Like many pastimes, mountain biking has a terminology all of its own. And oh, what fun for the writer discovering this fresh seam of innuendo-ripe jargon!
Take bonking… You probably already know the British slang meaning of the verb “to bonk”
Small Bridesmaid: What’s bonking?
Scarlett: Well, it’s kinda like table tennis, only with slightly smaller balls.
– Four Weddings and a Funeral
But in mountain biking, it has quite a different meaning:
Expression used by cyclists to describe exercise induced low blood sugar levels; being a feeling of light-headedness and weakness in all limbs. Similar to ‘The Wall’ in running. – Urban Dictionary
Here’s Tim’s introduction to the term in Hard Tail, shortly after he’s been drafted in to manage his injured brother’s bike shop:
“I was about to close the magazine when a title caught my eye: What Really Happens During Bonking. I did a double-take and looked around furtively, wondering for a moment if one of the porno mags had slipped inside this issue… I still sniggered as I read the article, with its useful tips on how to avoid a bonk.”
Poor Tim. He could probably have done with that advice during his ill-fated marriage to Kate!
Here’s a couple of other terms that may (or may not) be of use:
Grunt: a very difficult climb
Grinder: a long uphill climb
Condom: the little plastic or rubber thing that protects your tube’s valve stem from rim damage
Nipple: the nut at the end of a spoke that nobody knows the real name for.
crotch-testing: sudden impact between a male rider’s private parts and something very hard and pointy, such as a handlebar stem or seat.
And, of course, Hard tail: a bike with front suspension but no rear suspension.
Definitions courtesy of the entertainingly-written Dictionary of Mountain Bike Slang.
Mountain biking can’t be the only sport/pastime with slightly dodgy jargon!
Do any of you have the sort of hobby where, if you talk about it in public, you get funny looks – even if what you’re saying is entirely innocent?
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Finding love can be a bumpy ride.
His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: dead in the water. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother’s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon.
The young man who falls—literally—through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he’s even in the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob.
There’s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he’s beginning to love means coming to terms with who he is—in public—in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.
Product Warnings: Contains an out-and-proud klutz, a closeted, karate-loving accountant—and a cat who thinks it’s all about him. Watch for a cameo appearance from the Pricks and Pragmatism lovers. May inspire yearnings for fresh air, exercise, and a fit, tanned bike mechanic of your very own.
Hard Tail is available from Samhain Publishing at a reduced price for a limited time only.
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