|"I relax by taking my bicycle apart and putting it back together again." Michelle Pfeiffer
What does it mean?
A Glossary of Terms...and slang and all kinds of things you need to know
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
air n. space between the tires and the ground. (Both tires must be off the ground or it isn't "air".) Said to be caught or gotten, often involuntarily.
babyheads pl. n. roundish rocks which tend to be found in a loose jumble on hairpin corners or other difficult-to-negotiate sections of trail. Similar to death cookies but bigger.
bail v. to jump off in order to avoid an imminent crash.
bomb v. to ride with wild disreagard to personal safety.
bonk v. to run out of energy or grow exhausted on a ride.
brain bucket n. helmet
bunny hop v. to lift both wheels off the ground by crouching down and then exploding upward, pulling the bike with you. Useful for clearing obstructions, such as curbs, potholes, logs.
cadence n. the rate at which the crank arms are spun while riding.
century n. a 100 mile bike ride, usually on the road
chainsuck n. condition when the bike chain gets jammed between the frame and the chain rings, or when the chainring is so worn that it holds onto the chain and lifts it up to meet the incoming part of the chain.
chamois n. the padding in bike shorts that is meant to cushion one’s privates but often results in the dreaded diaper butt.
clean v. to negotiate a trail successfully without crashing or dabbing. "I cleaned that last section."
clipless adj. misleading name for a pedal-and-shoe system where the clips or cleats clip onto the soles of special shoes. Called "clipless" because they replaced toe clips.
clip out v. to disengage one's shoe from a clipless pedal.
criterium (crit) n. a massed start, high-speed bicycle race events in which riders race around a closed circuit racecourse. Criteriums are usually held on closed streets. The racecourse is normally one-half to one mile in length. Have been known to be riden naked.
dab v. to put a foot down in order to catch your balance on a difficult section of trail. "I made it without crashing, but I had to dab once."
death cookies n. fist-sized rocks that knock your bike in every direction but the one you want to proceed in.
derailleur n. the parts that move the chain and change gears, one in the front and one in the rear.
dialed in adj. when a bike is set up nicely and everything works just right.
digger n. faceplant.
double track n. a dirt road used by four-wheeled vehicles rarely enough that their tires have made ruts that became parallel singletracks.
draft v. to ride behind another rider or a motor vehicle. "When I was drafting you down that huge-ass hill, you were pedaling madly while I barely had to turn the cranks!"
endo n. the maneuver of flying unexpectedly over the handlebars, thus being forcibly ejected from the bike. The bike term for “ass over teakettle”.
epic n. a ride that lasts 6 or more hours, involves an unexpected snow storm, and results in multiple flat tires, bloody knees, and other carnage. Often initiated with the phrase “let’s go for a quick spin”.
face plant n. hitting the ground face first.
first blood n. credit to the first rider in a group who crashes and starts bleeding as a result.
front wheelie n. a trick where the rider applies the front brake and lifts the back wheel off the ground; this is the basis for many BMX tricks.
granny gear n. the lowest gear available on a bike, which only a grandmother would need to use; designed for steep uphill climbing, but extremely easy to pedal in on flat ground.
gravity check n. a fall or crash
hamburger n. the condition of skin, post crash, when geological contact was made with sharp rocks such as on a shale skree slope.
hammer v. to ride fast and hard. Also to "put the hammer down."
hardtail n. any bike with front suspension but no rear suspension.
HOHA n. Hateful Old Hikers Association. "HOHA members hate mountain bicyclists with a fervor exceeding that of rabid wolverines."
huck v. to jump off something. Most often used by boys with very large pants and very small brains.
involuntary dismount n. a crash
launch v. to jump very high, also known as “to catch big air”.
lid n. helmet.
line n. the desirable path or strategy to take on a tricky trail section.
nipple n. the nut at the end of a spoke that nobody knows the real name for.
organ donor n. someone who rides without a helmet.
out and back n. a ride where the return is a retracing of the route in.
paceline n. A single file of riders, each of which takes his turn battling the wind at the front.
peloton n. the large, aerodynamicly efficient, and extremely fast pack of riders near the front in a road race, also known as the field.
pull v. to ride at the front of a group of riders, where there is no protection from wind resistance.
quick-release n. bolts with levers attached, for easy adjustment and removal of wheels and seat height
rag doll v. to wreck in such a way that one's person is tossed like a flimsy scrap of cloth. "Did you see me rag doll back there? I think I pierced my ear on a tree branch.”
Ride On! n. a parting phrase used by riders with out much else to say.
rigid n. a bike with no suspension
road rash n. contact dermatitis; an allergic reaction of skin to moving asphalt
schwag or shwag n. free stuff. "Hey, I got a bunch of sweet schwag at the Pedal Queens meeting.”
singletrack n. trail just wide enough for one person or bike -- the mountain biker’s holy grail.
sharkbite n. the mark that your large chainring makes in your calf or other exposed body part when you fall.
snake bite n. a double puncture of an inner tube, caused by hitting an obstacle too hard or by under-inflation of tires. Also known as pinch flat.
spin v. smooth pedal motion or a short, sweet ride
stack n. crash. v. crash.
superman n. a rider who flies over the handlebars and doesn't hit the ground for a long time. This may result in injury, but when it doesn't, it's really funny for everyone else.
table-top n. A jump that consists of a rise, flat top, and then decline.
taco v. to bend a wheel over on itself, in the shape of a taco. "I taco'd my wheel trying to bunny hop that water bar."
technical n. a section of trail that is difficult to ride because of rocks, tree roots, or steep drops.
toe clips n. a clip-and-strap system that connects a rider's feet and toes to her pedals. Toe clips usually don't require special shoes.
track stand n. (from road-cycling) a maneuver where the rider stops the bike and attempts to remain standing without touching their feet to the ground. Often used at stoplights.
washboard n. small, regular undulations of the soil surface that make for a very rough ride.
wash out v. to have the front tire lose traction, especially while going around a corner.
wheelie n. lifting the front wheel off the ground, usually with some combination of pulling on the handlebars, pedaling harder, and balance.
whoop-de-doos n. a series of up-and-down bumps, suitable for jumping. Often referred to simply as “whoops”.
wrench v. to work on one's bike, to adjust or repair. n. a bike shop mechanic. "I blew my shock but the wrench at Bike ‘n Sport dialed it back in for me."
yard sale n. (from skiing) a horrendous crash that leaves all your various "wares" -- water bottles, pump, tool bag, etc. -- scattered as if on display for sale.