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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.

144 comments

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ScottishAlien [2 posts] 4 years ago
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The process of recognising a new, unwanted noise (principles of silence really do apply), spending a sunny afternoon in the garden resolving it, then heading back out to The Peaks to enjoy the splendor on my clean, free running custom build. Almost erotic?

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No-Chain [15 posts] 4 years ago
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The first time you sling your leg over your new bike.

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No-Chain [15 posts] 4 years ago
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The first time you sling your leg over your new bike.

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oliverjames [53 posts] 4 years ago
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Arrived last weekend in the Pays de Gex.

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oliverjames [53 posts] 4 years ago
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You missed; the ice cold beer on a sunny terrace after a full on ride.

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manonbianchi [1 post] 4 years ago
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When the doctor came in, saying you have broken two ribs, but your collegues report that your bike is unharmed  1

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ianrobo [1215 posts] 4 years ago
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When you have an event pencilled in for Sunday and see the weather forecast  16

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TramuntanaCycling [2 posts] 4 years ago
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I think you forgot to add Mallorca to the list  1

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Paul_C [583 posts] 4 years ago
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mcnoodle wrote:

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,

and next year you'll hopefully be below 14 stone?  1

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bzzbxx [12 posts] 4 years ago
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A stretch of new tarmac.

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Batchy [406 posts] 4 years ago
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The wiff of wild garlic .Yes! summer is fast approaching!

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Nat Jas Moe [189 posts] 4 years ago
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Being fast than the guy with the full carbon bike, you know the type - money no object - on my bottom of the range ally bike. Great pleasure always cause my engine is better than his no matter how light his bike is  1

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Ax-Pedition [1 post] 4 years ago
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Dropping to the bottom on the big ring and letting rip on a flat!

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Masterchief [25 posts] 4 years ago
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Going from old worn out 23c to new 25c tyres. Oh, the comfort!

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billy nomates [3 posts] 4 years ago
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SMOOTH TARMAC

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rikhad [1 post] 3 years ago
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The Fresh Tarmac Surge

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Clarkozy [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Pesto velo.

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Clarkozy [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Aah comfort. Every little helps... (I'm a newbie and looking to learn).

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Clarkozy [5 posts] 3 years ago
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All the gear and no idea...

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the nutcracker [28 posts] 4 months ago
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Riding in for an early shift at work in mid summer starting 0450 and it’s sunny and still and warm and it’s just you, the road, some good hills, the birds/sheep/cows and occasionally a deer or fox. 

 

Feeling fit and lean and fast in mid summer. 

 

Doing chaingangs with the local club guys when I always batter myself way to early and then wheel suck at the back for the last lap....but i feel good cos I kept the wheel of some fast f@ckers....coupled with that feeling of being part of a group of finely honed ‘athletes’ despite not being a racing snake (mainly just a solo commuter ) and basically hanging on for dear life the whole way round. That exhilaration of riding at 30mph 3 inches away from the back wheel of the peloton when u are knackered and hanging on for dear life. Mashocism at its best. 

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the nutcracker [28 posts] 4 months ago
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Riding in for an early shift at work in mid summer starting 0450 and it’s sunny and still and warm and it’s just you, the road, some good hills, the birds/sheep/cows and occasionally a deer or fox. 

 

Feeling fit and lean and fast in mid summer. 

 

Doing chaingangs with the local club guys when I always batter myself way to early and then wheel suck at the back for the last lap....but i feel good cos I kept the wheel of some fast f@ckers....coupled with that feeling of being part of a group of finely honed ‘athletes’ despite not being a racing snake (mainly just a solo commuter ) and basically hanging on for dear life the whole way round. That exhilaration of riding at 30mph 3 inches away from the back wheel of the peloton when u are knackered and hanging on for dear life. Mashocism at its best. 

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orbitgmx [29 posts] 4 months ago
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A royal wedding, they happen in summer, the roads are empty and there's no chance of you accidentally seeing the event.

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mingmong [318 posts] 4 months ago
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The gush of adrenaline in your cheeks when you flatten out of a steep, fast decent... WHOOSH

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 4 months ago
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Green traffic lights

On my last commute in, I actually wanted a red because I was a bit knackered, and also, I'd forgotten to attach the waist strap on my backpack.  If memory serves, it was about four miles in before I came across a single bloody red light, and that corresponds to fourteen sets of lights (one of which is temporary and one of which is actually a 'pedestrian and cyclist crossing').  I know this 'cos I just scooted through the video. 

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