SBC Members and Area Cyclists:
The past year saw more people jumping on bikes for the first time and those first-time riders are excited. But, if you have been riding for years and COVID isolation has been getting you down, how do you stay motivated to continue cycling? Here are a few suggestions that might help. Here are some tips modified from Bicycling Magazine from back in June 2020 that is still very applicable as we move into spring 2021.
Explore a new route
It is easy to fall into a routine when it comes to your cycling routes, as we often find certain roads we enjoy. But part of the joy of cycling is really exploring our surroundings, so why not consider searching out some new areas to explore on the bike. Try riding slightly further than you have before as this naturally takes you to new spots, but also consider taking a different turning off down a quiet-looking road – this can often lead to finding some real gems.
Forget the data
We can all be guilty of over-thinking the numbers from time to time. Whether it’s obsessing over the distance, trying to set new power bests, or fretting over average speeds, cycling is full of fascinating metrics. But sometimes focusing on the numbers can sap the fun out of the bike. This thought petrifies me but try going for a ride without your GPS on, with no time scale and no map – just pedal and see where the ride takes you. Or for those reluctant to leave behind all the numbers, try putting your GPS in your back pocket so you can check the numbers after the ride, but your attention is free to enjoy the ride.
Join a cycling club
Due to coronavirus lockdown, most people who started cycling over the last few months have done so either alone or with a handful of people from their household. But one of the great joys of cycling is the social life and there is no better way of meeting like-minded riders than joining your local cycling club. With restrictions beginning to ease, we are slowly starting up group rides (with reduced group sizes).
Get some new kit
It does not matter what bike you ride or what clothes you wear, as long as you’re riding your bike. But for some making a cycling-related purchase can help you reinvigorate your motivation. Being keen to test a stylish new jersey or a new component for the bike is a great reason to get out and ride, and it does not have to be expensive, just a jersey, or new shorts will make you pedal faster and further. The SBC Pactimo store will be opening February 14.
Get a Strava subscription
If you are an SBC Member, you can track your miles on the Club “Members Only” tab on the website. But if you want to track all the data that comes along with mileage, check out Strava. This data/social media tracking service is $6 a month (there’s also a free version that does not include all the bells and whistles). Many Strava users will tell you com that competing over segments, setting goals and analyzing your data might be well worth the monthly fee. Segment leaderboards are a great way to compare your efforts to those of other local riders and can also help you measure your own abilities as they progress. The Springfield Bicycle Club also has a “club” on Strava for SBC members only.
Remember the benefits
The benefits of cycling are well-documented – improved fitness and mental health being two of the biggest. It can be worth familiarizing yourself with all of the way cycling can help make your life better but make sure you remind yourself why you started cycling and why you continue to enjoy it. Often our goals and motivations change as we dig into cycling more, but there will always be a core reason why you find riding your bike so fun – so don’t forget it!
Your Board continues to meet regularly via Zoom. You will find an update on many of the items we have been working on in this update.
Wave to me if we meet on the road or trail.
Troy Gilmore, SBC President