Do You Light Up After (or during) a Ride?

Even cycling great Mario Cipollini used to light up on the bike. This shot is easily found online, but I don't know what race he was in at the time.

I used to smoke.  Cycling had nothing to do with me stopping – I quit cold turkey years ago.  One of the nice things about cycling is that the people you ride with don’t smoke, either.  At a post-ride gabfest at the coffee shop, no one lights up.

Which makes it something of a shock to see a cyclist with a cigarette.  Back at the MS150 last year, I was taking it easy in the team tent at the finish, when one of the members of my team produced a cigarette and started to smoke.  A woman, also on the team, bummed one from him.  So now we had two cyclists dragging away – in team kit.  And our team was sponsored by a hospital(!).

Of course, smoking and cycling used to be common, back before the health link was proven.  I’ve used this old pic from the Tour de France before, with some of the leaders puffing away while riding through the countryside.  The French seem to be inseparable from their cigarettes, anyway.  Way back when, it was perfectly normal for the Michelin Man to smoke while riding. 

A guy I occasionally ride with always grabs a quick drag when he’s packing up his gear at the finish.  His Facebook picture pokes fun at his inability to completely kick the habit.

So how about you?  Are you a reformed smoker?  Or do you still indulge?  Do you avoid cyclists who smoke, and separate yourself from smoking riders?


  1. johnt says

    My wife did massage at the finish for a team at MS-150 this . None of Riders were smoking but she said all their wives did. I saw a guy ride by on my street the other day with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

  2. Pointyhead says

    I’m one of the few remaining people in the world that smokes a pipe. I’ve been known to pull out a bowl and take a few puffs at rest stops.

  3. T F says

    Before I started riding my bike again, I was quite the weekend cigar smoker. I probably smoked 8 quality cigars a month. Once I got back on the bike, my desire to smoke waned quickly. I still enjoy a cigar every once in a while, but I’ve never seen anyone smoking at a group ride.

  4. Jeff says

    I remember my wife running in a fairly big race. It was followed by a “health” expo in a convention center. To get in the doors you had to walk a gauntlet of smokers…all of whom had just finished the race. Found it kind of ironic!

  5. says

    I used to smoke, but no longer do. I ride on the social rides and see lots of smokers. I don’t avoid them, but I also don’t go out of my way to hang with them either.

    I do drink a ton of birra, and I don’t think that’s conducive to great fitness either.

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