Not everyone believes in astrology or even the MBTI personality test, but it’s always a subject of intrigue to find out about yourself. This may not be a regular topic for cyclists, but personality type plays a big role in determining how you exercise and, consequently, how you ride.
We want to help you identify which type of cyclist you are so you can further enjoy biking and stick to the your goals more effectively.
“But I already know myself,” you might counter. Nature isn’t the only factor that comes to play here, though, as the way you are “nurtured” – your upbringing and social environment – have influenced how you see things. One way to start is to figure out which of these categories you feel more attuned to, as what are famously known as Lewis Goldberg’s Big 5.
Lewis Goldberg’s Big 5 Biking Personality Traits
- Openness to experience encompasses the mental aspect of your personality, including intellect and imagination. It explores how you think, whether you are conventional or brimming with progressive tendencies. With these, the individual may be regarded as receptive to new ideas. Traits that are associated with openness to experience are insightfulness, curiosity, and complexity. You like to learn and spend time on new hobbies.
- Conscientiousness is a person’s ability to stick to the rules, control impulses, and act like an overall normal human being. Being conscientious is key to developing a goal-driven personality, enabling you to plan activities and maintain an organized lifestyle. Conscientious people are self-disciplined, persistent, reliable, and resourceful.
- You may recognize extroversion as one way of binarily categorizing people in a social context, the other being introversion. Extroverts like being around people and destress via social interactions. On the other hand, introverts prefer to be alone and easily lose energy by being in a crowd of people. Traits that are associated with extroversion are friendliness, assertion, and a preference to act rather than contemplate.
- Agreeableness is another social trait that is specifically used to describe how someone gets along with other people. It provides insight to how trusted and well-liked that person is. Agreeable people are altruistic, tactful, and amiable. You do not choose your friends and rarely encounter people you do not jive with. True to nature, you sympathize even with strangers.
- Neuroticism defines emotional stability and temper. Are you anxious? Do you feel grounded in your own shoes? Being neurotic entails wariness, pessimism, insecurity, and a general lack of confidence. A person may be moody and easily agitated, which throws them off from work or school activities. Yet everyone needs a bit of neuroticism in life, as this trait is what keeps you safe.
There are several studies that show how personality affects one’s inclination toward exercise. This, for instance, shows that extroversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism are significantly related to behavior in exercise. To find out which of the Big 5 are dominant in your personality, you may take this quiz.
We tried matching the cyclist archetypes with the Big 5 dimensions. Which of these do you identify with the most?
Identify Your Biking Personality
Dominant dimension(s): Openness to experience
You, my friend, are down for any challenge! You crave the adrenaline rush that builds up after you hop over an obstacle or conquer a tough climb. Your home address is somewhere along your favorite technical trail. Undiscovered routes are your favorite puzzles to solve, especially if there is a particularly tempting piece of land that’s just waiting to be turned into singletrack. Needless to say, you prefer the unpaved outback over the suburban bike lane. Why do people still use cardio bikes? You will never understand.
Dominant dimensions(s): Conscientiousness, Neuroticism
Neuroticism may be the only negative branch of the Big 5, but it exists in a spectrum. Navigators have just the right dash of Type A personality – focused, goal-driven, and organized. You like making itineraries, making sure everything is ready prior to the trip, and feel a sense of accomplishment when ticking off the stops in your map. Your plan your trips according to the goals you currently want to achieve. Your conscientiousness helps you keep track of your progress and motivates you to finish the trail.
Up the experience by signing up for tours and other cycling events! After a demanding ride, reward yourself so you won’t feel overworked. Choose a farther trail each time you go bikepacking.
Dominant dimension(s): Agreeableness, Extroversion
You go on bikepacking trips with your friends and make sure everyone’s enjoying. In the cycling community, you are a central figure, often meeting with other cyclists to plan the next event. Legend has it, you can sometimes be found in your neighbor’s garage because you offered to help him install some gear! Whether it’s an adventure trip or just a simple ride around town, you are game for anything, if it means having to spend time with others.
Up the experience by taking advantage of your influence – in a good way! Why not organize a charity ride or a barbecue at the last stop of a trail? You can even take it to the next level by setting up a group lesson for kids who want to learn to bike. Just make sure they all have their safety gear.
Getting to know your biking personality is one way to make sure you’re living your best life as a cyclist. Life is too short to be aiming for the same goals or riding the same trails. Step out of your comfort zone and take the roads less travelled!