A colleague of mine at work, who is not a cyclist, wanted to understand how I could sit on a bike for hours at a time with my mates doing the same. He doesn’t understand my (and all other cyclist’s) two wheel passion. I don’t mind that as he is passionate about different sports and activities and we share a common passion of seeing our boys do activities. But when he asked what we talk about when I go for a ride, that got me thinking.

Even when riding in a group I spend a lot of time concentrating on… well riding. Am I breathing right, am I pushing myself enough, what is coming up next on the road or trail, are there other obstacles that could come from left field and cause me troubles. But invariably there are times when the route is long and flat and you simply have to stay upright and it gives you the opportunity to have a chat. Quite often we are giving each other a heads up or instructions on what is ahead or an obstacle / pothole. We push each other by saying things like “time to hit this hill”, or “there is a Strava segment ahead that I am going to go for.” Invariably I am catching up on what has been going down with my mates. Usually there is a funny story or three, and lots of stuff to basically catch up on.

And the tall stories are sometimes quite humorous. My brother and his crew down in Melbourne who I always try to ride with every opportunity I can are hilarious. There is always a clanger that comes out and when he spoke to me earlier in the week and told me what happened last weekend I was nearly crying in laughter. It has been quite cold of recent months (being Winter and all) and there has been a bit winter clothing fashion parade going on with new gear on show. The response is usually of admiration to a cool new piece of clothing, jacket, or something skin tight that could keep a body warm at minus 10 degrees Celsius. But when one of the crew (who I shall not name) had forgotten to wash his thermal bib-tights rocked up in colourful knee high woolen socks along with his regular bib shorts – it was on. The banter quickly turned to teasing and ribbing for said cyclist’s fashion sense. The punchline was when he was appointed the title of Liberace (I am sure that if Liberace were still alive that he would have been mortified to have been associated with this crime against lycra). But the joke that had me coiled over in laughter was that they dished out a further name appointment and decided as a group that from that point his bike would be known as the “Candelabra”.

That’s right, not “Cancellara” – but “Candelabra”!

No doubt the resemblance between the two items, bike frame and candelabra, will resonate for years to come.

So yes, we cyclists might go for many long moments in silence just hammering on the pedals. But when we chat – it sometimes produces hilarity. As for our riding mate… it is going to be difficult for him to shake the moniker and there is absolutely no chance of the bike losing its new name.