It’s 2015! You may be resting after one too many sherries over the festive period but it’s worth thinking about your plan for cycling – hobby or commute.
Sometimes we simply get ‘stuck in a rut’ or things become a bit ‘stale’, so 2015 is the year to mix up your cycling pattern and hobbies.
With the excitement and adrenaline from London 2012’s cycling achievements dwindling into distant memory, we thought we’d spice up our Bike Bus blog readers’ imaginations…!
1 Ride a century!
100 miles cycling would be quite the feat, but it is achievable for regular cyclists! A lot of cycling events in the UK have such lengths, but you can also plan your own route of 100 miles. The advantage of taking part in an organised event will obviously be the motivation of “having to do it”. Follow a training plan and build your mileage up!
2 Not enough? Ride an audax!
100 miles not enough?! We have a better option! Long-distance audax events are non-competitive rides over a pre-defined course. However they come in many distances with typical routes being 100km, 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km!
Push yourself if your 2014 goal was 100km, with the Bryan Chapman Memorial, the UK’s blue riband 600km audax. Better yet, attempt the holy grail of long-distance cycling, the 1,200km Paris-Brest-Paris.
Not just your money, but your time! Be passionate about cycling and spend time teaching what you know or expanding on what you know. Donate money to cycling charities and donate time to your local clubs and groups.
4 Smarter training
Don’t just train for the sake of it! Come up with a smart plan for training that suits your everyday activities and needs. Plus, improve it as you improve! If you don’t challenge yourself at each turn then you’re going to find this new resolution become as stale as what you were (or weren’t) doing before! Training takes effort, determination and sheer hard work, so the moment it isn’t any of those things anymore – go back to that drawing board and rethink your training schedule!
5 Don’t feel responsible
Letting road rage or cyclist’s rage get the better of your does not help. Be proactive and responsible on the road, don’t feel you have to get enraged on behalf of other road users or because of other road users.
Set the standard higher than them and cycle on with your head held high!
6 Set a mileage target
There are some fantastic apps and gadgets on the market now for sports fanatics. Download one of the many mileage / speed apps currently available onto your device and try to beat targets. Equally you can also download fitness accessories such as wristbands, which monitor your pulse and mileage – for a health aspect to your motivational training / time and speed keeping.
7 Avoid pedestrian pathways
We fought really hard to make the roads safer with cycle lanes and councils up and down the country have made extensive changes to our road and pathways to make cycling safer.
As much as we might grumble about the current state of the UK’s highways and cycle paths, they do exist and if they’re there we should use them! Find official cycle routes and new cycle lanes and incorporate them into safer journey – you may even make friends along the way!
8 Get on a ‘real’ track or go on tour!
Why not get on a ‘real’ cycling track and stretch your pedalling legs on an outdoor or indoor UK track. There is the Lee Valley Velopark, which actually hosted the track cycling at London’s 2012 Olympic Games, but there are many across the UK.
Most tracks also offer taster sessions for beginner cyclists – do a quick internet search to find your nearest facilities.
9 Encourage friends and family
Cycling is a great sport / hobby / way to commute. You must think so, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it yourself! Share this enthusiasm! Encourage your partner / siblings / parents to adopt cycling as a method of fitness, commuting or a hobby! It’s amazing how many people want to try cycling, but need that little push to invest time / money into it.
Thanks to London 2012’s Olympic Games/Tour de France, cycling is finally getting the credit it deserves, in the eyes of most of the general public!
10 Create a personal challenge
There are many challenges in this list, but why not make it a little more personal? Join a charity event for a cause you’re passionate about or in the name of someone you care about.
Why not set up your own cycle routes in the local area that push you that little further than a generic route would?
Aim to lose weight, tone up, make friends, discover new places… etc. with cycling!
11 Get some cycling literature
Why not read up on the topic itself? There are some great historical pieces of literature, as well as documentaries out there! Whether you want to learn about the background of cycling and the bicycle, or some of the most famous cyclists there has been, there is also something to get stuck into!
12 Watch the Tour De France
2014 was a huge year in the UK for the Tour De France, but don’t let that dampen down! Take an interest in televised cycling events and consider visiting the site of one of the world’s biggest – the Tour De France!
Support the event, not just for the UK’s involvement in 2014, but because it really does showcase the amazing skill and fitness required in cycling.
13 Involve the children
With the huge focus on cycling in the London Olympics, Chris Hoy’s recent achievements and the Tour de France in Yorkshire, the younger generations have the most natural interest in cycling now.
According to this report, cycling is the third most popular sport in u18s in the UK right now! Embrace this by teaching your youngest how to ride and encourage the older children to use their bicycles as a mode of transport to school or around their friends’ houses.
14 Take part in an event abroad
Go all the way and make a holiday of cycling! There are some fantastic European events that you, your cycling club or family can visit.
If you’re a cycling family, incorporate it into your summer holiday or plan a visit to either cheer on or participate in any of the events taking place across the world.
- Our next blog post will focus on the biggest events across the UK in 2015, after that we’re highlighting the hugest events across the globe in 2015!
15 Learn bike maintenance – take a class!
Shockingly, 40% of adults would struggle to fix a bicycle tyre puncture, according to a 2014 survey. If you’re a cyclist yourself it’s best to know the basics, including fixing punctures, wrapping handlebar tape, plus checking and replacing your bike chain.
It takes a short amount of time and little skill to know these things, but they could make all the difference if something goes wrong with your bicycle, on a journey.
We hope you have had a fantastic Christmas and that it is a great year for you in 2015! Tweet us your news and plans for the year at@UKBikeBus!