds (and is), it kind of comes with the territory of cycling. Try not to (over)stress about it.

Tips (yes, multiple):

  • Always encourage them to wear a helmet. Even if they are just going for a short ride, or cycling to work. If they have half a brain, they’ll know better. Or, if they’d like to keep their full brain…
  • Ask them to check-in as often as they are able to on the longer rides. Stopping for water? Perfect time for a quick text. Stopping for a flat tire? Then too.
  • Make sure they wear an ID bracelet with emergency contact information (including yours). JUST IN CASE.

6. They’ve Got Stamina
I feel as though this one doesn’t need much of a description… so I’ll just leave this here.

7. Two Words: Butt Lube (or Butter)
Yes, you read that correctly. Butt lube. Lube for the tushy. And not for the same reasons #6 might have led on. For chafing, obviously -- get your head out of the gutter, people!

8. They Shave Their Legs (and potentially, everything else)
Ladies (and gentlemen), your man may be asking to borrow your razor. It sounds crazy, yes. It might even sound a little feminine. But there’s a method to the madness. Road rash, after a bad spill, is a hell of a lot easier to care for when they’ve got smooth, hairless, prepubescent skin.

You’ll probably end up enjoying the softness. At least until it starts getting prickly. Itch-y.

9. They Need Your Support More Than They Let On
Cycling is equal parts physical as it is mental. It’s a tough sport. Although it could be so easy to get upset with them for ruining your Saturday plans together, be understanding. They are hardcore cyclists for a reason -- they truly love the sport. And if you truly love them (or see yourself loving them one day), then you should love it too, for their sake.

The little things go a long way, trust me. Little stuff like the below gives them a little less to stress over. This way, they can focus on what matters most: the ride. And you, I guess… ride first though.


  • Help them prep!
  • Water bottles + gatorade? Check.
  • Salt + gel packs? Check.
  • Bars? Check.
  • ID + cash? Check.
  • Pump + spare tire? Check.
  • … and so on!
    • Sit in the park (to keep them company, from a distance) as they are cycling laps. And have a snack ready to go for them when they take a break (or brake…).
    • Don’t question the madness. Just let them do their thing (that goes for any partner, really). 

At the end of the day, cyclists are as committed as it gets. C’mon, how could they not be -- have you read any of the above? Hopefully, that same cycling commitment translates into relationship commitment. Then you’ll be as happy as a clam in high tide. Or, in this case, a cyclist on a smooth rural road with insta-worthy scenery. Did I mention they love snaps, instas, and all things photos? Yup.

Ride on, daters!

Lauren Pica
Manager, Customer Engagement & Retention at Outbrain

Tagged with: Cycling 101

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