Hardcore cyclists are a peculiar breed. Highly commitment to cycling, they live and breath the sport they love. A great deal of time, money and energy are dedicated to riding making dating a cyclist a unique experience. For you, that means you’ll have to become accustomed to all their quirks but if the reasons to date a cyclist outweigh the reasons to stay away, then you should be prepared. Here are 10 things you should absolutely know and be prepared for when you are dating a cyclist:

1) The bike isn’t just a bike, it’s a handcrafted and very expensive piece of equipment that is worth nearly as much as life itself

You know the most precious possession in your life? Well, the person you are dating loves their bike before all else. It’s not just an object or replaceable possession. They’ve made memories on their bike(s) and there is a strong emotional connection.

2) They crash, break bones and it’s normal

A regrettable part of racing crashes and any hardcore rider will have experienced a few spills in their day. They may come out of it bloodied, broken and bruised but that’s just how it goes. Support them through it and your relationship will only grow stronger.

3) A bike ride always takes longer than expected, make sure date night times are flexible

Cyclists like to squeeze in rides whenever they can, especially if the weather is warm and sunny. While you may be hopefully they return when they say they will from their ride, it’s nearly guaranteed the three-hour ride will stretch out to four or five hours so don’t make firm dinner reservations.

4) Your trips together will be to good cycling destinations

If you love parts of the world with gorgeous mountains and quiet roads, you are in luck. Any committed cyclist sees every vacation as a perfect riding opportunity. The bike will be a plus one on all your romantic holidays.

5) Bike jargon is a weird mix of Italian, French and pretentious

Cycling has its own unique language so get used to hearing a bunch of funny words from various languages used to describe their hobby. Watts, bidon, gruppo, KOM and chamois are all real things they will refer to so be prepared to just nod your head when listening to them talk about cycling.

6) It’s ‘riding a bike’ not ‘driving a bike’. Big difference.

There are some very important distinctions between cycling and any other sport. You better refer to it correctly or else you may mildly offend your significant other who is a cyclist.

7) There will be bike grease everywhere but especially on their hands

So you have to put up with bicycles living in your personal space but that’s just part of it. They are also messy so prepare yourself. Chains need cleaning and after wet rides, the whole bike needs a bath. Like holding hands? Those will also be greasy.

8) No snacks are safe

A lot of cycling results in a large appetite so it’s never a bad idea to have extra snacks on hand. If you have something you are really looking forward to eating, the best practice is to make it hard to find so it doesn’t disappear after the pantry is raided post ride.

9) Strava is their social media of choice

Cyclists are obsessed with Strava so while you may talk about a post your say on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, be prepared to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of the social media platform where athletes share their rides. It’s a place where they’ll find out if they beat their personal best on a segment or even better, snagged that KOM on a local segment.

10) Kit or the latest cycling gear are actually great presents

If you ever have trouble thinking of gifts, with cyclists it can be pretty easy. Find out what the trendy piece of gear is and go out and spend hundreds of dollars to buy it. Kit, bike computers, socks, water bottles and sunglasses are actually all really cool gifts for cyclists, especially if you are able to consult with a riding friend to confirm it’s something cool that’s all the buzz in their cycling group.

11) Be prepared for the conversation to always swing back to cycling

Finally, cyclists can’t stop talking about riding, especially with other cyclists. A great skill to develop is how to pivot conversations away from their favourite topic or else you are going to become way to familiar with their FTP and the latest bike gossip.

12) Ideally, you’d get into cycling to so you could do it together

Despite all the quirks and commitment it takes to become a serious cyclist, in the perfect world you’d warm up to it enough to take it up as well. While your significant other may never come right out and say it, chances are there will be hints.

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