Six signs you've spent too long cycling indoors this winter

If your tights have not seen the inside of your washing machine for months and you have forgotten what a bunch ride feels like, it may be time to get outside

First there was the snow and ice, and now the incessant rain. It's fair to say that the weather gods have not smiled kindly on cyclists in the last few weeks.

Whilst some have piled on 50 layers, and stuck to main roads when threatened with black ice on the lanes, others have scurried indoors to get their riding kicks on turbo trainers and rollers.

Indoor cycling is an excellent way to get a structured workout done in minimal time, but there is definitely such a thing as too much. Here are the signs that you've been locked up in the turbo lair for too long...

Your weekly kit wash contained no winter gear

washing machine

(Image credit: unknown)

The contents of your washing basket can give a pretty good insight into where you've been riding as of late.

If you know you've been putting the hours in, but your washing load has been reduced to seven pairs of [still slightly damp] pairs of shorts, then it might be time to pull on some tights and take it outdoors at the next available opportunity.

You've mislaid your normal rear wheel skewer

(Image credit: Andrew McCandlish)

When your bike has been permanently attached to the turbo trainer for months, the original skewer may seem somewhat redundant. If you've stashed it in the 'things I'll need later' draw, maybe fish it out and at least check it still works.

Headset rot

If you're not conscientious enough to loop a towel over the bars, or better still, buy one of those fluffy bike thongs, then a bunged up headset may well be your first symptom of an overly active indoor pedalling life.

You haven't seen your ride buddies outside of Zwift in weeks

Here we are worrying about the younger generation taking all of their social interaction online, but if you can't remember a group ride that didn't involve the capacity for a casual power up, perhaps your own social cycling life needs checking up on too.

Passive aggressive comments from family/housemates are now just aggressive

Image: Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images/EyeEm)

In case it was unclear, if someone starts vacuuming underneath the turbo trainer: yes, they're sick of you cycling in the house. If they 'accidentally' kill the power to your fancy smart trainer, also probably annoyed. Ditto for letting the cat into the room whilst you're on the rollers.

If you're house sharing, and the post-it notes on the fridge are turning more sour than month old milk, you should probably get out for a long one this weekend and give them all a break.

Saddle heaven has become saddle hell all of a sudden

Even the most perfect set-up can start to grate after hours sat in a static position.

If the ice has melted, and it's safe to venture out, then your rear end will probably thank you for providing a more natural riding position in the near future.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.


A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly. 


When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 190rt.


She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6. 


Height: 166cm

Weight: 56kg


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