Living with a Cycling Obsessed Man?

It is Father's Day today so Lucy, my wife, kindly offered to write the Propello weekly blog this week so that I can take the opportunity to get up at 5am and go and do some hill repeats up Porlock Hill. Actually given the training week that I have just had, being my last full training block before La Marmotte, I am having a lie in and simply thinking about cycling. So here goes........

There’s been a phenomenal growth in the popularity of cycling over the past decade - we’ve all watched Bradley and Chris, we’ve urged on Cav, and when we wake up in the morning we are now faced with our very own version struggling into his lycra ready for a session with his bike. Forget golf weekends, it’s now all about cycle challenges, or ‘Sportives’, from one set of kit to another - men do love dressing up.

So what are the first signs that your partner is becoming one of the Cycling Obsessed?

  1. Clip In Shoes/Pedals - He’s had a bike for ages which he uses to cycle to the station. The purchase of clip in pedals/shoes signifies a complete shift - he’s now becoming serious, he wants to blend in with other cyclists and not be ridiculed for having toe clips. Watch out this is just the beginning...
  2. Clear or yellow tinted glasses - Essential to stop flies/stones getting in the eyes, he’s prepared to start looking silly in the name of sport - be worried.
  3. Extra lycra will be appearing on a weekly basis in his quest to look like a ‘pro’ but most likely because he can’t find comfortable padded shorts. This is now your cue to start laughing at him.
  4. Cycling magazines - You are probably struggling to get into the bathroom without falling over a pile of these - full of inspirational advice for your newly converted cyclist, just don’t let him catch you trying to recycle them.
  5. Another bike, or even a third, fourth, or, as my husband puts it “the formula is n+1” In other words there’ll always be room for another - which there blatantly won’t be as you’re seriously vying for space, and how many bits of kit can one person need?
  6. Cycle trip with the boys - Quite frankly leave them to it - the stench after a day in the saddle means the further afield the better. By this stage men will also enjoy telling you that no-one wears pants under their cycle shorts - you’d rather not know.
  7. Special Creams - These lotions and potions start arriving in the bathroom to prevent/cure all sorts of rashes and chaffing, again, it’s best not to ask or you will get the full run down, and again, you don’t need to know!
  8. Turbo Trainer - This is a strange contraption which they attach their bike to so they can cycle indoors - I’m sure you’ve seen it, you probably have one hiding in plain view in the house and have stubbed your toe on it many times over the past few months.
  9. Strava/Garmin - GPS/heart monitor gadgets and software which allow them to upload their ride and beat their friends/check their progress. They can create a ‘segment’ and try to out do themselves or others - you may hear them referring to getting a K.O.M or ‘King of the Mountain’ - data crunching - need I say more?
  10. Carb Loading - Stuffing one’s face before a ‘sportive’ ride. (Normal diet consists of nuts, seeds, eggs, mackerel, avocado, kale - basically an endless list of bits.)

So now that you realise you have officially lost him to cycling, what can you do about it?

Nothing. Zero. You are living with one of the cycling obsessed, you will have to adapt to survive...

If you can’t beat them join them - women’s cycling is now one of the fastest growing areas in the sport. Cycling is undoubtedly a fantastic way to get fit, and with the use of ‘turbo trainers’ you don’t even need to cycle on the roads, which is a good option if you are worried about traffic. Cycling is also better for your joints than running, and is also hugely sociable.

Another positive - cycling gets your partner out of the house (which can only be a good thing most of the time), it also gives you tons of birthday, Fathers’ Day and Christmas present ideas.

However, the main advantage of living with a cycling nut, must be that after all this time spent on his bike, he is more fit and toned, in fact, he’s starting to look a bit like he did when you first met - although maybe a little bit more ridiculous at times. (I forgot to mention teenagers particularly object to the sight of a Dad in lycra.)

I am ‘fortunate’ enough to be married to one of these cycling obsessives - he even took it one step further, and became a cycling coach, turning his obsession into a business.

Yes, I still object to tripping over all the paraphernalia, stock piling the fridge with enough kale, mackerel and avocado to feed the entire village, and washing his sweaty kit, but at least he’s looking healthy and happy, and I’m glad he’s decided he’s too young to play golf all the time. I’m actually guilty of designing more lycra jersey outfits for him to wear, and, dare I say it, I even get my bike out occasionally, although no clip in shoes or ‘Queen of the Mountains’...yet...