Gearheads have the roar of their engines. Racquet sports people have their thwack. Footballers have their punt, kick, and all the hitting, yelling, and grunting. Riding a bicycle involves making a variety of sounds. Here are some that come to mind.
Tires. Motorized vehicles have this, too. But they aren’t generating the power on their own, and it’s competing with the engine and other sounds. Biking brings you close to the road and depending on your tires, they will make a sound as you roll. At higher speeds, it’s almost like a singing sound. I think it’s pretty cool and hypnotic.
Nature. The birds, bees, and wind in the trees. Well, maybe not bees, hopefully one doesn’t get in your bonnet or helmet. Of course, being outside is a main attraction of bicycling. A creek next to the trail, leaves blowing across the road, the shriek of a hawk, or bark of a dog as it chases you — all are part of the possible soundtrack to your ride.
Gears. As you shift gears, the chain moves across the cassette with it’s teeth. This happens so often (unless you’re on a single speed), that it’s a sound you can’t really ignore. Uphill or downhill, you will be hearing this sound. It reflects the amount of effort you’re putting in, and is feedback of your work. Because of that, it is a pretty cool sound.
Brakes. Mine are squeaky right now because of all the use so my pads are probably worn down and need replacing. Then the front disc brake rotor got bent. Even when they don’t squeak this isn’t a soothing sound, but stopping is pretty much required. It signifies something important: I’m riding a lot and not running into things.
Breathing. Naturally your breath is a sound of cycling that you may not pay much attention to. But when you do, you may find as I did that your performance may increase, your stress decreases, and you become more absorbed in the activity. Of course if you’re huffing and puffing, maybe slow down a little. Whatever you do, definitely continue to make this sound!
Wheels. Good wheels make a distinctive clickety-clack as you ride. But it’s a lot smoother than that. It’s comparable to spinning a roulette wheel in Las Vegas. But as with gears, the more effort you put in, the greater the sound.
Clips. The sound of clipping one’s pedals into the pedals may be the most satisfying one of all. It’s when your bike shoe cleat fits into the corresponding part of the pedal. That is if you use clips. It’s like using a key in an old lock. The click means you’re about to ride (or you’re in mid-ride and stopping). To me, it sounds like “all right, let’s get to work, it’s business time.”
What are some other sounds of cycling?
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