Words and phrases in more or less common usage in the West of Scotland. For more comprehensive sources of information regarding cycling vocabulary see the bottom of this page.
Bit and bit
Taking turns to ride at the front of a group
Originally, group training rides starting from one of the many Bundy clocks in and around Glasgow. Bundy clocks, manufactured by the Bundy Manf. Co. of New York, were used as roadside time recorders by Glasgow Transport Dept. employees as they logged on and off duties. The biggest of the Bundy chain-gangs was the London Road Bundy which used the roads out to Hamilton, up the Overton Brae and down through Wishaw. Not for the faint-hearted.
To catch another rider, as in ‘catch up with’.
When you lose touch with a group or an individual who is finding the pace somewhat easier than you are.
To stop on the road to consume tea or the beverage of your choice, usually brewed on an open fire at a drum-up spot. Largely superseded these days by the effete practice of stopping at a café.
Slow up. I’m knackered!
A cyclist who doesn’t conform to the sartorial and/or equipment standards of the club cyclist. Not one of the ‘fraternity’.
An informal form of competition. The free for all which ensues when riders, often returning from a drum-up, get a bit frisky and sprint for informal primes (usually known points or hill-tops).
The practice of edging your wheel in front of the rider beside you when riding at the front of a group. Usually construed as a form of aggression.
Hang a wheel
Shelter from the wind behind the rider in front. Usually used of a rider in a derogatory sense, as in the description, ‘wheel-hinger’.
Inside!, Outside!, Middle!
Used to indicate a pothole or obstruction on the road and almost always accompanied by pointing, violent swerving and sweary words.
The effect of running out of glycogen in your muscles. Not to be confused with tiredness or fatigue. With the knock, no further strenuous physical effort is possible until the glycogen stores are replenished by resting, eating or drinking, or combinations of the same.
Confusingly, in a time trial, the rider who started either a minute in front of you or a minute behind you, depending on who’s catching who.
Off the back
A call from pre-historic times to alert others in the group when a motor vehicle was approaching, usually from the rear.
On someone’s wheel
Sheltering from the wind behind the rider in front but without the negative connotations of ‘wheel-hanging’
Over the Crow
As ‘Up the Takkie’, but from Lennoxtown to Fintry.
Round the Smallholdings
A circuit from Bishopbriggs , Inchterf etc. At one time regularly used for road races.
Round the ‘Cri’
The Crianlarich Circle. Starting Glasgow via Stirling, Callander, Lix Toll, Crianlarich, Dumbarton back to Glasow. Or in reverse. 125 miles approx.
Round the ‘Dalmally’
The Dalmally Circle. Starting Glasgow via Crianlarich, Tyndrum, Dalmally, Inveraray, Arrochar, Dumbarton back to Glasgow. Or in reverse. 140miles approx.
Round the Gap
From Glasgow, round through Gartocharn, usually from the Dumbarton side. (contributed by Ian Darnell, Gale member 1993-96, now Edinburgh RC)
Round the ‘Three Lochs’
Starting Glasgow, via Dumbarton, Tarbet, Arrochar, Helensburgh back to Glasgow. Or in reverse. 70 miles approx.
Get into single file!
A turn at the front of a group. Also used as a verb, as in ‘Spell him!’.
Cycling Weekly. The UK’s oldest cycling magazine (founded 1891).
Up the Takkie (or Tak)
To cycle over the Campsies from Kilsyth to Carronbridge using the “Tak me Doon” road. Usually accompanied by very painful leg muscles and sometimes a shortness of breath.
The Johnstone Wheelers have a similar guide to the local cycling patter at:
For more comprehensive guides to Bike Lingo follow these links:
Sheldon Brown's Glossary
Why Cycle's Bike parts
Wikipedia bicycling terminology
And for the increasing numbers of riders riding Sportives on the Continent: