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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 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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DaveG [50 posts] 4 years ago
2 likes

The Sun on your back.

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STATO [568 posts] 4 years ago
3 likes

Seeing the world in a way that most people will just never experience/understand.

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Daveyraveygravey [702 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Beer and pies are pretty high up too! Nailing the downhill s-bends, uploading your rides and seeing how you did, getting out when it looked a bit windy/miserable/cold/wet and enjoying it anyway, that shagged out feeling after a long ride...

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stenmeister [357 posts] 4 years ago
5 likes

Fresh tarmac.

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Bez [619 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

The wind in your hair. Remember that? You can still do it and it's better than ever.

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mingmong [324 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Mallorca  105

Anything steel  8

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thebobajob [22 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

The smug feeling of nailing a steep climb when even those walking are struggling - momentarily pretending you are fine (cheery hello and shallow breathing) when inside you are crying.

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sfichele [140 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Quiet, tranquil roads...

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ibike [166 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Riding a car(e)-free route.

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jon86boi [18 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Overtaking a car... yeeeeeeeeaaahhh boy!  16

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BSausage [32 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Guilt-free eating and beer-drinking!

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pants [239 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Pretending to be winning a imaginary something when i am certain no one is watching by putting my hands up in the air, or do the running man.

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ladystannard [5 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Feeling so righteous settling to a crepe and coffee at the top of a French col when everyone else has driven or motorcycled up  4

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lindow_man [8 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

A cleanly executed hands-free nose clearance at high speed always does it for me.

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n8udd [49 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Being able to eat what I want guilt free after a ride!

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mtm_01 [203 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Number 12, love beating the fellow commuters, especially when they're all geared up and I'm just in my work suit.

I'm especially mean in that I let them have a head start and then pick my moment to come past as calmly as possible....never turn down a chance to race!

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mbrads72 [241 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Silky smooth tarmac.  16

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caaad10 [190 posts] 4 years ago
2 likes

The SMELL! especially when it marks the changing of the seasons. Even in town (I imagine)...

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Lee Pearce [4 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Upside down 13.

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stuartforrest [6 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Early season fitness, if you've built it or hung onto it, and the first few rides of the spring with it in shorts again cannot be beaten.

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fennesz [161 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Those moments when you realize that nothing could be better - you're happy.

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EnglishmanAbroad [45 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Bez wrote:

The wind in your hair. Remember that? You can still do it and it's better than ever.

This, and a bit of sun as well.

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CXR94Di2 [2739 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

All of the above  4

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rjfrussell [529 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Shorts and short sleeves for the first time of the year.

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willothewisp [6 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

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

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flathunt [246 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Saying "Thanks, appreciate your support" when you're going past a bus stop and the people in it are hailing the bus behind you.

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s_lim [223 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

- Attaching numbers to your back pockets and getting that feeling of nervous anticipation
- Procrastinating in working picking out the perfect new bike
- Waiting for the end of the club run when the half-wheeling starts and chaos ensues

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farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
1 like
rjfrussell wrote:

Shorts and short sleeves for the first time of the year.

I think that should come with a slight caveat. Finishing, comfortably, a ride in shorts and short sleeves for the first time of the year is a great feeling.

Often the weather tempts you out of the crease and you end up having to fight your way home with far too much bare skin on show to the freezing rain that suddenly whipped in to say hello.

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CoDrvr [6 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Post-ride allantoin creme application.

 19

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trekker12 [42 posts] 4 years ago
2 likes

The first test ride on a new bike (that you've assembled yourself)

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