Safe Cycling Lingo


What does David Hasselhoff have to do with bicycle safety? Read on, and build your safe cycling lingo.

Bonk: We are talking SEVERE exhaustion. Also know as “hitting the wall.” Bonks are caused by a depletion of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) in the muscle and liver. Your muscles use glycogen for energy during strenuous exercise. Glycogen depletion occurs during sustained, continuous exercise (we’re talking two+ hours). This occurs because the cyclist has not had enough food or water. Once a bonk occurs, it’s like cycling in mud – you’ll feel slow, heavy and weak and could suffer cognitive symptoms.

How to recover? Stop riding, rest, and ingest carbohydrates. You should fully recover from a bonk before continuing to ride. Drink Gatorade or Powerade, which can be easily and rapidly absorbed. Also good – fruit juice or power gel, followed with lots of water. During a bonk, you are needing sugar. Energy bars are harder to absorb and process and will not do you much good when you’re in the middle of a bonk.

Famous people who have bonked: Lance Armstrong

 Salmoning: Swimming upstream. Salmon do it all the time when spawning. For cyclists, it’s riding up a one-way street or riding the wrong way on a bike path. It is a huge NO NO and can be very dangerous for other cyclists and motorists who assume they only need to look one way for oncoming cyclists.

Famous people caught salmoning: Alec Baldwin. Surprised?

Door zone: Danger, danger, Will Robinson! The door zone is where a cyclist is in danger of being hit by a vehicle door when the door is opened. Maintain at least a 3-4’ of distance from a parked vehicle when passing.

Ninja: A ninja rides at night in dark clothing. No bike lights. No good. Most states require lights after dark; Colorado is no exception and law requires a rear red reflector and a white headlight from sundown to sunrise and when weather causes poor visibility. Save your ninja outfit for that Halloween party.

Shoaling: Don’t you just hate it when people cut in line? Same thing. You’re riding with a group of people, you’re stopped at a red light, and someone comes racing up from behind, passing everyone, and lands right at the front of the pack. Not earth shattering rude, but still rude and can cause extreme reactions from others.

And my personal favorite, which has absolutely nothing to do with safety, unless you strain your neck craning to see….

The Hasselhoff (aka Hoff): A male rider who rides shirtless, (also known as a Pool Boy). What sets these two apart? A “Hoff” has copious chest hair. Now, we know what you’re thinking. Could this be named after THE David Hasselhoff? You got it!

Put your newfound knowledge of bicycle safety lingo to use on a Colorado self-guided bicycle tour! Contact us now!





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