TCI Friday

TCI Friday is an open forum. The topic is here, but it’s waiting for your input below.

Even churning uphill on a Saturday morning, side-by-side, out-of-breath, my bike friends and I are talking about bikes. If I heard a recording of the conversation later, I’m sure I’d barf. You would, too.

It goes something like this:

Me: “Huffpuff…Hey…how do you like those tires?”

Him: “Yeah, they’re ok <blows nose>. I like them. They roll alright, and I’ve never had a flat with them, so…”

Me: “<Sounds of strangulation>…I was thinking of getting a pair.”

Him: “Yeah. Good.”

And on like this about every little thing on the bike, for hours and hours, with occasional breaks to discuss other places we’d rather be riding, how much we failed to eat before leaving on this ride, and ideal locales we need to make a plan to ride at a later date.

My wife hears the beginnings of this chat when we’re at cookouts and looks at me and says, “Bleep, Blarp!” and walks away. She’s heard enough. I’m sure I have too, and yet the conversation finds me. Sometimes I try to resist the bait, but I have opinions, and they are DYING to get out.

I used to think I was some sort of expert on cycling stuff, but as time has worn on, I see that mostly I get information from my friends on long rides. I’m almost only ever repeating things they’ve said.

This week’s TCI Friday asks, do you talk bikes? JK. JK. I know you do. What do you talk about with your cycling friends? Or are you one of those lonely souls with no cycling friends? Who else could you bleep/blarp to? Strangers on the bus?

This TCI Friday brought to you by the letter ‘U,’ and the homies at Shimano North America.

Join the conversation
  1. DaveinME says

    My two serious buddies and I talk about cycling all the time via text or while riding. One of the guys and I just got our first gravel ride in, and there are many things to unpack about that. We are now trying to get the last guy to get gravel so we’ll have an experienced crew on the road and gravel.
    When we are in social situations with our spouses, nothing changes, and we keep chatting about bikes! We are all working on that though so we don’t continue to dominate conversations about our bikes and rides!

  2. tcfrog says

    Gravel rides are always full of conversation on how bikes are performing in various terrain, and talks about where we want to try riding next.

  3. spokejunky says

    It depends on the ride. If I’m riding with someone who’s never ridden the route I point out turns for the next few miles along with what to watch out for safety wise. I almost always ride the route solo and get to know it before I see if anyone else wants to go. I do this so I know bailouts or don’t need a Garmin to get me from A to B. The other rides are usually with someone who is as big of a bike nerd and we talk about new things we’ve used and if we like them. I’ve given up on providing opinion unless pointedly asked about a thing. Then it goes: “I wrote a song about it, like to hear it? Here it go…” I have used and abused the gamut of bike stuff and have found what works for me. That’s key, what works for me doesn’t always work for someone else.

  4. Barry Johnson says

    I have found the older my riding companions the more varied the topics. Maybe we’re just sick of all the shop talk and self impose the Bleep Blarp

  5. dr sweets says

    Talking to non-cyclists about cycling junk goes as well as speaking with anyone about some niche topic they are not acquainted with. The eyes glaze over rapidly. My close cycling pals have become friends of mine outside of cycling so we speak about all sorts of (silly? niche? offensive? yes.) stuff. Anything is fair game. In contrast, very few people I know have similar music tastes so I don’t bother/bore them with that no more than tangentially. Furthermore, I and imagine most long time riders know what kind of rider they are and will tend to ride mostly with similar riders. For example, I’ll ride with anyone, but I ride the way I ride regardless of my company. That said if I’m in a group we generally will ride to the average speed of everyone and leaving no one behind. I am not a fast climber nor much of a fan of XC pursuits. Errryone has their thing, but that is not mine nor my pals cup of java.

  6. scottg says

    The people I ride with aren’t interested in bike talk.
    Aside from when the bike is making odd noises.
    The important question is brownie or bacon at the mid ride break.

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