It's fair to say that the majority of us own a bike (I actually don't at this very moment, but I am searching for my next two wheeled friend as I write.. literally, I have a tab of bicycles open right now!). However, whether it is a hand me down, or something you bought with the best of intentions, you might find that it is not getting used as much as you hoped. We all know that cycling is a great way to get fit - especially if you are looking for a low impact sport to engage with (my dodgy knees do not like running these days). But unfortunately, many of us simply don't find it exciting enough. If this sounds like you, read on to find out how you could fall in love with cycling again...
Change up your routine
Always cycle the exact same route, week in, week out? Humans need regular mental stimulation as they get bored easily - so it's no wonder you're feeling a little disheartened by your bike. Simply choosing a different route can work wonders on both your health and how much you enjoy being on the bike. If you normally cycle in the city, spend a few hours cycling down country lanes and enjoy being surrounded by nature. Or, if you're used to only cycling on roads, go mountain biking for the weekend! As with any sport, safety is the top priority, so make sure you are fully covered by cycle insurance (I recommend Velosure - this is not an affiliate link though!) and always check your bike before you leave the house. If you really don't have any different routes available to you, just try riding your normal patch in reverse; so if you normally a clockwise loop, try doing an anti-clockwise one instead!
Challenge yourself with a sportive
Sportives are to the cycling world what marathons are to runners - gruelling long-distance challenges. But before you stop reading altogether (I know gruelling & long-distance aren't the most motivational of phrases, sorry), they can be a great way to smash your personal best and take on something completely different. There are hundreds of sportive routes across the globe, with some of the toughest taking place right here in Britain. The appropriately named 'Dragon Devil' ride takes place in Wales and is 300 km long! Riders climb an impressive 3437 metres through the Welsh valleys, including tackling the terrifying 'Devil's Staircase' - a 480-metre climb with a shockingly steep gradient. If this all sounds like a bit much for you, there are less challenging sportives available for beginner and intermediate riders, and they're a great way to meet new people!
Join a cycling club
As with any hobby, there's nothing better than doing it with like-minded people. If you can feel yourself really getting back into cycling, why not consider joining a local cycling club? Alongside regular group rides, you will get the chance to participate in races, raise money for charity and enjoy team functions. Most clubs are listed on British Cycling's website - if you can't find one that suits you, you can always start your own!
Try riding on a velodrome
We've all seen Olympic champion Chris Hoy zooming around a velodrome. Velodromes are designed for speed, meaning that cyclists can reach speeds of up to 75km per hour when training in a velodrome. If this sounds like something you'd like to try, there are six indoor tracks in the UK that will give you the real professional experience. Additionally, they all run taster days, so you can try it out before signing up to any classes. I actually rode around a velodrome a few years ago... initially it is terrifying but once you get going it gives a real adrenaline rush and you just don't want to stop!
So that's just four possible ways to get you back in the saddle and peddaling again... if you have any tips of your own I'd love to hear them so please drop a comment below!
Stay safe and keep cycling, x