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10 of the most annoying cycling habits

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There’s nothing better than getting out there with your friends, riding the roads less travelled and exploring the world by bike. Well, until one of them blows a snot rocket straight in your face.

We’re all guilty of at least one of these bad cycling habits, maybe even more. Here are some of the worst that we’ve experienced while riding with our friends…

1 – Snot rockets

Getting all bunged up while riding is part and parcel of cycling outdoors. What isn’t, however, is shooting a stream of snot into your friends’ faces. You’re going to have to clear your nose at some point, just make sure it’s into a hankie, jersey sleeve or nearby bush – your friends will thank you for it.



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2 – Wheel suckers

Part of riding in a group is taking the responsibility of leading the pack and doing your turn in the wind. It’s an unwritten rule that everyone contributes to the workload equally so when one person starts to skip turns, or just sit at the back of the group for the whole ride, it’s no surprise when everyone starts to get a little annoyed and frustrated.

3 – Lazy littering

You wouldn’t toss an empty drinks can while walking in the street, would you? Throwing a gel wrapper to the roadside while riding is no different, so if you see any of your group committing this cardinal sin then call them out! Mother Nature will thank you for your services.


4 – Taking Strava a little too seriously

There’s always that one rider in the group who takes Strava a little too seriously, whether it’s skipping ahead of the pack to chase a KOM or talking incessantly in your ear, telling you how far you’re behind their personal best up the local climb. One way to stop them barking on is to crush their time over all the local segments; they’ll soon admit defeat and give up their Strava obsession.


5 – Pre-ride faffing

Every single one of us is guilty of this bad cycling habit: faffing around before a ride looking for a lost shoe or misplaced glove. If you faff for long enough then your group may have to change the planned route, or worse still, leave you behind. If you do routinely come across pre-ride faffers, just make sure they take extra turns in the headwind sections, they’ll soon get the idea and prepare all their kit the night before.

6 – Skipping climbs

There’s a reason you plan an awesome route week in week out, so it can get quite annoying when half the group takes an impromptu detour to skip a certain climb. One of the unwritten rules in cycling is that the group must stick together, no matter the situation out on the road. If that means dragging your friends by their handlebar tape then so be it, the group stays together!


7 – Grinding the gears

We were all young once and able to grind massive gears without worrying about the effects it might have on our knees, let alone the chainset. Grinding away in the big ring does you and your bike no favours in the long run, good though it may feel to stack up youthful, often crippling, kilometres on the local climbs. If you spot a younger rider churning a high gear, encourage them to knock it down a bit and spin – that is how the Grand Tour winners ride after all.

8 – Breaking the rules

While some of these bad cycling habits could be argued one way or another, this one certainly can’t be: there are absolutely no excuses for breaking any laws while cycling. Skipping stop signs and red lights are the most common rules some cyclists break. If you see any of your group committing these atrocities, then chase them down and wag a finger right in their face – they’ll soon stop this bad habit.


9 – Poor maintenance

There’s always one person in the group who arrives with a dirty bike that squeaks and clicks with each and every pedal stroke. What’s more annoying than the incessant noise is the ignorance of the rider, refusing to clean their once beautiful machine. The next time they arrive with a dirty bike, stage an intervention and swing by the local car wash for a quick spray, rider and all.


10 – Crazy caller

Calling out oncoming cars and pointing out potholes is an important part of riding in a group. Some riders can take their role a little too seriously however, pointing to absolutely everything in the road and screaming at the top of their voice, ‘watch out for those stray leaves!’ If you can’t get them to calm it down, it might just be best to put them on the back of the group and out of earshot…


Have you witnessed any of these bad cycling habits or even committed any of them yourself? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, and if there are any more bad group cycling habits you think we’ve missed, we’d love to hear them.

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