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The stuff that makes you feel good when you're out riding

Here's our pick of 15 things that we think every cyclist loves. Are we right or do you disagree? Let us know down below.

1 Reaching the top

Marrakech Atlas Etape Robin Kitchin 102

Even if you love the climbs, there’s something about reaching the top that gives you an instant boost. Whether it’s Alpe d’Huez or a humpback bridge, it’s a job well done.

2 Riding with a tailwind

WInd Power (CC BY 2.0 reynermedia|Flickr)

WInd Power (CC BY 2.0 reynermedia|Flickr)

Ride with a tailwind and you feel unbeatable, like your legs and lungs got stronger in the night. Very, very occasionally the wind will change direction during a ride and you’ll get a tailwind on the way out and a tailwind on the way back. On these days you think you're Eddy Merckx.

3 Dropping your mates

Panarotta 1.jpg

The fact that they’re your mates only makes you want to drop them more.

4 Green traffic lights

Traffic light tree (CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg)

Traffic light tree (CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg)

Remember that day when every traffic light you passed was on green and you just sailed through? No, because it has never happened. One day it will, though, and then your life will be complete.

5 France

Le Semnoz-Crêt de Chatillon (CC BY NC 2.0 will_cyclist|Flickr)

Le Semnoz-Crêt de Chatillon (CC BY NC 2.0 will_cyclist|Flickr)

Yeah, the cycling might be good around your way but France is the gold standard. Le Tour, of course, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Paris-Roubaix… Mind you, there’s Italy too. And Belgium.

6 New bike clothes

Image of road.cc Women's race cut jersey

Yes, you’ve got your old favourites but you can never have too much new stuff. Don’t blame me; I didn’t invent greed/avarice/capitalism.

7 Light stuff

canyon_ultimate_cf_slx_9.0_disc_movistar_edition_12spd_campagnolo_-_crank.jpg

It doesn’t matter how many times you’re told that being aerodynamic is more important than shaving off a few grams, light kit always puts a smile on your face. That applies to your frame, handlebars, wheels, shoes, body… Pretty much everything, in fact.

8 A clean bike

btwin_ultra_900_cf_105_-_riding_3.jpg

Clean bikes are faster. Well, they might be. They certainly look faster. On the other hand, a dirty bike shows you’ve been riding it, so that has it’s merits too. Confusing.

9 The sound of a freehub

Some freehubs sound so ace you’ve just got to stop pedalling and listen to them ticking away from time to time. Not for too long, mind. That’s just slacking.

10 Trying a new route and it works out

Garmin Edge 1030 map

I’ve got a hunch that this road will join up with another one that I know. I try it and it does. Hurrah! Just call me Mr Garmin.

11 New bar tape

Lizard Skins DSP Dual Colour bar tape

Every road bike can be improved by the application of new bar tape. Fact.

12 Beating other riders away from the lights

Hectic street racing in Oxford (CC BY 2.0 Tejvan Pettinger)

Hectic street racing in Oxford (CC BY 2.0 Tejvan Pettinger)

It might not be the Olympic final but every victory counts. You're Le Patron until the next set of lights.

13 PBs

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Sean Rowe|Flickr)

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Sean Rowe|Flickr)

Even the least competitive cyclist likes to beat their time from point A to point B. Better your personal best by a second and you feel brilliant, miss it by a second and you feel crushed, yet that’s only a difference of two seconds. That’s just the way it is.

14 Coffee and cake

IMG_0688

They’re pretty much essential.

15 The post-ride shower/bath

Rubber duck (CC BY-SA 2.0 vallgall|Flickr)
(CC BY-SA 2.0 vallgall|Flickr)

The more achy your legs, the better it feels.

Go on then; what did we miss?

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

145 comments

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gazza_d [472 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Cruising past motons queuing & stuck in mobile greenhouses on warm sunny days  1

Just sunny days  1

That private badass feeling when you've cycled to work through the pouring rain or snow, and everyone else is complaining about how bad the weather was for driving  1

That magic carpet silent whooshing along on a bike that's setup just right  1

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ianrobo [1214 posts] 4 years ago
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just feeling fitter and fitter as the year goes

Also the feel of new bib shorts that cost you a fortune !

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McDuff73 [79 posts] 4 years ago
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agree with all but dropping your mates, I go out riding in a group for a reason and thats not to leave them all behind to make me feel better.

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Dapper Giles [69 posts] 4 years ago
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Number Two. My commute starts and ends with a steep climb because I live in the middle of a hill. Every morning I dread it, every morning I feel awesome at the top.

Also riding in bad weather.

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2 Wheeled Idiot [432 posts] 4 years ago
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The process of struggling to gain fitness after injury and illness, then that magical first ride back when you're out, the fitness is back and the ride isn't just a continuous struggle  1

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mtm_01 [203 posts] 4 years ago
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willothewisp wrote:

I agree with caad10, the smell does it for me normally. Fresh air, and the changing of the seasons. But I live in the countryside so the smells aren't always that appealing. Passing a pig farm on a warm day for example...  31

Cotswold dairy farm and the weird way that the air is always warm there too!

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Toast [60 posts] 4 years ago
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OK, you lot can have "dropping your mates", I still get a kick if I can keep up with mine for the whole morning :-p

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mtm_01 [203 posts] 4 years ago
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McDuff73 wrote:

agree with all but dropping your mates, I go out riding in a group for a reason and thats not to leave them all behind to make me feel better.

Agree except for pre-agreed proper hills to zoom up, naturally waiting at the top and then carrying on leisurely.

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Pengo69 [3 posts] 4 years ago
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A perfect descent on a dry and sunny day, no traffic, no potholes, perfect silky smooth roads, and reaching 80kmph!!

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Martyn_K [277 posts] 4 years ago
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McDuff73 wrote:

agree with all but dropping your mates, I go out riding in a group for a reason and thats not to leave them all behind to make me feel better.

I really like pulling someone in to the faster group and coaching them into riding in the middle of a good group. Their sense of achievement when they get back to base after a longer/ faster ride than they thought they could do is great.

I also like to turn on the hurt in the last 10 miles of the club run but not every week!

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SuperG [126 posts] 4 years ago
2 likes

Beating 20, 30, 40 and 50 year olds on sprint segments....I'm 66!

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MarkiMark [104 posts] 4 years ago
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Realising one day that spring has arrived, and that you haven't stopped cycling all winter.

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nniff [306 posts] 4 years ago
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Braking in the spring without that ghastly grinding noise of filthy pad on filthy rim.

Cold crisp days when I don't turn into a sweaty mess.

Riding in the hills above the mist in the valleys.

A rock-steady track stand at the lights

A winter without punctures - damn, that's like saying 'Macbeth' in a theatre isn't it

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shearer27 [25 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

A partner that understands that you must go out for a ride. Thanks Kate x

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IanEdward [323 posts] 4 years ago
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A long relatively flat stretch, headwind optional, when you get forward on the saddle, in a big gear, with the right tune in your headphone (left hand only of course *still awaits flaming*) and just the right amount of pain in your legs, and yet still feel like you could keep it turning forever.

Keeping the power down over cobbles and skipping across them.

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monkeytrousers [138 posts] 4 years ago
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willothewisp wrote:

I agree with caad10, the smell does it for me normally. Fresh air, and the changing of the seasons. But I live in the countryside so the smells aren't always that appealing. Passing a pig farm on a warm day for example...  31

Not as good as the local maggot farm on a warm day. Which has the added bonus of being on a hill.  31 31 31

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Sadly Biggins [281 posts] 4 years ago
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What's a tailwind?  3

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kwi [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Just those few hours away from CBeebies.....

And adding some new blue lines onto your heatmap.

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chokofingrz [407 posts] 4 years ago
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Closed road events or the morning leading up to a TdF stage - 2 of the best riding days I had last year.

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dafyddp [467 posts] 4 years ago
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Taking a newbie on their first long distance ride, and sharing their sense of achievement/amazement that they can cycle 50 miles or whatever.

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nwardill [26 posts] 4 years ago
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Waving to the wife as i ride off, while she is doing the housework

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Quince [380 posts] 4 years ago
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Sadly Biggins wrote:

What's a tailwind?  3

It's a state of utter mental clarity and physical prowess. No idea why it's called that though.

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Yorkshie Whippet [651 posts] 4 years ago
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One of those rides when you don't seem to have thought about changing gear, braking or picking a line. They all just happened perfectly. The climbs hurt just enough, descents just fast enough. You finish with just enough energy to put the kettle on or stagger to the burger place/bar, smile to yourself and say "That was a good ride!"

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gazpacho [114 posts] 4 years ago
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Post-ride curry.

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Konstantine [33 posts] 4 years ago
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That unexpected oomph out of nowhere, without having diligently complied with Rule #5 nor being able to attribute it to those extra jelly babies, making you think that maybe you are a little bit better than you actually thought you were....

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Storey89 [2 posts] 4 years ago
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In extreme bad weather when car drivers look at you in a state of pity, what they don't know if that you're actually bloody loving it.

That feeling of being mental after the above ride.

Riding toward a sunset.

Eating whatever you want (to a certain degree).

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billsdon [36 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

The smooth running of your bike after getting a DIY repair job right.

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bikecellar [268 posts] 4 years ago
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"Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafe's. Non Racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."
That quote from "The Rider" says it all.

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Comrade [221 posts] 4 years ago
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Riding a section of road the Tour of Britain just went down, then having loads of school kids cheering as you pass...the volume increases as you wave and smile!

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Stinky Pete [3 posts] 4 years ago
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Going for a ride after having taken 2 sinutab for sinus trouble
-now you know why pseudo ephedrine is baned!

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