The 6-year cycling cycle

Of the numerous crackpot theories I espouse, my favorite is the 6-year cycling cycle. This law says that most people will quit cycling after six years. For some it will be five, for some seven, and a few will dangle out at the decade mark, but for the most part six years is the lifespan of a cycling enthusiast.

Here’s how it works:

Year 1: Amazing progress. Faster, stronger, leaner, Strava-er.

Year 2: Solid progress on the Stravver, huge progress with the equipment. Carbon, e-Tap, more carbon. Carbon flakes for your oatmeal. Make a few friends.

Year 3: Progress not so much but still notable thanks to Praise From Coach. Friendships and cycling social life go crazy. What a great bunch of people! Wow! This community is amazing!

Year 4: Plateau on the Stravver. Garage and bedroom now full. Okay, not everyone is so wonderful. But there are certain groups that are ME. And, cyclocross.

Year 5: Work got busy. Kiddie soccer suddenly became a thing. S/O not quite as interested in the group ride stories any more or those office park crits. Cyclists are pretty much dicks.

Year 6: Tennis/golf/surfing/pilates. Amazing progress. Faster, stronger, better, funner.

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END

16 thoughts on “The 6-year cycling cycle”

  1. Aw…I’m in an injured slump😩 3 weeks of quadricep tendonitis and I cannot ride. Lost fitness & any friends😭 I’m a lifer tho, I started riding in 1997

    Cheers & thanks for so many funny words

  2. For bicycle racing, I am in year 7, at one competition / year. Considering quitting. But for Bicycling, I’ve been doing it at least 45 years, since the days when I had to get cross-town to little league practice. No sign of that ending any time soon.

  3. I loved racing bikes. Wanted to have my children share that love. My racer buddies shared that same wish….however, few of our kids ride much, and none race:
    Why? ….the good question….
    Short answer: It’s time consuming and expensive. Which is why me and my racer pals are all cyclists, but none of us race anymore. Always has been time consuming, but the cost prohibits young women and men from even entering the sport.

    1. There is also a huge demographic shift. When we were kids, babies were booming. There was an excess of kids, they were cheap, and they were basically set loose to do whatever they wanted. All rode bikes, and some fell into road racing. We now are a nation of crotchety old fucks. Our population growth, although not negative, is strictly coming from immigration and the families of immigrants. Non-immigrants have few kids, if any, and those kids are precious, incredibly expensive commodities that cost a fortune to school and rear. You’re going to risk that investment on a sport that is fraught with injury, danger, that has zero future of any meaningful kind, is rife with drugs, is crazily expensive, and devours countless hours that your child could be using to make an A in Pre-Calc and boost his chances on getting into an overpriced, overrated, status symbol college? Uh, no. No fucking way.

  4. Call me a nit-picking fug, but it would seem that, by your very timeline, they quit cycling after 5 years. Me? My brain is the size of flax seed, so I have been cycling for 40+ years. Oh the time I have devoted to this…

  5. Over 15 years for me (albeit a bit on and off a bit based on family), and I would say cycling really gets its hooks into folks with addictive and/or dogmatic personalities…

  6. I figured out that most cyclists are dicks way up there at Year Two, so I’m hoping that buys me a couple extra years riding. Also, i just sank some serious bank in a CX racing bike, so I need a couple more year for ROI.

  7. what year does doping enter the “diet”?
    waiting to hear your take on the 50 yr old Cat 5 husband and wife anabolic steroid doping duo that recently got banned. 🙂

    1. Working on some political anti-bike stuff right now, but the lovely wonder doping couple are in the queue!

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