I'm on my way to being one of cycling's superfans - I've got the t-shirt, but have yet to lose my trousers

Having unearthed the 'love supreme' of cycling's superfan clubs, Adam Jones has tasked himself with entering the inner circle, he just can't decide which to infiltrate

Cycling fan is swimming trunks runs up a climb at the Tour de France flanked by fans
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The nature of fandom has long fascinated me, or more specifically, how it manifests itself. From excitable Colombians and Basques, to those who feel compelled to run alongside the road, feckless sign holders (remember ‘Allez Opi-Omi!’?) and selfie takers, cycling fans come in many guises. The title of Dan Martin’s autobiography, Chased by Pandas, encapsulates the mysterious impulse to don a costume and go bananas in the countryside.

One of the strangest things I have ever seen during a Grand Tour was that of an otherwise typically dapper, elderly Italian chap spectating on a mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia. Wearing a crash helmet, sunglasses, pressed shirt and standing by his scooter, he had, however, removed his trousers. 

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Adam Jones

I first got into cycling by watching Channel 4’s coverage of the Tour de France in the mid-80s. Those hour-long updates over three weeks were like a gateway drug to the teenage me, along with poring over the race reports in Cycling Weekly.

I cycled as a student, revelling in the freedom riding a bike gave me, but after moving to London in the early 90s, a string of near misses convinced me to park the bike and follow other interests. After falling off a horse in 2014, I took up cycling again as part of my physical rehab and that was it.

Hooked again. Since then, I’ve taken part in events like the Roubaix Challenge and DeeJay 100 Gran Fondo in Milan and become a regular competitor in local time trials. A (pro) kit obsessive, I have an entire wardrobe on my landing devoted to clothing, shoes and helmets, while drawers and shelves elsewhere in the house are stuffed with other cycling paraphernalia; sunglasses, sportive medals, a replica cobble and books galore.