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Do you only cycle to work?

28 March, 2015 0 comments

Only cycle to work?

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Do you only cycle to work?

Do you only ever cycle to work? Sometimes just keeping your cycling regime to only one activity can make it boring. If you are finding it hard to get on the bike in the morning but know that cycling is the sport for you, then why not find some ways to get on the bike without it being a rush to get to that first meeting of the morning.

Those people who cycle to work are using a functional task as a great way to get more exercise and more time on their bike. However, some people who only cycle on their commute might be worried about the transition over to longer rides at evenings or weekends. If this is you then never fear, it is easy to make the change. First you need to find the time to get on the bike without it also involving your trip to work. It’s all about carving some time into your busy schedule and sticking to it; it’s amazing how exercise can become just another date in your diary after a time and you tick it off without even thinking.

If you only cycle to work then you may not feel as kitted out as those who go on longer rides. This may be true, but first take a look at what you already have. If you commute then you need to be well lit to avoid clashes with cars, so you no doubt have the correct gear for riding at night. Commuters also have to deal with the odd puncture or mechanical problem, so if you already have the few bits of equipment for that then you are already kitted out. Longer rides can bring up small mechanicals but they are only the sort of thing that you might experience on an urban commute.

Working out where to start can be another factor in moving from cycling to work exclusively to enjoying longer rides or more intense cycling. The best thing to do is just to get started: hop on your bike and work out a few routes that you want to take. It’s best to get things like your preferred route sorted early because a boring or unfulfilling ride can put you off quickly. Keep in mind what you are starting this sort of cycling for: if it’s just for an extra dose of fresh air and a chance to do a bit more exercise in your week then tailor your rides appropriately. If you are looking to start training, perhaps for a race, charity ride or to make cycling really work as part of a fitness routine, then first work out your base level of fitness and give yourself a goal to work towards. Moving from the former to the latter is a matter of sticking to a routine and gradually increasing the toughness of your rides as you go along.

One really good way to start a new way of cycling is to grab a cycling buddy, or a whole group of them. This means that you have people around you to share tips, route ideas or knowledge with. You will have the support of others around you and this may make the difference between moving onto regular cycling outside of commuting or giving up all together. Cycling buddies are a great source of motivation and confidence-boosting, so take a look into getting one.

Nutrition is probably something you didn’t have to think about if you cycle to work exclusively. Although it’s always important to drink and eat well, the idea of ‘cycling nutrition’ will have probably not crossed your mind if you were just pedaling in for a meeting. This can change when you start to cycle at other times and for longer rides, but it doesn’t have to mean a dramatic change in diet or a huge amount of knowledge. Simply learn the basics: stay hydrated, work out whether you need to take food on your ride or not) usually dependent on how long you cycle for) and what some good pre-riding snacks and meals are.

If you already cycle to work but are wanting to expand your cycling experience then there is no need to fear the change. Everybody starts from somewhere, and given time you could work towards whatever goal you set for yourself: whether that’s riding in a sportive or just getting out into the countryside for a long ride once a week. You don’t need to make any huge changes to your equipment, knowledge or skills to get riding in a different way, just the enthusiasm to make cycling another, different, part of your day to day life. 

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