Have you made a promise to yourself to get on the bike this year…
But you haven’t quite managed to get behind the handle bars? Well here’s some friendly pointers to reassure you that it doesn’t need to be a challenging or daunting prospect. The benefits to your health, wallet and general well-being can make all the difference.
Whether you’re a keen cyclist or in the new 2018 intake, you can find plenty of practical advice, guides and tips online but sometimes we fight against the simplest barriers to cycling so we’re here to offer a few words of encouragement.
Cycling is to be enjoyed.
Exercise doesn’t need to be a headache or a chore, it can be part of your everyday routine. The best ways of being active tend to be the ones that integrate with your everyday life. It can form part of your commute to work, a family day out, or social event with friends. Regardless, the motivation should be the sheer pleasure of it, the fun of it, the joy of movement, the feeling of gaining that fresh air fix.
You control the pace.
It’s not a competition. Don’t feel pressurised to ride at a certain speed, keep up with fellow cyclists or feel as though you are not worthy of the road. Cycling is for everyone. No matter what your speed, so long as you are thoughtful towards others, there’s nothing wrong with taking things at your own speed. Concentrate on your plan, go fast if you want to, pedal slowly and take in the sights if you’d rather, as long as you are lawful, considerate and safe then there is room for all levels of speed and commitment.
All bikes are welcome.
If it’s safe to cycle then you can ride on whichever bike you want to. There are many stores that are equipped with cycling gear appropriate from entry level right up to the more experienced cyclists. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started and as your knowledge develops and preferences change, then perhaps you’ll upgrade, but in the meantime any bike can enable you to get fit.
Keep your energy levels up.
Whether you’re cycling for fun, to get fit or training for an event, it’s important to stay hydrated so to always have a water bottle with you and take appropriate snacks to keep you energy levels up, especially if you’ll be on the bike for over an hour.
Don’t be put off!
If you’re not keen to cycle on the roads and would prefer an alternative, there are many other cycling routes available throughout the UK – in parks, off road and several ways to create your own adventures. Recent research reports have actually revealed that there are over 500 miles of lost cycleways, built in the 1930s, that are now hidden in plain sight. With the backing of a small group of supporters through the Kickstarter Campaign, these 1930s-era cycleways are being noticed, and the hope is that they can be resurrected to provide more cycleways in the future. Let’s hope so!
All that’s left to do is get on your bike and create your own adventures.