AIBU to say that cycling mainly appeals to a certain demographic of men and they don’t understand that it’s quite boring for wives / partners / general public?

(267 Posts)
spokeinthewheel Mon 22-Jun-20 11:01:35

I can’t remember when it all started really, but my DH, like many men, has got hugely into cycling in recent years - to the extent he does competitions / charity rides all around the world, this kind of thing. Now, on the one hand, I’m delighted he’s found a way of relieving stress and keeping fit that suits his age (he’s upper 40s). He’s looking great from it, which is not a bad thing. He’s met loads of people through it as well, so good for him. I don’t mind when he goes off on 150 mile rides or whatever, as our kids are all 12+ now (we have 4).

I can’t really put into words what irks me, but there’s something about cycling and men of this age that is bordering on the mildly self-obsessed. I don’t just mean DH, I mean all the friends he has. They all congregate here a fair bit. They go on about shaving time off their records on some hill; or types of wheels etc. They are all on powder protein shakes and they go in about this as if it’s the end all and be all. They are on group chats too and there’s loads of them and they’re always doing stuff for charity. I know it sounds quite harmless and it is really, but I just find it a bit much. Of course there a far worse things they are doing and I realise this.

Basically, even when they’re cycling on their own, they are in a race on an app called Strava. Their are various routes all over the place everywhere and your time is logged. So DH will go out in the morning and come back and say he’s now first place in such and such in Green Park or some hill halfway to Brighton or something like that. Then one of his friends will be out trying to beat this time. And it just goes on and on, And they talk at length about their injuries too. We have 5 bikes in the garage and a ton of bric-a-brac parts. Sometimes he’s on certain diets so this is another thing, and when they congregate here, he asks me to make certain museli bars for them all (no I’m not joking). Or otherwise, they want this banana bread I make with yogurt. They are also quite competitive about their business interests and I do find it a bit cringe to be honest, even though they’re all perfectly pleasant in general terms. AIBU? DH is always watching videos about cycling too and planning his next trip. I don’t mind, but I do find it boring to be perfectly honest and I’m thinking about telling him not to go on and on. I don’t do on and on about my Pilates, for instance. I just go and come home.

OP’s posts: |
Hopeisnotastrategy Mon 22-Jun-20 11:13:47

Based on what one frequently sees on here, I think you're being quite restrained. A lot of men involved with cycling seem to be deeply obsessive, and consequentially neglectful or unkind towards their wives and families.

There is a reason why, whenever some long suffering spouse comes on here and complains about her husband's unreasonable behaviour due to his unspecified hobby "because it might be outing", everyone else nods and says, "Yup, cycling!"

lemonsandlimes123 Mon 22-Jun-20 11:18:53

Agree! i think cycling (small c) is a great way to keep fit, get about and enjoy the fresh air, on the other hand Cycling (capital C) is full of obsessives wearing lycra, acting selfishly and general being complete twats!

thecatfromjapan Mon 22-Jun-20 11:21:49


WhatWouldDominicDo Mon 22-Jun-20 11:23:50

I think cycling is the new fishing: a way for men to get away from their wives and families for a whole day under the guise of having a meaningful hobby.

Buttonsorbows Mon 22-Jun-20 11:24:55

I feel for you! I have a DP who’s recently got into a sport, plays a lot - fine, good for fitnesses, but also talks about it a LOT and watches it a lot including old footage where we already know the outcome.
On one hand I’m pleased DP has a hobby, and a healthy one, but fracking hell am I tired about hearing about it.
The one saving grace is it’s not that time consuming - 1 hr1.5 hrs at a time, 3-5 times a week - rather than whole days or weekends or weeks away.
and DP is good about doing early mornings or late in the day to fit j. With family stuff, work.
I have loads of friends with DPs who do the whole Strava thing and even I’m sick of listening to them talk about it...

Hollowgast Mon 22-Jun-20 11:30:45


Agree! i think cycling (small c) is a great way to keep fit, get about and enjoy the fresh air, on the other hand Cycling (capital C) is full of obsessives wearing lycra, acting selfishly and general being complete twats!

This is perfect.


AgeLikeWine Mon 22-Jun-20 11:34:56

Men who are obsessed with cycling are almost as bad as women who are obsessed with horses.


spokeinthewheel Mon 22-Jun-20 11:35:10

It’s not so much the cycling itself. It’s more the tendency they have that everyone should want to hear about it in great detail. They almost expect the wives to be kind of cheerleaders of it (of the non-dancing kind obviously). DH can’t understand why, as a family, we’re not all super-keen to fly somewhere like Azerbaijan to clap him over the finish line. I’ve told him, cycling is not a spectator sport - they just flash by in a second, that’s it, so what’s the point? What am I supposed to go after that, except just be stood in the middle of nowhere, like a lemon? But mainly, my issue is more that it just wouldn’t occur to me to tell anyone about the ins and outs of my Pilates, or whatever, because why would anyone give a hoot? And I wouldn’t be asking for special snacks / massages etc etc.

OP’s posts: |
namesnames Mon 22-Jun-20 11:38:32

There is definitely a 'type' and they do know it's boring for other people.

They just don't care.

PopPopPopPopPop Mon 22-Jun-20 11:38:38

I have lived a bike-free life since I divorced and it is wonderful

hamstersarse Mon 22-Jun-20 11:39:04

It's not purely a male sport. I am mid-40s, wear lycra, log and compete on Strava and disappear for hours on a ride.

Don't knock it til you've tried it

bluefoxmug Mon 22-Jun-20 11:40:50

cycling as mode of transport is great.
but what you describe is 'midlife panic hobby obsession' nothing to do with cycling per se. could be archery. could be angling.

cologne4711 Mon 22-Jun-20 11:43:25

I like cycling but in my experience cycling groups are male dominated and they go out for very long rides which you can't do unless you are retired and/or don't have young children. It becomes chicken and egg - my local cycling group did some beginners'/shorter rides but said they weren't popular enough (or people don't want to lead them because they want to do the aforementioned 4 hour rides).

Breeze is a good initiative for women who want to cycle - they do beginners up to advanced rides for women and it's quite possible to go out for an hour's ride.

Women could go out for 4 hour rides too, but it always seems to be women who facilitate men's hobbies rather than the other way round.

And there's no need to wear lycra - just padded shorts.

cyclingmad Mon 22-Jun-20 11:43:37


Agree! i think cycling (small c) is a great way to keep fit, get about and enjoy the fresh air, on the other hand Cycling (capital C) is full of obsessives wearing lycra, acting selfishly and general being complete twats!

People like you really need to drop the whole lycra bashing. There are bad cyclists no matter what they wear. We wear lycra because it doesn't cause chafing and wicks away sweat better. Lycra has nothing to do with a person's attitude or behaviour it's the right choice of clothing for those who do alot of cycling.

Brefugee Mon 22-Jun-20 11:45:16

Why not tell him about your Pilates or whatever?
Just say "yes, DH, I'm really happy you're pleased but i only need the headlines not the whole article"

OlivejuiceU2 Mon 22-Jun-20 11:47:57

Really don’t understand this MN hatred towards cycling. My DP and his friends all enjoy cycling as one of their hobbies.
I’m happy for him to have a hobby he enjoys, is healthy and is not hours and hours spent drinking in the pub!

cyclingmad Mon 22-Jun-20 11:49:52

Infact OP you should talk to him more about pilates as it would help with stretching and flexibility that is good for cyclists who ride alot.

Ellisandra Mon 22-Jun-20 11:49:54

It’s not cycling, it’s your husband.
Mine’s out on 70 miler now. He’ll get back and we’ll chit chat about the conditions, anything interesting he saw out with about (like cafés re-opening, larger groups forming again) and he’ll probably tell me if he’s got a PB on a section, according to Strava. All good. I think he’s far more the typical hobby cyclist than your husband.

You have a husband problem, not a cycling problem!

lemonsandlimes123 Mon 22-Jun-20 11:50:52

cyclingmad - to be fair it is a very specific type of lycra I am alluding to! By all means people should wear the appropriate clothing for the sport and I have no problem with someone wearing a pair of lycra cycling shorts and a cycling top if they are heading out for a nice long ride. What I am talking about is Colin from Chertsey wearing a lycra all in one covered in branding and 'sponsorship' as if he is taking part in the Tour De France.

hamstersarse Mon 22-Jun-20 11:52:09

Women could go out for 4 hour rides too, but it always seems to be women who facilitate men's hobbies rather than the other way round.

And there's no need to wear lycra - just padded shorts.

I do both of these things - go for 4 hour rides (last one on Saturday we were out for 5 hours - a group of 4 'mums') and wear lycra (see pp point about chaffing)

The whole post is pretty sexist, presuming women don't do these things.

dontdisturbmenow Mon 22-Jun-20 11:52:58

Life can get quite monotonous when you hit the mid 40s. You've accomplished all or most of what you've set to in your earlier years.

For people who are naturally ambitious, it's a hard thing to accept. Getting into a sport and becoming competitive gets you that feeling you used to when you achieved something you worked hard for. When you do, it releases endorphins that makes you feel great. It gives you a purpose, a direction, something to work hard on and get rewarded for it.

Women as a while find it harder to understand because they are on average not as ambitious and success driven as men.

I personally decided to join in. Its a nice feeling to get that 'good feeling' from it rather than through a glass or more of wine in the evening. Being fit and slim is also quite satisfying.

I personally feel sorry for these men's wives who resent them for looking after themselves physically mentally and psychotically.

RenegadeMrs Mon 22-Jun-20 11:53:06

DP loves cycling, but yes, had to give up the long rides once we had kids and I started to insist on an hour per hour recreation time share. I also enjoy cycling, but when you have a young family and work full time it needs to be 1-2 hours not all day rides.

I'm currently pregnant again and he's not done much excercise at all in lockdown, and has just started tinkering with the bike again. I'm due in a week hmm so I think the same conversation might need to be had again soon.

cyclingmad Mon 22-Jun-20 11:53:48

But so flipping what over just bought the all in one because it's better than separates. And maybe that design appealed to that person.

I personally choose not to wear those covered in branding but I have a different style. Other people like it.

Still doesnt chnage thr fact that no matter whether its branded or not it has no relation to the person's attitude.

hamstersarse Mon 22-Jun-20 11:54:04

Might i say that I wish ALL tops were lycra cycling tops - the pockets are insanely useful and brilliant

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