There are some words and phrases that have been appropriated by some of the cycling community which always make me smile when I hear them or see people using them in social media.  I imagine that in my time I may well have been guilty myself but let’s list a few of them


These are examples of times when it is acceptable to use this word

  1. When describing what you are about to do to an object. “Help, there’s a fire. I’m going to smash the glass on that fire alarm!”
  2. When describing a tasty 70’s snack. “This Smash is so much nicer than real mashed potato.”
  3. Possibly whilst watching a 70’s Saturday afternoon wrestling match.  “Mick McManus has just hit Giant Haystacks with a forearm smash!”
  4. Watching Andy Murray lose another final.  “Great smash by Djokovic/Federer/Nadal!”

Unless you are a professional or elite rider please do not say any of the following. Even if you are a professional or elite rider, please use sparingly

“Going out on my bike and I’m going to smash it.” (unless example 1 above applies but why would you want to do that!?)

“I smashed that strava segment.” (strava w*nker?)

“I’m starving, I’m going to smash my dinner/some cake/chocolate”



They are your legs.  The only person you are only fooling is yourself.



A steed.

Ade's Road Cycling Blog

Not a steed.


Audax Specific Words

Short Ride – 200km or less

Long Ride – 400km or more

Ride – anything else

Rolling – used to describe a ride that involves thousands of feet of climbing with little or no respite

Undulating – the profile looks like shark’s teeth and you’d better have at least 34-28…

A bit hilly – Himalayas

Running Repair – where the top tube has come away from the head tube and is held together by a piece of chewing gum and a ziptie (“It’ll be good for another 100k…”)

Expensive – any cafe where a cup of tea is more than 50p

Carradice – Tardis-like seatpack with the capacity to hold most of your bike shed – usually just has your sandwiches and some zipties in it

Time Trial Specific Words

CdA – want less of this.  Don’t know what it is but am prepared to pay lots for less of it

Watts – want more of this but that takes hard work.  Think I can get round this by buying less of the above.  Repeat ad infinitum…

Cyclocross Specific Words

A bit muddy – Glastonbury on a very, very wet day

Muddy – Glastonbury after a week of very wet days

Technical – like trying to thread yourself on your bike through the eye of a needle.  With 100 other riders all at the same time.

Tricky Descent – 45% muddy drop lined with protruding tree roots and a 90deg turn at the bottom

Tyre Pressure – you want less of this for the mud and more for the tree roots.  At the same time.


If you use these terms, good for you, I’m only having a bit of fun.  Leave a comment with any other cycling terms that make you smile.  Anyway, my pistons feel great today. Lots of watts. I’m off out on my favourite steed to smash a few strava segments on an undulating short ride.  That’s numberwang… 


  1. Colin Fletcher · June 17, 2016

    Like it. My contribution would be “peddles” and referring to the bike as “she”. And …I didn’t think you would be old enough to remember the vaguely potato tasting snack you refer to..!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Human Cyclist · June 17, 2016

    Like it. I love the way we all appropriate language to convince ourselves and others that were er, epic. Guns = legs

    Any French word except dérailleur. Bidon. Chapeau.

    I’m also trying to get used to this cycling obsession with kilometres rather than good old miles.

    Geez I sound like a brexiter for cycling with some of those!

    Liked by 1 person

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