From The Blog

blog

Cycling Jargon

Half-wheeling

This is not something you particularly want to get caught doing when your out with others. Half-wheeling is the particularly irritating habit of sticking half of your wheel out in front of your fellow riders. It seems like a fairly harmless action but in actuality it’ll cause the overall pace to gradually quicken until a point where everybody’s absolutely shattered and the entire ride has been ruined all because you just wouldn’t get in line. I hope you’re happy.

Chain Gang

The place in which you certainly want to avoid half-wheeling, the chain gang isn’t a group of stripe clad prisoners chipping away at rocks in this case but rather a formation in which rider line up in order to slipstream each other when out for a hard ride. Not for the faint of heart and can be very tricky for beginners. You’ll want to give yourself a good amount of practice and do so with a group of people you trust, it requires teamwork in order to avoid silly mishaps and accidents which can occur when someone decides to be reckless.

Bonking

This does not involve any funny business out there on the roads so clean that dirty mind up right now. No bonking is more like ‘hitting the wall’, when you just don’t feel you’re able to go on anymore and likely just wait somewhere feeling very sorry for yourself until you can ride again. This is pretty common in your earlier days of riding but can still haunt you later if you don’t watch those energy levels or bite of a bit more than you can chew in terms of distance or incline. Not to mention the times those pesky half-wheelers join you.

Testers

Testers, often tied to other expressions like ‘contre-le-montre’ and the even more pretentious term ‘the race of truth’, is actually far less ridiculous than you may expect. It actually refers to a time trial and the cyclists that ride them. You’ll usually see these things going on wherever you imagined people weren’t allowed to cycle, like your local bypass.

Chammy

At some point someone may ask you to cream your chammy, don’t be alarmed. I don’t know why cycling jargon has such an affinity with the lude and crude but the word ‘chammy’ is actually referring to the chamois in your shorts, aka the padding that helps soften the blow of that sometimes-crippling saddle of yours. The cream is applied to prevent any chafing, sores or sometimes even worse whilst you’re out there on the road.

Echelon

Sort of the reverse of a chain gang, when cross winds approach the chain gang formation becomes rather pointless, instead a group of cyclists may form a line side by side in order to shelter each other from the stiff breeze. If the chain gang was hard mode this is expert level and can be very daunting for beginners, again you’ll want to practice before entering the echelon.