The fact you landed on this page tells me you have a heart with ten speeds. While there are many different types of cyclists, we still understand the way the other thinks. Meanwhile, trying to share this passion with non-cyclists can be difficult and frustrating. If you have to socialize with people who never ride bikes, there are some basic tips to follow.

1. Avoid Jargon

Nothing will confuse your gas guzzling friends as much as lingo they don’t understand. Whether it’s bunch sprints, beaters, cadence, roadies, clip-ins, or brain buckets, they won’t have any idea what you’re talking about. Try to slow down and remove put yourself in their shoes. If you actually explain what you are talking about, they may be more interested.

2. Try to understand their “unique” world view

They may call what you do “just exercise” and that’s okay. They don’t understand that cycling is a way of life and probably can’t understand how much you love it. They probably think that their twenty minutes on the treadmill is just as worthwhile, or that your bike is the same as their $50 Walmart bike. Be patient with them, they just don’t know better.

3. Try to relate to them

Since they are going to have difficulty understanding what you are talking about or how much it means to you, it can benefit you to talk in terms they can understand. One blogger relates it beautifully, ”

  • To describe how it feels to ride down perfectly banked, twisty forested singletrack on a cool autumn morning: “It’s like that scene from Return of the Jedi where Luke and Leia are zooming on their flying motorcycle things. Except you’re the one powering the flying motorcycle. And you’re not being chased by stormtroopers. And you don’t have to tolerate the constant chattering of Ewoks.”

If they don’t understand cycling or Star Wars, you may start questioning your friendship with this person. To relate why you pay to compete in races you won’t win, you can ask them why they play the lotto or join that march madness pool every year.

4. Be patient with doping theories

Most non-cyclists know 3 things about cycling; Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and doping. Unfortunately, with the recent news coverage on cycling, these 3 topics have converged into 1 topic. Inevitably after you reveal you are a cyclists, your friends will attempt to engage you in the 1 thing they now know. Pretend like you haven’t heard their particular theory or opinion on doping. They’ll usually ramble on basically saying that “doping is not good.”

5. Keep the price under wraps

It will be hard for the less enlightened to accept that your bike cost more than their Ipad.  They will cringe to hear that your finely tuned conqueror of miles costs more than a notebook sized device they use to play chopsticks and angry birds on. While it doesn’t make sense, it is unavoidable. A scientifically proven number that will raise the least number of eyebrows is $499. This is not so high as to freak them out, but believably high for a nice bike.

In the end, non-cyclists are a part of life we have to learn to cope with. Honestly, it may just be easier to only associate with people who share your passion. If you want to learn more about bike laws in Utah, we have a free book all about being safe and educated about biking in Utah. Please contact as at 801-506-0800.