Tracking your progress as a cyclist can be tough. Race results don’t always tell the whole story of your fitness and your riding friends fluctuating form may not give you a consistent benchmark to compare yourself to.
While you could go knock out an FTP test, sign up for a spring race or give your all on a local Strava segment you frequently use to gauge your form, there are also a number of subtle ways to assess your progress. Here are eight signs you’re becoming a better cyclist:
You’ve bought a new bike in the past year
Having a new bike automatically gives more street cred amoung your bike friends. Better yet, if it looks fast there no doubt you will go fast on it. Now that’s easy progress to track.
Your kit cost more money than your regular clothes
Investing in stylish cycling kit is essential to being a legit road cyclist. Coffee rides aren’t for gauging fitness anyways but if you look pro sipping your mid-ride coffee, you’ll give off the impression you can also go fast…if it wasn’t a recovery ride.
You subscribed to Zwift and bought a trainer over the winter
Pain cave upgrades so you can keep training when it’s cold and wet out is essential. It doesn’t matter how many hours you devoted to the structured works out coach told you to knock you, having the right equipment to train indoors will eventually pay dividends. You’ll be smashing group rides in no time once you finally have time to put it to use consistently.
Most of your photos on Instagram are of you and your friends biking
Developing your carefully curated social media presence as an avid cyclist is very important to convincing everyone you ride a lot. Once it appears you’ve given up on other aspects of your life to ride more, you are on the ride track.
You are introduced as a cyclist at social gatherings
When all your family members and friends know you as the guy who rides bikes, you are making real progress as a cyclist regardless of how much you actually train to get faster.
Your tan lines from last year didn’t go away over the winter
When the only sun exposure you get all year is in kit, your tan lines will be dialled. Even after months of cold weather, those scorched lines on your skin should remain, marking you out as a really devoted cyclist. Whether you got the tan lines sitting enjoy a cappuccino and pastry or actually pedalling is totally irrelevant.
You’ve shaved your legs for cycling
You can finally be welcomed into the big leagues once you have sucked up your pride as a normal person and taken a razor to your hairy legs. Maintaining smooth pistons takes real dedication, just like staying fit, but it should take less time once you’ve got your routine dialled.
You have a power meter on your bike
When you can shoot out power numbers to friends mid-ride and tell people how strong you are getting because you can hold 300 watts for 5 seconds longer, you are making real progress that you can sorta tract. That is if you’ve done your researcher to actually understanding the power readings. If you bought a power meter and are still getting dropped, that’s OK because knowing your limit is real progress.