Talk like a cyclist

A guide to help you decipher the lingo of the road cycling clique

Written by Verita Stewart, Ella CyclingTips

Have you ever been sitting in a café, in a bike shop or stopped at the traffic lights and overheard a conversation between cyclists and thought to yourself…

What the hell are they on about?! I have.

When you’re new to riding or racing, cycling lingo can feel like a foreign language. This handy guide will help you understand cyclists and learn to sound like one, too.

There I was, wide-eyed and eager, riding with a bunch of mates out to the Dandenongs when my riding partner said to me: “Will you quit half-wheeling?” And I had absolutely no idea what it was I needed to stop doing.

And thus begun was my introduction to what can seem like the ever-so-mysterious cycling lingo to the uninitiated.

I asked for the definition of “half-wheeling” and learned that this very, very annoying action is riding about a half-wheel ahead of the person next you. It’s a bunch riding faux-pas of which I’m still guilty of on occasion.

From there the new terms came fast and furious. The more and more I rode my bike, the more immersed I got in cycling culture, the more I encountered the lingo. I’ve become a quick study of the cycling language.

After speaking with my Specialized Securitor teammates, I have put together a list of terms that you may hear and their most commonly accepted definitions. As always, the comment section is a great place to add to my list or let me know where you agree/disagree.

For more, see Ella CyclingTips.