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If you use Instagram and you follow a lot of people that post about bikes and cycling, you might have noticed a handful of hashtags popping up again and again. In this post we pull together some of the most popular and useful cycling-related Instagram hashtags, providing great examples of each and explaining what they’re used for.
As a quick primer for those that don’t use Instagram, a hashtag is a word (or multiple words in one string of text) preceded by a hash (#) that’s added to an Instagram post (or tweet or Facebook update). Hashtags are used for a couple of different reasons but primarily to add a particular photo or post to a stream of related content.
A photo hashtagged with #nofilter, for example, denotes that the photo wasn’t processed using one of Instagram’s built-in filters. Selecting the hashtag takes you through to a feed of all other posts, from all users, with the same hashtag.
Hashtags are sometimes used (and overused) as a sort-of postscript to a photo’s description, providing extra information about the photo. A photo of an exhausted rider after finishing a race in sweltering conditions, for example, might be hashtagged with: #hot #sweaty #sweatingbuckets #buckled #paincave #hurtbox and so on.
With that in mind, here’s a selection of cycling-related hashtags you might come across and be inclined to use on Instagram, what they’re about, and some examples. We’ve deliberately avoided the more generic hashtags used by people that feel inclined to use 50 hashtags per post (e.g. #cycling #bike #riding #bicycle #ride #rider … you get the drift) and focused on more specific and instructive hashtags.
#baaw is, quite simply, an acronym for “bike against a wall”. Propping one’s bike against a wall is often the easiest way to set it up when taking a photo of it … even if it isn’t the most exciting. Bonus marks can be awarded if the wall itself is interesting, not just the bike.
If you’re the sort of rider that cares about “The Rules”, rule #26 might be worth reading up on. Namely:
When photographing your bike, gussy her up properly for the camera. Some parameters are firm: valve stems at 6 o’clock. Cranks never at 90 or 180 degrees. Others are at your discretion, though the accepted practices include putting the chain on the big dog, and no bidons in the cages.
Urban legend suggests this hashtag might have originated with Melbourne cycling identity Andy White of Fyxo.co.
You might sometimes see variations of #baaw as well, #baaf (bike against a fence) for example.
When you’re riding along with your mates and you want to take a photo (we recommend you pull over to take the shot) the easiest option is to shoot in the direction you’re going, with your cycling buddies ahead of you. This can provide good foreground interest, but there’s a downside: just about every shot taken in this way is going to feature a whole lot of your mates’ backsides.
#foreverbuttphotos is often used as a grudging admission to say “yep, I’m aware I’m taking photos of my mates’ arses; sorry about that.”
If you’d like to avoid butt photos, try shooting from a different angle — maybe ride ahead of your mates, stop, and get a shot of them flying past from the side of the road.
#latergram from last Saturday riding home from Lorne! Perfect conditions on the Great Ocean Road! Thanks for the company @burchlee @lachiedoak @chloemc87 @tysonjw #regram: @tysonjw #cycling #greatoceanroad #seegor #lorne #bighill #foreverbuttphotos #castelli #castellicycling #bikegallery #specialized #sworks #kask @greatoceanroad @castellicycling @bikegallerymelb @kaskhelmets @specialized_au
Such a super evening for a ride with my cycling bestie and best ever husband @stevegmolloy The countryside is looking superb and lush. #snowymountainscycling #snowymountains #foreverbuttphotos #igerscycling #instabike #cycling #cyclingphotos #stravacycling #stravaproveit #countryside #ride #fyfcycling #fromwhereiride #iamapedla #spring #iride #explore #outsideisfree #breathemorelife #picoftheday
#WYMTM stands for “What You Missed This Morning”, a phrase and then hashtag coined by CyclingTips founder Wade Wallace back in 2008 when the site was first starting. It began when Wade was out riding and wanted to post photos that would make people jealous, and in recent years it’s grown into a photo competition that we run on the site every December.
We’re pleased to see that the hashtag has grown to be used more widely than just by us. It’s not uncommon to see Instagram posts from around the world, at all times of the year, hashtagged with #WYMTM.
#WYMTM is all about beautiful sunrises, quiet roads, misty climbs and all the other great stuff that comes from dragging yourself out of bed early in the morning for a ride.
Popular alternatives including #WYMTA (what you missed this afternoon) and #WYMTE (what you missed this evening).
Khun Yuam district, Mae Hong Son province – The Dok Bua Tong wild sunflowers in full bloom on the slopes of Doi Mae U Khor. These resilient weeds – which blanket the hillsides in a shimmering display for about a fortnight each year – are thought to have been planted by foreign missionaries in the 1900s. The surrounding area was, only until a few decades prior, covered with fields of beautiful, albeit pungent, opium poppies that were cultivated by the hill tribes. #maehongson #sunflower #cycling #wymtm #rapha #kualis
#Lightbro is used when a photo features a particularly impressive use of light. This often manifests itself as light rays streaking through clouds (“crepuscular rays”) but can be used for any photo in which the light is a feature, not just a tool for exposing the image.
Our understanding is that this hashtag was popularised (if not started) by Radavist founder John Prolly.
This isn’t the most popular hashtag on the list but it does turn out some great stuff every now and then. #kitspiration is used, often by those who design their own kit, to flag up interesting designs that could be used as inspiration for cycling kit.
One of the greatest things about cycling is the amazing landscapes and scenery we get to see from the seat of our bikes. Stunning switchbacks, great road-side views, narrow tree-lined backroads; they’re all great fodder for #roadporn.
A quick bit of research doesn’t confirm whether this started as a marketing campaign or not but even if it did, it’s since taken on a life of its own. It speaks of local pride and is used by cyclists to share moments from rides in their local area.
This hashtag speaks volumes about one of the most appealing aspects of cycling: the fact that getting on your bike and riding is a great way to leave the stress and hassle of everyday life behind. Little else matters when you’re out riding with your mates on your favourite roads.
#sockdoping is a homage to the humble cycling sock, a piece of kit that says a lot about a rider. Loud and outlandish socks make a statement, but they’re less daring than a loud jersey and knicks combination.
Why #sockdoping? We’re not entirely sure but our guess is that doped socks are socks that have been ‘enhanced’ to be much more than simple white or black socks … usually through colourful and exciting designs.
Other popular sock-related hashtags include #sockheight and #sockporn.
For cyclists that love bikes, bike tech and even parts of bikes, #bikeporn is the hashtag for you. Often used on photos featuring weird or unusual bikes, #bikeporn is also just used whenever someone wants to show their love for their two-wheeled companion.
This is an unashamedly Melbourne-specific hashtag but we’re sure it could be localised just about anywhere (we’ve seen #notcoluzzi in Sydney, for example). Beach Road is Melbourne’s most popular cycling route; a flat, bay-side route that runs south out of the city and that is frequented by literally thousands of cyclists on the weekends (and plenty during the week too).
While Beach Road is flat, fast, convenient and a lot of fun (particularly in groups), it can also get a little boring when ridden too often. #Notbeachroad is used somewhat cheekily when posting about roads or rides that are a little bit more interesting and more hilly than Beach Road.
Its use has precipitated the odd argument — “what’s wrong with Beach Road! Stop being such a snob!” — but mostly it’s just used to celebrate the diversity of terrain available for riding around Melbourne (and beyond), including the many great hills.
Andy White from Fyxo.co tells us he was the first to start using this hashtag, although he originally styled it as #notbeachrd.
What have we missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.