You know you’re a cycling old-timer when…….
2. Your 40 year old black leather cycling shoes, despite their age and wear, shine from recent polishing, and are kept pinioned to the pedals by toe straps.
3. Someone has a puncture in the group, and you are the only one with a frame-fitting, high pressure pump.
4. While others are sporting the latest in aerodynamic helmets, you fervently eschew pressure and continue to wear that tatty old CTC cap.
6. You’re out with a new group one day and, half way through the ride, you shout out: “Anyone for a drum up?”. Everyone looks at you questioningly…….. Click here for an explanation.
7. That tatty old saddlebag, covered with old cycling pennants and turning a rusty grey colour, has been hanging from the back of your saddle since 19…. And the sandwiches in it are equally old.
8. Somebody (dressed in sleek lycra), but older even than you, rides up behind you and chats for a while, obviously slowing down to your pace. He speaks to you as if you were an old doddery from a nursing home.
9. ….talking of lycra. “What’s that?” you say. “Oh, is it something like that spandex stuff they use in bondage movies?”. You resolutely continue to wear woollen tops and khaki shorts.
10. Joining a new, and younger, group one day, everyone is puzzled when they hear you shouting “Oil up!” and “Oil down!” Click here for explanation.
11. Someone in the group suffers a broken chain. Everyone looks to you for assistance. You open your saddlebag and pull out a large greasy bundle wrapped in an old oil rag. You open it up and, before everyone’s eyes, you display a huge array of tools and spare parts that would service an entire TdeF team. They are glad to have you in the group…….
12. You may appear old and dowdy to some modern roadies, but you’ll catch people admiring the finely painted lugwork of your much loved Curly Hetchins.
13. When asked what you are training for this season, you look vacantly at your questioner and eventually say: “For the
next piece of chocolate cake. What else is there to train for?”.
14. When asked by a keen roadie what your resting heart rate is, you look at him a bit puzzled and say: “Well, I’m alive…..!”
15. A lightweight camping weekend means carrying four full panniers, a large saddlebag and handlebar bag, a stuff sack bungee’d on the back…… and a musette as your ‘buttie bag’.
16. You’ve always hated Lance Armstrong. Not because he doped, but because he virtually pioneered the fashion of wearing black cycling socks. For you, white socks will always be de rigeur, even when they have gone a dull, nasty grey from years of use.
17. As the decades have passed, your chainrings have progressed from a 53/39 to a 50/34, then to a 44/32/22…….until you realise that you can walk up the hills faster than riding them.
18. Buying bikes has always been a hobby. Selling them has never entered your head. Every time you need to look for a tool or spare part in the garage, you have to pull out 5 or 6 bikes to even reach the shelves…….and then the drama begins when you start looking for the item you need amongst all the junk.
19. When all are sporting the latest electronic gadgetry on their handlebars, you still swear by the full OS map secured by a maptrap.
20. A large group of ‘young guns’ breeze past at more than twice your speed, and you are heard to mutter “No f*#!%*g respect for experience!”