7 Weird Habits And Superstitions Of Professional Cyclists

7 Weird Habits And Superstitions Of Professional Cyclists


– I’m not a huge fan
of superstition myself. The idea that all of your hard work, dedication, and talent could be undone by forgetting one simple task or not even carrying a lucky charm just seems preposterous to me. – Yeah, but some people love them, Chris. So coming up are the weirdest
superstitions that we know of. Hmm. – Now you might be wondering
why I’m spending so long in the bath the day before
the racing shaving my legs, but don’t worry, it’s not
going to soften my muscles. And it’s not going to
cost any extra energy to grow back the hairs
that I’m shaving off. This was the belief of riders
for years and years and years. And when we were younger,
we were always told never shave your legs
the day before a race. In reality, my legs are
going to look smoother, they’ll look better,
they’ll look stronger, and because of that, I’m
likely to go better on my bike. Now leave me to it, and close
the door on the way out. One of the most baffling
things you’ll ever see at a pre-race hotel is little balls of dough all across the table. The belief being that our
stomachs couldn’t possibly digest the inner, doughy part of bread. Not only that, but bread legs. Bread legs are basically your own legs, just a little more swollen
and slightly puffier. Basically full of bread. The belief being my
old-school team managers that this was a bad thing. In reality, though, swollen,
sore muscles are probably your muscles full of the
carbohydrate consumed in bread. Therefore, bread legs must
actually be good legs. – Putting your numbers
on the day of the race. Most big races, you get
your numbers the day before, which allows you to relax and
chill and put your numbers on when you’ve got loads of time. Where Chris, on the other hand, believed that if he had a mad rush to pin his numbers on the day of a race that that would spike his energy levels and he would have a better race. Yeah, not sure I believe that one. – If you’re designated
number 13 in a race, you are to wear it upside-down. This has been a longstanding tradition in the world of cycling
and it is, therefore, incredibly rare to see two
number 13’s the correct way up. And finally, one of my favorites is from a former teammate,
Marcin Bialoblocki. He would take his race numbers and calculate his results
based on a variety of calculations he could
make from the digits. 35, for example, could be five
minus three equaling second. 66 could become six divided
by six equals first. Quite a funny one if you ask me. But mental arithmetic was a way to keep himself busy on the team bus. Lucky socks or, if it
was your favorite race of the year, brand new socks. There’s nothing like
sliding into a fresh pair of socks in the form of your life at the race you’ve been
targeting all season. And that goes for skinsuits,
undervests, gloves, and glasses or anything else, too. New shoes, everybody loves new shoes. It just adds to that feeling
of being absolutely invincible at your favorite event of the year. Except of course, if your new socks or shoes happen to be
white and it’s raining. Nothing prepares you for the pain of destroying those new
shoes and socks on race day. Something I personally
did, which I haven’t really considered a superstition at the time, was to reuse kit that
I’ve either won races in or at least had results I was proud. I refuse to call it
superstition to this day. But I’d use the same
undervest, gloves, or glasses almost religiously after that good result. – Something you’ll often
see in the pro peloton is pros wearing charms or trinkets in the form of necklaces, bracelets, or even stickers on their
helmets or on their saddles. Now this could be a fashion statement or it could be a true believe that they really can’t ride without it. – [Chris] Talking of carrying
trinkets on the bike, Cancellara famously flashed
his angel to the cameras on the way to his victory in
the 2010 Tour of Flanders. He’s not alone in carrying a lucky charm and showing it off as
he blasts to victory. – Who knows how or why but some riders feel they have to stick to a certain order when putting on their clothing. For example, right arm
before the left arm. And they feel that will give them a performance advantage
when out on the bike. – Never, ever attack the leader’s jersey when they have a nature break. I can see both sides of this one. Whilst it’s a great sign of respect to the leader not to attack them when they need to relieve
themselves, surely they could just time their toilet stops a little more. I mean, just because
you’re leading the race, it shouldn’t hold you up on a pedestal that deserves special treatment. Maybe once you’ve won the race you can elevate yourself
to that sort of status. Many years ago, I had won a bike race and the meal I had
before that was a pizza. So now, before every race I do, my pre-race meal has to be a pizza. Ooh. I know, it makes no sense, does it? I won the race because I had good legs, not because I had pizza. But that is how superstitions work. Oh, I have been looking forward to this. Whoa! Hank, where? Where’s my pizza? You know I can’t win without pizza. Let us know in the comments box down below if any of these frankly
bizarre superstitions strike a cord with you. Maybe there are a few that you would like to share with us that
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