10 Tell-Tale Signs That You Might Be a Cycling Addict

Cycling addict

This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep Discerning Cyclist rolling. Learn more.

Regardless of what your non-cycling associates will tell you, cycling isn’t just a hobby or a phase; it’s a lifestyle. 

Of course, you and I know this. That’s why we’re here. But while we all have our hobbies, how do you know if your interest has gone too far and become an obsession?

We’ll give you 10 tell-tale signs that you might be a cycling addict in denial.

Vasco da Gama bridge in Lisbon
A cycling path runs underneath the Vasco Da Gama Bridge in London. Image Credit: Canva Pro

1. Your Vacations are Planned around Cycling

Picture perfect landscapes, rolling hills, vineyards, sun, and delicious food. It’s an easy sell for a holiday.

But you weren’t thinking of them when you planned that trip to Tuscany with your partner, were you? 

You swear you didn’t know that there were some of the most enjoyable cycle routes in Europe, it was purely a coincidence.

The tell-tale sign that you might be a cycling addict is when your idea of the perfect vacation involves two wheels and a whole lot of pedaling! You’re a fanatic if your travel plans are more geared towards trails and routes than sun-soaked beaches and resorts.

For most people, a holiday is for unwinding and relaxing, but your idea of a chill afternoon is a steep climb and a quick descent. Who needs a spa day when you can have a spin day?

2. You Speak Bike Fluently

Did you ever notice that people obsessed with a hobby seem to have a secret tongue when they speak about it? It’s like it’s impossible to follow their conversation.

We’re sorry to inform you that cycling is no different. In fact, you may have mastered another language without realizing it. 

Did you think gear ratios were common knowledge and cadence was a household word? Or perhaps you find yourself discussing the merits of disc brakes over rim brakes with a friend. 

That’s all well and good when you’re talking to your cycling buddies, and it’s nice to have a passion. But if you start using this terminology with your non-cycling friends, it’s going to become pretty clear that you’re a cycling addict.

Kids bike

3. You’ve Considered Naming Your Children After Bike Brands 

Naming your kids after people or places that inspire you might be normal practice. After all, a newborn Bradley, Pauline, or Chris isn’t likely to raise any suspicions.

Bianchi might be pushing it. But if you’ve ever pondered the possibility of naming your future children something a little more daring, like Cinelli, Pinarello, or even Trek, it’s probably a sign that you’ve taken your whole cycling love affair to the next level.

Give them a fighting chance. While classic Italian bike brands might evoke images of beauty and class when it comes to cycling, we’re not sure that the same can be said regarding people. 

A bicycle next to a bed

4. Your Bike is Basically a Housemate

There’s a cost of living crisis, and rents are increasing worldwide. But someone is living cost-free in your apartment.

They don’t pay the bills, clean up after themselves, and, quite frankly, take up a lot of space. 

While we all love our bikes, if you find that your newest housemate is getting a better treatment than you, you’re likely becoming a bit of an addict. 

What happens behind closed doors is none of our business, but a word of advice, if your bike is coming into the bedroom with you, maybe it’s time for a break. And it’s not them, it’s definitely you. 

Cycling in Paris
Cyclist in front of coffee shop in Paris. Image credit: Cycling in Paris Valerii Ladomyriak

5. You Plan Your Meals for Optimal Carb Loading

For the cycling addict, meal planning isn’t just about satisfying hunger – it’s a strategic mission to ensure peak performance on the saddle. 

You’ve mastered the art of carb loading, turning every meal into a carefully calculated fueling session for an upcoming ride.

Your day typically begins with a breakfast suitable for an athlete: oats, peanut butter, banana, and chia seeds. You’re looking for that sustained energy that’ll carry you through miles of open road or challenging trails.

But you’ll need more than that for what you’re planning. With some trusty trail mix and energy bars tucked into your back pocket, you’re ready to tackle almost any ride. 

If food is more fuel for the tank than anything else, you’re hooked.


6. You’re Strava Obsessed

If the highlight of your week is when your favorite cycling app congratulates you on breaking a personal record, even if it’s just for your trip to the shops, it’s probably a sign that things have gone a bit far.

Religiously checking your Strava stats, feeling a huge sense of accomplishment every time you secure a new ‘King of the Mountain’, or just doing routes on the basis that you can crush your friends’ times. 

All of these things are signs that you aren’t just committed to your faith in cycling glory but that, in all honestly, you’re an addict.

man cycling without a helmet

7. You Judge People by Their Bike Choices

We get it; you’re a discerning cyclist, and that’s why you’re reading this. You know your derailleur from your cassette, and you’re no stranger to a flawless trackstand at a red light. 

But it goes further than that. You literally cannot help but look at other bikes. In fact, you rarely appreciate them; you’re actually scrutinizing them. 

You notice that their tires are whispering wear, and their squeaky brakes desperately need some TLC. 

You tell yourself that you’re not being judgmental, that you’re really conducting a thorough evaluation of potential cycling companions. After all, you couldn’t be caught dead with someone who shows such flagrant disregard for their bike.

But if your first impression of someone is heavily influenced by their taste when it comes to components and color schemes, or you find yourself wincing when you hear a rusty chain, you’re a cycling snob through and through. 

Male cyclist in thought

8. You Believe Biking Solves All Problems

Nothing beats going out for the weekend ride after a long, hard week of work. The breeze in your hair, the sun on your back, and the sweat on your brow are the finer things in life. 

But you notice that cycling isn’t just your solution for stress, restlessness, or boredom. It’s become your response to absolutely any of life’s woes. 

Hopping on your bike and pedaling away, but you’re not avoiding reality; you’re just a firm believer in the therapeutic powers of cycling. 

Needing mental clarity and physical well-being? Cycling is quite possibly the remedy. Using it as a distraction to avoid other pressing issues? Probably not the best idea. 

Couple cycling in New York, USA, american bike brands.

9. Your Social Media is a Bike Catalogue

It’s one thing to like a photo of a beautiful setup now and then or to post some photos of you out on a ride.

But when your Instagram feed looks more like a curated catalog of your bike’s adventures than a personal profile, congratulations, you’ve successfully turned your social media presence into a shrine dedicated to the art of cycling.

We’re all guilty of it, after all, who doesn’t love to get a nice snap of our precious travel companion with a picturesque backdrop? It would be a shame not to, it’s a match made in heaven.

But when there are more posts of bikes than people, who are you trying to fool?

cyclist on a bike

10. Lying About How Much You Spend on Your Bike

Who doesn’t like shiny new parts? It’s one of the joys of cycling. A fresh new wheelset, puncture-resistant tires, even those fancy new clipless pedals that you’ve told yourself you need.

But if you find yourself doing mental gymnastics to justify spending your rent on your precious bike, it’s probably best to give it a break. 

Worse still, you might even lie to a significant other or family member. After all, they might kill you if they found out that you’d shelled out on something that will only make the slightest difference to your performance.

Still, it’s probably best if they don’t find out. 

If you’re guilty of more than a couple of these, it’s time you sought help. We’re sorry to say that you’re a cycling addict.

Discerning Cyclist Store

Visit the Discerning Cyclist's Shop

Ride in style

Join our weeky newsletter to get early access to our latest discoveries.

Related reads