Is your bicycle gathering dust in a shed? Do you keep telling yourself you’re going to take it out for a ride, but you never do? While many of us have an urge to take up cycling, finding the motivation to get back on the saddle can be hard. Cycling requires a lot of time, concentration and physical exertion. The weather can also have a big impact on how motivated we are. That said, there are many great benefits that you could be missing out on by putting off cycling. Below are some tips on how to find the motivation to get on your bike.
Consider the benefits of cycling
As already mentioned, cycling has many benefits. A few of the biggest benefits include:
- Staying fit: Cycling can be a great form of exercise that could help you to lose weight and gain leg/core muscle.
- Getting outdoors: Cycling is a great outdoor activity that can allow you to get some fresh air. With a mountain bike, you may even be able to explore natural areas that you wouldn’t be able to access via car.
- Saving money: Getting around locally via bike could save you money on gas and parking if you usually use a car. Alternatively, if you use a bus or a taxi, it could save you money on these public transport fees.
- Saving the planet: Cycling instead of using your car is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Reminding yourself of these benefits can be a great motivator. You may even be able to track your progress by using apps to see how many calories you’ve burnt or simply tracking how much less money you spend on fuel each month.
Start with short easy trips
Easing your way into cycling is the best way to maintain motivation. If you start with long gruelling trips, you may find it harder to motivate yourself to keep it up.
Start by considering easy local routes that you can take. You can then build yourself up to longer cycle trips. These shorter trips are also likely to be easier to fit into your day if your life is very busy – an hour bike ride may be too hard to squeeze in, but a 10 minute ride to a local shop and back is easy to make time for.
Make cycling a social activity
Cycling with family or friends can be another great way to motivate yourself. You can turn bike trips into a social opportunity for bonding with family members or catching up with friends. This means that you don’t have to delegate separate time for socialising and cycling.
You could also find that having cycling buddies helps motivate you on off days when you’re feeling lazy. Not wanting to let them down could motivate you to go out cycling on days when you would have otherwise stayed at home.
Don’t let bad experiences put you off
Bad experiences can put some people off cycling. For example, perhaps you fell off your bike and injured yourself?
Recovering from such an injury could be important before riding again (if someone else caused the accident, you may even be able to seek compensation to help with recovery costs with the help of a bicycle accident lawyer). After you’ve recovered, try to get back into cycling as soon as possible, especially if you were once passionate about cycling. Taking safety measures such as wearing better protective gear or avoiding cycling certain routes/times of the day could help you to feel safer so that you’re more motivated.
Stay dry with an indoor bike
A lot of people stop cycling once the colder and wetter months roll in. There’s no denying that it’s not as fun when you’ve got rain beating down upon you and high-force winds to contend with.
A way to get around this could be to buy yourself an indoor bike. This can allow you to cycle while staying warm and dry. You can even cycle and catch up on your favorite TV shows. This could serve as a form of downtime and exercise, plus you’ll be able to more flexibly work out around commitments (you could get on your bike while the kids are asleep without having to leave them at a home with someone to babysit).
If you would prefer to get out of the house, another option could be to join a gym and use their exercise bikes. You may even be able to find a gym with an indoor spin class – these can be great social activities as well as being great opportunities to cycle and stay dry.