Frustrated with only getting out for a weekend ride on your pride and joy? With the longer days of summer, here’s our top 10 Ways to create more time to ride.
Why Don’t You…
“Why don’t you switch off the TV and go do something less boring instead”, Thats what they said in the 1980’s kids TV program. With the average UK citizen watching nearly 3 hours of TV per day, there could be time to gain in the saddle.
Ride to Work
This is not always possible, but if it is, give it a go. As well as arriving at work with your endorphins pumping and using less fossil fuels, you will be extending your weekly ride time every time you do. Once you get into the routine, look at alternative routes to extend your ride. Just don’t forget to turn up to work. Why not use the ride to work scheme to invest in a specific commuter bike? This will ensure your usual bike has a nice rest during the week and will be ready for some weekend fun!
Weather To Go or Not
While it is easy to blame the weather and not go out in the rain, don’t. Invest in some proper wet weather riding kit and make the most of it. Remember the Belgian Classics hard-man, Sean Kelly saying, “Skin is Waterproof” – well it is true and having the right clothing makes it much more enjoyable.
Take a leaf out of our friends in the Netherlands book and ride everywhere. Reduce that time when you are sat in queuing traffic by riding your bike to the shops / doctors / post office / even the pub! The best thing about using your bike all the time is that is reduces running costs on your car – those short journeys are terrible for engine wear and tear, as well as the environment. It’s also a great opportunity to build or acquire a utility bike / fixie. It’s a win-win for everyone. If only we all had some decent cycling infrastructure and lived in areas with kind caring patient motorists…
The New Golf…
Now that cycling is more popular, the chances are that somebody you work with or have meetings with could also be a bike rider. Can you see where this is going? Yes, that’s right, have a ride meeting or team bonding ride session. An hour in the saddle together talking through business and maybe a quick coffee? The fresh air and endorphins pumping is a great way to come up with ideas and solutions.
Stop doing things which unnecessarily use up your free time. Looking at social media for hours on end, for example, may not necessarily constitute a worthwhile use of your time. Try a digital detox for a week – eliminate all non-vital use of all the things which use up your time, such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Allocate clumps of this previously wasted time to getting out on your bike or on the trainer.
A home trainer is not just for winter. If your schedule is really, really tight, get your bike set up on a trainer. Those times when you get less than an hour but can’t justify going out for less than an hour – hit the trainer!
Online training platform, Zwift, can hugely reduce boredom which was the main issue with spending a lot of time on the trainer. Using Zwift training schedules it is possible to use time on the trainer to make sizable gains in your riding. Racing on Zwift can even satisfy those competitive urges.
Rollers offer an alternative to the magnetic or fan resistance ‘turbo’ trainer. Standard rollers offer less resistance, allowing a smoother pedalling style, these require a little bit of mastering.
Make the use of early mornings in summer time. The list of benefits for getting out early in summer is huge. Unfortunately, the lure of a cosy duvet and memory foam mattress can be equally as huge. Summer early morning rides are usually; Quieter, cooler, less windy and involve less traffic. Early starts in summer also free up the rest of the day for work and all the other stuff which we have to do.
See the Light
Don’t let that hard-fought-for summer fitness go to waste. Invest is some decent quality lights and get out on those dark autumn / winter evenings. Wearing clothing with reflective panels also ensures that you are seen by other road users. Why not make up a circuit near to home (just in case you need to get home) and get knocking out some laps. Invite some ride mates and before you know it, you have a chain gang. No matter how grim it is, it will definitely be better than Eastenders.
Plan your weekly rides on a Sunday night and masterfully tell everybody who is involved in your life that they are going to happen. Planning on a Sunday night is good because you’ve had a weekend ride and you are keen for your next one. Planning should avoid any ‘double booking’ situations and reduce the prospect or your ride getting bumped off the schedule because of Uncle Cyril’s Shed Warming Party, or whatever. Although I would probably go to the Shed Warming Party to be fair, but you get the gist – Plan to put your bike first, without being too selfish!
Give Your Bike a Holiday
Taking your bike on holiday is a great way to get more time for riding. Research the ride opportunities online before you go, bag up your pride and joy and enjoy riding on different roads.
Check out our range of bike bags here, ideal for holidays with your loved one (bike, obvs!).