Cycling in your 20s

Anyone with access to two wheels can jump on a bike, breeze around the city or country and enjoy all the delights the velocipede can offer.

That being the case, there are also some pretty key things you learn if you don the lycra a few moons earlier than the stereotypical road rider.

The (often mis-)perception is that cycling is reserved for those advancing in years, but on rare days you might catch a glimpse of the mythical creature – a cyclist in their mid-20s.

While running around interviewing pros at a recent cycling event, a flattering member of the public asked “are you training to be a journalist?”, to which I responded “no, I am one.”

They then explained that I was young for a cycling journalist, which set me thinking about the nuances of the cycling world for the younger generation.

Here are a few things you learn pushing the pedals before your prime.

Cycling is not always a welcome universe for anyone hoping to save a few pennies, which makes it testing for those who don’t own many pennies at all.

Many riders in their 20s will know the hardship of the twin ambitions of trying to kickstart a career AND trying to keep your bike above the standard of roadie ridicule.

When (more financially viable) club-mates compare their state-of-the-art whale technology carbon rims, you might have to slink off into the background to avoid admitting how much your wheels actually cost, or that you got them from Gumtree.

Over the years you can build up a pretty decent array of quality kit, enough to pass the preliminary peer exams at least, but that leaves you praying that nothing breaks and holds you back on the road to cycling’s upper classes.

Even then, winter is always coming and leaves you with the age old dilemma – do you buy a winter bike, ride your best through the bleakest months, or just pack it up and accept your fate until spring?

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