Lies, Part 2: Lying to Myself

01.11.2006 | 11:16 pm

Last week, I described a few lies that cyclists tell others in order to convince them that what we’re doing is a healthy, sane, fiscally responsible way to get exercise.

Those lies, however, pale in comparison to the lies I tell myself on a daily basis.


Lies About Food

If I didn’t care about being fast, my life would be so simple. I would eat Mexican food every day for lunch, I would eat a bowl of cereal and / or a peanut butter sandwich every night before bed, and I would put butter on pretty much everything I ate. I would weigh about 190 pounds.

But I do care about being fast. So I diet. But I hate dieting. So I find ways to short-circuit the diet.

The struggle never ends.

One way the part that really likes Oreos, mayonnaise, and peanut butter tricks the part of me that likes to be fast is by telling lies. Here are a few:

  • Hey, I’ve been really good today so far. I should probably eat something small before bed, so I can sleep without waking from hunger pangs.
  • You know, I rode pretty hard today. I’m sure I’ve burned off enough calories that I can have a handful of chocolate chips without it affecting my diet at all.
  • I will eat just one Oreo. After all, the Leadville 100 isn’t for another eight months. What kind of impact is one cookie going to have on your race? None, that’s how much.
  • Two Oreos are not really any worse for you than one. Hey, I may as well have another one. Portion control is the real key. A couple of cookies is no big deal. I just need to make sure I don’t go overboard.
  • OK, this third Oreo is absolutely, positively going to be my last one.
  • Oh well, at this point I’ve just about finished off the row. May as well be done with it so I’m not tempted tomorrow.
  • Well, today’s diet is officially screwed; I may as well enjoy myself today. After all, my body can only absorb so many calories in one day, right? I figure I crossed that line some time ago. From this point forward, it probably doesn’t even matter what I eat. Tomorrow I will be totally hardcore, though. No more mistakes.

Lies about Training

I can honestly say that I love training. I love the suffering. I love the intensity. I love showing my body that I am its master.

Except for when I’m on my bike. Then I’d rather just ride along. Here are ways I commonly convince myself that this is the right thing to do.

  • I rode hard yesterday. I should rest today, to let my legs recover.
  • I rode hard a couple days ago. Don’t my legs need a couple days to recover?
  • This time of year, it’s more important for me to ride base miles. The intensity will come later.
  • I’m burning out from all this riding. I need a break.
  • OK, I know I’m behind on my training now. If I focus on fast miles, though, I’m going to wind up being able to ride only short distances. For two weeks, I’m going to concentrate on getting some miles under me. After that, I’ll work on speed.
  • My knee’s bothering me. I’d better take it easy or I’ll really mess it up.
  • Hm. Looks like rain. I’ll ride the rollers tonight instead.
  • It’s getting late. Instead of riding the rollers, I’ll take the long way in to work tomorrow.
  • Hm. Looks like rain. I’ll ride the rollers tonight instead.
  • Why do I ride my bike anyway? To suffer, or because I like to ride?
  • That whole “training” thing is overrated anyway. For me, training is just getting a lot of miles in.
  • I’ll lose weight better — which is the most important thing for someone who does a lot of climbing in endurance rides — by riding at an aerobic pace anyway.
  • Well, it’s too late for me to do well at this race now anyway. I may as well just give myself a good base to build on for next year, which is when I will definitely kick some butt.

Today’s Banjo Brothers Bike Bag Giveaway: Confess Your Sins

I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not the only one who lies to himself constantly. Tell me a bike-related lie you’ve told yourself. The best liar gets either a set of Banjo Brothers panniers or a messenger bag (your choice).


  1. Comment by tayfuryagci | 01.11.2006 | 11:30 pm

    I constantly lie to myself. It’s mostly focused on dieting and eating well (since I have a mere 40 pounds to lose). It usually goes like this:7:00 AM – I’m starting my diet today. No carbs, no fat.7:15 AM – What can just 1 bagel do to my diet?7:30 AM – Ok, I ate 3 bagels and a whole package of chocolate chip cookies. I’ll just ride hard today.12:00 PM – Lieing in bed thinking to myself: I got 3500 kcals today, I cycled 2 miles. I sat in front of the computer all day long to do useless stuff. BUT I’M STARTING MY DIET TOMORROW! No carbs, no fat!this is how it goes on and on and on and on…

  2. Comment by Unknown | 01.11.2006 | 11:46 pm

    I’m out of the competition for the bag because truth is, my subconscious doesn’t take kindly to misconstruing facts and retaliates with guilt when lied to. Yes, it’s the ol’ "too much Catholic school girl" in me taking charge. I have tried to circumvent my inner voice by the lie-to-self method before, but I can’t master the trickery of tricking myself. When I flake on a workout without due cause, I end up with an overwhelming sense of guilt. I understand that by missing that training without a broken limb or serious fatigue or a pressing social engagement (yes, I give myself outs on cycling, swimming or running when there’s a good party to go to) I will gain 5 lb, lose important muscle mass and throw off my training for months to come. Sadly, this keeps me motivated….

  3. Comment by Mark | 01.12.2006 | 12:34 am

    Eatting healthy takes to much time. Wouldn’t the time be better spent on the bike or at the gym?

  4. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 12:49 am

    You guys have missed the biggie:"I’ll just drop into the bike shop but I won’t buy anything.’

  5. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 1:00 am

    Boy these rollers are a GREAT training tool. They punish poor form and low cadence; as long as I make sure to use them, they will help keep me fit in winter and even improve my form. Surely that’s worth $400.Boy these rollers are a TOUGH training tool. They punish poor form and low cadence, so I’d better skip them tonight since I’m so tired and unfocused. Wouldn’t want to launch myself into the TV like that guy on the internet.This custom frame may be expensive, but it’s going to fit a LOT better than a stock bike would, so I will never, ever need to buy another bike.Centaur is good enough. I won’t regret that choice. Psshh, only pros and poseurs ride Record.XXXL is nothing to be ashamed of, because it’s crazy Euro sizing. It doesn’t mean I’m fat.Hey, a bike is meant to be ridden. I’m not going to obsess over a few paint chips and dings……even if it IS steel.I am never riding with THAT guy again. I’m cooked!I feel so good today, I really ought to stay out another hour. My wife will understand.-Pleiades

  6. Comment by joan | 01.12.2006 | 1:11 am

    My lies:To the bike shop owner: "I’m not really planning on buying anything – I just want to take it for a spin."To everyone else: "Of course I meant to fall over while still clipped into my pedals – I was just checking to see how much force they could withstand."To myself: "I could so win the Women’s Tour de France – I wonder if they have one?"

  7. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 1:13 am

    I’ve never admitted this to anyone, but there’s a voice inside me saying "I want to race". Anyone asking these type questions: "why do you ride so much", "why does it matter if your average speed goes down or not",or"how can you stand to ride in the winter", etc. etc. they will get the stock response that goes something like "I want to make sure I stay fit" or "I don’t want to suffer as much when Spring rolls around". When really, if I were honest, I would tell them "Because I want to race!". I’m really not sure why I have been hesitant to admit that, and I think that if the truth were known, most cyclist have the same inner voice. Sure, I started out wanting improve my fitness, but being around the sport and a lot of different riders has made me want be as fast as anyone else at least at some level. You heard it here first "Tony wants to race", and I probably will this year, but until this moment, I’ve always lied about it.

  8. Comment by Nanget | 01.12.2006 | 2:44 am

    Distance travelled is where i find lying happens most. I will go on a ride with another rider. Say the distance ridden was 38k, i will say we rode 35k but they will say 40k because its nearly 40k anyway. But you know 40k is like almost 50k, so we did 50k. But if thats the case thats almost 100k and you know thats a nice number to have ridden. If let to continue believing in this method we would have done 250k training ride in about an hour.

  9. Comment by EricGu | 01.12.2006 | 3:09 am

    190? Dude, with your addictive personality, if you ate the way you described, 190 would just be a brief stop on the way to "Whoa!"

  10. Comment by Lola | 01.12.2006 | 3:33 am

    Okay, I’m not a bike person, so i don’t tell myself a whole lot of lies about bikes. There is one however, but it bears a little bit of explaining.When I was 7(and by 7 I mean I have no clue how old I was, so I just made up a random age) I was visiting grandparents in FL with my family. They had this red tricylce and apparently the only "cool" thing there was to do, was to stand on the bar between the back 2 wheels, while someone else rode it in circles as fast as they could. It was my turn to ride, and my little sister’s turn to stand. (She was like 4 at the time) So I was going in circles, faster, and faster, and faster. And then, BANG. Down we both went. Me completely unhurt, and Liz with a huge, bloody hole in her knee. She was screaming at the top of her lungs. She still has the scar from that.So what’s my lie? "It wasn’t my fault. Just because I’m the older sister and supposed to be smarter than that, and just because my parents told me to be careful, like, 2 seconds beforehand, doesn’t mean it’s my fault. It’s not."Lola

  11. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 4:25 am

    You mean like the one(s) I told myself over breakfast this morning about how scrambled eggs are protein and they build muscle–"oh, and sure, I’ll take that extra cheese, hon. And then can you drive me to work because eating breakfast is going to take too much time and you know I can’t be late, and that eggs are not eggs without toast, and that toast is not toast without jelly, and, aw crap, I’ll just start eating right in a week. Wait, no, I’ve really blown it for the month." "Please pass the jelly." Like that?

  12. Comment by Bryn | 01.12.2006 | 4:39 am

    My main lie to everyone at the moment is how much one piece of cycling equipment im going to purchase shortly cost more than what i earn in 3 normal weeks of work. Not that i need this amazing piece of american made heaven, what i have now is good, but its the wrong colours and it doesn’t look right. What more excuse do i need to tell myself that i need a new Giro helmet. Im pretty sure that’s one lie worth lying about. Wouldn’t you?

  13. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 4:54 am

    I’m laughing because I found myself in your excuses… LOL!I think my favorite of all is the one about finishing off something now so it will be all gone and we won’t be tempted by it anymore… like that makes any difference at all. Well, actually, I guess it does… because it puts us even further over the limit on the day that we do it.If I were to get I bicycle to ride on the street, probably just to the corner and back ultimately, or maybe a few blocks, what should I get? Of course, if I could get to where I could ride a few blocks, well, maybe I could ride a few more.Is a Wal-Mart crack hat okay?Hugs,MuMo

  14. Comment by Ryan Schmid | 01.12.2006 | 5:26 am

    Size Doesn’t Matter! So what if I’m 230 pounds? I can climb with the best of ‘em.

  15. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 5:42 am

    "I totally need to go riding… but I wonder if the Fat Cyclist has updated … I’ll saddle up right after I check his site. Honest-"

  16. Comment by Tom | 01.12.2006 | 5:55 am

    The only reason I’m here in the back is because as the ride leader, it’s my responsibility to sweep and make sure none of the less experienced or less fit riders have a mechanical or somehow get dropped by the group and lost.

  17. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 6:16 am

    Road rules: The only reason I’m not taking this hairpin descent at 40+mph/braving the torrential downpour/cruising over the patches of black ice is because of the CARS. Hey, I know what I’m doing on the road — it’s the 4-wheelers I worry about. ‘Cuz bike meets car, car wins. (Even cars that can’t handle the road as well as me.)If you could make all the cars vanish, I’d be out there right now. Really.

  18. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 01.12.2006 | 7:09 am

    Lie: I really hit the hills hard today.Truth: (at 270lb) I really tried to not need to change gears riding over those canal bridges today.

  19. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 9:25 am

    MuMo, is a crack hat a bit like those beer hats that have the two cans of beer on and tubes to drink through, but with crack in instead? And you can just buy those at WalMart?Tim

  20. Comment by tayfuryagci | 01.12.2006 | 10:45 am

    no a crack hat is the one that lets you stay " trippin’ " the whole time you wear it.

  21. Comment by Andrew | 01.12.2006 | 12:37 pm

    It’s not fair that I have to ride the roads on a mountain bike with slick tires on it. It’s humiliating for it to be called a "hybrid". Changing the tires from slicks to knobbies and back all the time takes so much work. I should be allowed to buy a $3000 titanium frame bike. Then I could ride as fast as everyone else.

  22. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 1:19 pm

    Oh, so many lies, so little bandwidth. I can lose this weight… no problem. When it’s gone, it’ll stay off with some maintenance work – regular rides, etc. It won’t take superhuman effort and watching every morsel that goes into my sliding-into-middle-age-ungracefully body.When I get the weight off, I’ll be able to hang with those young guys. Hell, nobody will know I’m almost 40.The racers in my LBS group ride that I occasionally nip on a hill or a sprint… I’m legitimately beating them. No way it’s charity, or them refusing to pop up out of zone two to crush me. Man, if I just finish upgrading to all Tiagra, I’ll be faster and the bike will be so much better. It will be worth it. Riding the bike will help me hang on to a scrap of my youthful glories. If I’d trained really hard when I was a young guy, I really could have done something, especially in TT’s. The guys on my group ride are all my buddies. The guys on my group ride are all my mortal enemies. The big blister on my a$$ doesn’t hurt at all. Matter of fact, it’s just part of the toughening up process. I’m sure it will go away soon. I love the vintage leather saddle on my fixie. It’s wonderful. It’s not much worse than a modern lightweight racing saddle. I’m sure this blister on my a$$ will go away now that I think about it. I just need to get tougher.There’s a saddle out there for me that’s actually comfortable. Yeah, all I need is that FiZik Arione. That’ll fix all my butt problems. I never hear FiZik guys complaining about their expensive saddles. Must mean they’re good. Hey, I’m a FiZik guy. I bet they’d sponsor me. They’d be happy to put "FiZik*FiZik*FiZik" on my shorts, because I have that much more ass than their normal sponsored riders, so it’d be like getting three billboards for the price of one. The seat problems are due to insane seat design, not to the PSI that my large self puts on my butt sitting on a seat that is adequately sized for normal derrierres. I need a Brooks saddle. That will fix it. I survive commuting in D.C. traffic because I am learning to ride like skillfully like a caffeine fueled monkey with a bike messenger job. My survival is not at the suffering of some homicidal maniac behind me in a Beemer, who is only restrained from running me down because beating the manslaughter rap would probably force him to sell the sweet beach house so he could hire Plato Cacheris as a defense attorney. My wife thinks my riding addiction is just fine, and is happy I’m doing this rather than bothering her all the time. You all enjoy hearing my witty repartee.

  23. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 2:02 pm

    It really isn’t flat here in Iowa. All those people are wrong. That’s why I’m having so much trouble.If I get a road bike I’ll enjoy biking a lot more. (I use this one frequently with no success on the spouse)Even though one of my friends finally got a road bike I am in no way jealous of him.It’s OK to eat that 1lb box of Hot Tamales, I’m riding my bike home and need energy.A lot of people ride there bikes as much as me and never lose any weight. That’s normal.My ride this morning is harder because I’m carrying (insert item here). So far this week I have used: book to read, a long sleeve shirt instead of short sleeve (this weight does matter!!), extra socks, extra big bag and extra shoes.If I get a Banjo Brothers messanger bike my commute to work at 6AM in the dark and freezing temperatures will be a lot better.

  24. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 2:27 pm

    Y’know, there are some things that force you to confront the truth – maybe that’s worth a mention too. – Fixed gear bikes. – Steep, long hills. – Things with measurable results – Tanita scales, TTs, races.- Bank account balances.- When you get spit out the back of the group, repeatedly. – When the bearded dude on a recumbent with a solar powered Deskbook passes you on a hill.

  25. Comment by Loes | 01.12.2006 | 3:04 pm

    I had to train sunday morning, but I hate getting up early, so I was lying in my bed and I thought "Do I have any reason not to train?" And I said no. So I went training.I don’t want to make excuses anymore, if I don’t go training I’ll always end up feeling guilty.

  26. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 3:26 pm

    I ride my bike to work; therefore, I am not a lazy person.

  27. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 4:18 pm

    "I don’t have a cramp, the involuntary and incredibly painful contraction of muscle is just proof that I’m getting sooooo ripped.""My ass doesn’t hurt, I like hovering above the toilet""Riding doesn’t make me more hungry. Pass me another cannoli . . . and the butter . . . and some salt.""That hill is steep. I’m gonna turn around and go back the way I came, not because it’s steep, but because I think my bike needs some work and I don’t want to put too much pressure on the chain."

  28. Comment by barry1021 | 01.12.2006 | 4:20 pm

    Off bike:"I am not overweight, I have large bones."" I am ageing gracefully."On Bike"Today’s ride is so much more difficult bacause my back brake is rubbing. But hey! If Lance can do it, I will just suck it up and continue to ride poorly instead of making the adjustment. Yup that’s what it is all right."

  29. Comment by craig | 01.12.2006 | 4:41 pm

    Ok, so I’m not losing weight as fast as I thought. But, that’s ok. Training with this extra 30 pounds llater into the spring will only ultimately increase my power. So when I do lose that extra weight and finally look like rasmussen, I will be ‘climber extraordinaire’. I ballooning up like I’m pregnant every fall is part of my power building training plan.

  30. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 4:43 pm

    How about: I will just sit in the "big guy’s" draft because I am too skinny to have him draft behind.Not to mention that I rode a century on only about 50 training/commuting miles.And yes, I have actually been told that I am too skinny to draft behind, then I passed them on the next hill, only to be passed on the downhill. Ha HA!

  31. Comment by tayfuryagci | 01.12.2006 | 4:45 pm

    "When the bearded dude on a recumbent with a solar powered Deskbook passes you on a hill."Al that was the time I realized that I needed "some" training.

  32. Comment by Zed | 01.12.2006 | 5:08 pm

    Protein bars aren’t junk food. They’re healthy for you. I’m getting healthier by eating this chocolate-covered, high-sugar protein bar. Mmmm. So much healthier … It doesn’t matter that I’ve totally neglected my training, I can show up at that race next week and probably beat my previous time by four minutes. I wasn’t trying that hard the last time I rode this race anyway. This year’s going to be different …If only I had some carbon fiber underneath me, then I’d have some speed. Yeah, give me a Trek Madone SSL and then watch me ride up the Pass. Yeah, I’m slow because I ride a 20-pound roadbike …

  33. Comment by Kevin | 01.12.2006 | 5:18 pm

    That guy just passed me because my bike is old. It’s heavier. It’s less efficient. It’s got a higher rolling resistance.

  34. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 5:21 pm

    It’s winter here in southern Florida now andI need to cut back on the miles. This hamand cheese sandwich(with mayo) doesn’t have ANY fat producing calories. Everythinggoes to bike ride burning energy (B.R.B.E.).The salt and vinegar potato chips are my base proteinset up for today. It is after all the second thursday inJanuary, what ho…potato chip thursday.It is baaadd to be too thin, you’re body can’t protectitself from violent attacks of fruits and veggies withoutthe proper fat stores.I’m going to finish my generic cola now, mySPRINTING blood sugar seems a little low.

  35. Comment by Jim | 01.12.2006 | 5:38 pm

    "Tyler, Santi, and Heras are innocent"Ouch…that hurts.

  36. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 6:18 pm

    Caloi hit on the ultimate lie: This year’s going to be different.Botched

  37. Comment by jim | 01.12.2006 | 6:50 pm

    The only reason my knees are hitting my stomach on the upstroke is because my bike needs to be adjusted to the proper seat and handlebar height…honest!

  38. Comment by Kelly | 01.12.2006 | 7:04 pm

    My lies about cycling are weather-dependent:"Oh, it’s been so cold lately! I’m tired of this cloudy, rainy, snowy weather. It’s just …. yucky. I know! If the sun is shining tomorrow when I wake up, I’ll ride before going to work."It’s not fancy, but it does the trick. Kelly

  39. Comment by RICH | 01.12.2006 | 7:14 pm

    The biggest lie…..When I tell myself that all the lies I tell myself aren’t lies. Tomorrow is a new day, so I will start fresh.

  40. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 7:14 pm

    I nipped over to central France last year with a mate for a couple of weeks of awesome riding and a couple of Tour stages including the last time trial. The highlight was near the end of the trip (having "ridden ourselves into form" nicely, just like Jan Ullrich) where we had set aside a whole afternoon to have a crack at the classic Puy de Dome climb. The mythical 12 mile road spiralling around and up the impossiblely steep extinct volcano was visible in the distance several hours before we arrived at the base. By this point we had probably already done more climbing in one day than on any other day of the trip.Having finally rehydrated, rested, stuffed down all the sugary snacks and fatty treats in our (considerable) armoury, privately psyched ourselves up to go for it, and trash talked our own chances of being first to the top, we were shocked and disappointed to find the man at the gate at the bottom turning cyclists away. This road, a monument of cycling, where Poulidor battled with Anquetil, where Merckx was punched in the stomach, etc. etc., is private, and only open to paying tourist buses for most of the week (does anyone else think this is a complete scandal?), which may explain why le Tour has not been that way for a long time now. I’ve been thinking about that climb ever since.It would have been easy.

  41. Comment by Unknown | 01.12.2006 | 7:22 pm

    I look good.

  42. Comment by Jill | 01.12.2006 | 10:23 pm

    On deciding to take out the roadie in December:If I don’t touch the brakes, I can coast through that black ice slick just fine.

  43. Comment by Unknown | 01.13.2006 | 12:52 am

    I vote for jimserotta. Though that’s not stopping me from submitting my own:Beer? it’s recovery food, right? Yeast is protein, grain is carbs – good balance, right?

  44. Comment by Brie | 01.13.2006 | 12:54 am

    I woke up too late to go riding, now it is getting too hot and the roads are busy. No need to worry, in the late afternoon I’ll just go for a long run or attend a swim squad

  45. Comment by Unknown | 01.13.2006 | 4:13 am

    I am glad I do not do or think anything like the rest of the losers who post here.

  46. Comment by Unknown | 01.13.2006 | 9:16 am

    I tell loads of lies to myself, but the worst are the ones I tell to my dog on sunny Cape Town mornings. Talking to your dog, of course, is a lot like talking to yourself, so perhaps these count:I’ll take you to the beach later, I just have to ride my bike for a few hours before it gets hot.We’ll go for a nice walk on the mountain this Sunday. Of course I’ll have plenty of energy left after the race.I’m going to take up running and enter Xterra so that my exercise schedule is a better fit with yours.Hah! I think she is starting to see through me.

  47. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 01.13.2006 | 12:45 pm

    I vote for Jeremy


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.