Urban Cycling

Oops! 6 Embarrassing Cycling Moments We’ve All Experienced

Bugs in the face

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Cycling is fantastic most of the time. 

Healthy, sustainable, and fun, it’s great for leisure and transport.

But it doesn’t come without its fair share of embarrassing moments. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or just starting, here are 6 embarrassing things that have happened or will happen to you at one point while you’re cycling.

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one.

embarrassing cycling moments: Man falling from bicycle

1. The Ungraceful Dismount

Picture the scene: you’ve arrived at a cafe to meet a friend for a quick coffee, and they’re sitting in the window waiting for you. You signal correctly, pull out the bike lane, and prepare to dismount.

But you stumble. Your foot gets caught in the frame, or you forget to unclip your feet from the pedals. You fall in slow motion, unable to prevent yourself from toppling straight to the pavement with your frame sandwiched between your legs. 

It’s bad enough that your friend sees it all unfold, but let’s not forget the dozen people sitting outside who have a front-row seat for the show.

We’re sad to say it can happen to any of us. After such a rookie mistake, we’ll all start to question our cycling skills, but it’s best to remember that even the best cyclists have been there. At least, that’s what you’ll tell yourself to make yourself feel better. Try and laugh it off.

embarrassing cycling moments: woman's skirt in wind

2. The Wardrobe Malfunctions

Cycling is a risky business. And when it comes to our attire, there are so many things that can and do go wrong.

For example, when your loose or baggy clothing unexpectedly finds its way into the depths of your chain. There’s a moment of confusion as you feel the tug on your leg; that’s when you look down to see your favorite trousers at one with your bike

Inevitably, this is after the moment of confusion and the few awkward pedal strokes where you seem to be declothing yourself. In the worst-case scenario, you’ve ruined an item of clothing with a lethal combination of oil and lubricant.

For the women in the summer, it’s also understandable to want to feel the breeze on your legs while riding. But you might think twice before opting for a skirt or a shorter dress. Before you know it, a gust of wind can quickly transform a romantic ideal into a Marilyn Monroe moment. 

Most of the time, cycling is a balancing act between functionality and style. We’re sorry to say the best-looking clothes aren’t always the most practical.

embarrassing cycling moments: cyclist in the rain

3. Getting Caught In The Rain

Speaking of our clothes, why are we never wearing the right ones when we’re riding?

We take all the necessary precautions. Looking at the route ahead, judging how long it will take us, considering the weather forecast and seeing that it’s dry all day. 

But if only it were so simple. You were enjoying the sunny morning, but out of nowhere, a dark and ominous cloud started to loom. Your weather app assured you of a rain-free ride, but your decision not to bring a waterproof is starting to look bad.

You soldier on, but as the first few raindrops start to fall, you know that you’re doomed. What you’re hoping is a passing shower becomes a torrential downpour, catching you completely off guard.

Drivers offer you sympathetic, smug smiles, but it makes no difference. You arrive at your destination with the meticulously planned outfit, now a soggy ensemble. 

embarrassing cycling moments: bugs in cyclist's face

4. The Bug Buffet

The great outdoors. There are few better ways to experience our great ecosystem than on two wheels.

That is, until you get up close and personal with it. Suddenly, we find ourselves at the ‘bug buffet’. Seemingly, every small creature in the vicinity is drawn to your face when cycling in the countryside. This medley of flying insects works under your glasses, into your ears, and even into your mouth. 

These collisions are tolerable until you get the stinging bees and wasps in your helmet. Then, nobody is laughing. Well, nobody except everyone you’re on a ride with.

Flapping about like you’ve got ants in your pants, desperately trying to shoo flying insects away, makes you look ridiculous. 

There’s no graceful way to get around it, we’re afraid, even with your best bug-spitting intentions. Riding a bike is no picnic, or wait, is it?

embarrassing cycling moments: cyclist took the wrong turn

5. The Wrong Turn Dilemma

Why is it that nobody bats an eyelid when you make a wrong turn in a car?

For pedestrians and cyclists’ however, we share the conundrum in common. How do you go back on yourself without looking like an absolute fool?

Whether the maps on our phones or our internal navigation system are to blame, it doesn’t matter; we’re still going the wrong way after taking a wrong turn.

And we all do the same thing. Pat our pockets like we’ve forgotten something, check our phones, pretend to take a call. Then, it’s the awkward swivel of shame. Even after all this, we feel compelled to adopt an air of confidence after putting ourselves on the right path, as if to show every passerby that all of this was intentional on our part.

But there’s no hiding it. It feels like everyone knows exactly what happened, even if in reality nobody even notices.

cyclist fall embarrassing cycling moments

6. The Crash

Through all the ups and downs of cycling, occasionally, we’re hit with the least glamorous side: the dreaded crash.

Whether it’s a minor tumble or a more impressive spill, these moments aren’t just physically uncomfortable and potentially painful, but worse, majorly embarrassing!

We’re not talking about serious accidents here; nothing is embarrassing about those. We mean the ones where you’re cruising along, minding your own business, and come across an obstacle in the blink of an eye.

The sudden imbalance occurs, and before you know it, you make an unexpected contact with the ground.

We’re flustered. We hope it went unnoticed, but when others in the vicinity offer their concerned glances or assistance, we feel that uneasy self-consciousness, a sheepishness almost.

Fortunately, in the best-case scenario, we quickly attempt to save face, scramble to our feet, brush off our shoulders, and exit the scene post-haste. We put on a brave face, pretend it never happened, and do our best to move on with our day, knowing that we’ll be the punchline in some onlooker’s joke.

Fortunately, like all these moments, after a long enough time, they become a story that you can share with your friends and family. These are a rite of passage for all cyclists, so share them with pride, as you know that no matter how skilled, everyone is susceptible to the occasional twist on the road.

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