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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 been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

145 comments

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Nellymosser [1 post] 4 years ago
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Waving to the husband as I ride off, knowing he will have cooked something great and tidied the house when I get back. Cos we're a partnership.

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wycombewheeler [1379 posts] 4 years ago
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Petethepump wrote:

A bike that runs silent

Speak for yourself. There is no better sound than my campag freehub.

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mp31 [27 posts] 4 years ago
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Just being on the bike

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Woldsman [339 posts] 4 years ago
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Cycling for mile after mile - two abreast - and counting more cyclists than cars. (Okay that one's not for every cyclist. Sorry.)

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kwi [293 posts] 4 years ago
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And as I've just got this warm fuzzy feeling.

Completing a build and even the bar tape is perfect.

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Batdan [9 posts] 4 years ago
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Eating a banana at the turn back home point on a pre-breakfast Saturday morning.

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skull-collector... [142 posts] 4 years ago
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Post-ride shower with your boyfriend  16 3

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RPK [107 posts] 4 years ago
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When the city traffic is in gridlock due to an accident or earthquake and I can still get home to my family in the usual time.

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Flying Heron [54 posts] 4 years ago
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Sunday mornings full stop.

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andyp [1609 posts] 4 years ago
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getting to the bottom of a descent and looking forward to the next climb

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iandon [25 posts] 4 years ago
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Riding past the "Yorkshire Dales National Park" sign on a sunny spring morning.

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tbeckett7 [28 posts] 4 years ago
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When it's so hot, either in France or Italy (and once or twice in England), that a descent is like riding into a blow dryer. When the jersey that was soaked at the top of the hill is bone dry at the bottom and those unsightly salt lines show just how much effort was expended.

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rix [269 posts] 4 years ago
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Early sunday morning roads with no cars.

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nimjim [3 posts] 4 years ago
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Catching up with and then overtaking the idiots that cycle through red lights whilst you're waiting for them to change to green like the rest of the road users.

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dotdash [119 posts] 4 years ago
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Being at the bottom of the hill and thinking how can I do that? Then doing it.

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MHDennis [19 posts] 4 years ago
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When you crash, think it's gonna be bad, but your bike, and you are absolutely fine

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hsiaolc [369 posts] 4 years ago
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Ride in a mild weather in the warm sun with a bit of breeze and sip that ice water in the hydration pack.

Enjoy the smooth sound of the bike when at speed.

Love every time I brake with hydro disc on my road bike. Bring smile to my face every time especially it just reminds me how much I hated rim braking.

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Jacobi [171 posts] 4 years ago
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That exhilarated feeling of being able to give it pelters cos you've found a stretch of road with no pot-holes.

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stealth [255 posts] 4 years ago
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Just riding, actually riding in the rain on a warm day, you can't be any wetter, but it stops bothering you that you are wet. That is freedom...

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john wells [32 posts] 4 years ago
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I have a Campag freehub. Can only hear it with my hearing aid in!
i e when I am sevicing it in the garage.

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DaveE128 [1010 posts] 4 years ago
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Spring.

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Leviathan [3057 posts] 4 years ago
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DaveE128 wrote:

Spring.

Good news, Dave. Spring is scheduled for this weekend.

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giff77 [1407 posts] 4 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

Spring.

Good news, Dave. Spring is scheduled for this weekend.

Really¿ This is what I came out to this morning

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Hielke [16 posts] 4 years ago
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When you are getting tired and a scooter comes along on the perfect speed.

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PonteD [327 posts] 4 years ago
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Rolling past all the queued traffic that has just raced past you for the last 30 minutes knowing when you get to work/home they will still be sat in their cars.

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darren13366 [65 posts] 4 years ago
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Being on a club ride with your mates having all turned up in the same kit for once.

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nowasps [525 posts] 4 years ago
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Arriving home.

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severs1966 [418 posts] 4 years ago
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My most favourite, yet vanishingly minor, aspect of club rides was always when the group rolls to a halt at a junction or traffic lights or whatever and the unofficial trackstand competition would resume.

Joining the "elite club" of riders who could stay upright, stationary, with both feet still clipped in was my dream... But you had to stay up until the lights changed and ride off without putting a foot down or (shock horror) leaning on street furniture while you wait.

It was especially impressive when someone would do it in old-fashioned quills and cleats with straps done up tight; no chance of getting out if you start to fall... tense and exciting!

Of course, once in a blue moon someone would turn up on a Longstaff trike or summat like that and make us all feel faintly ludicrous. These days it would be a Greenspeed or ICE recumbent trike I suppose (I have a Greenspeed GTT myself but have never tried to take it on a club ride).

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Daveyraveygravey [712 posts] 4 years ago
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The feeling I will get tomorrow when the cast comes off and I can hang onto the bars and hoods at a normal angle without the cast digging into me.

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mcnoodle [6 posts] 4 years ago
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knowing last year you were 20 stone and could only cycle a mountain bike,, this year your 16 stone and most road bikes are availible , new season new me , new bike,

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