Get someone into cycling this year

Father and his daughter sitting at a cafe in their cycling gear.

No generation gap here: father and daughter can share the same sport.

Happy New Year and it’s the traditional time for New Years resolutions. It would seem that many are made but fewer are kept – this could well be due to the requirement to give up something.

Giving up an ingrained habit requires commitment support and encouragement from friends, family to be accountable. It would seem that most resolutions are broken if there is not a plan of this support.  Consider New Year’s resolutions that doesn’t require others to keep us accountable in having to give up something but enables us to add to what we enjoy and have as a sound routine.

A new year’s resolution as cyclists could well be getting others involved in the cycling experience.  A mate, a colleague, a neighbour, who would benefit from the exercise routines and making new friends, take the bold step to invite them to start cycling.

One of the benefits of getting people you know involved in cycling is that they have probably watched your journey at a distance and know that it may not have been easy but see the rewards. Whether you think you have built up a knowledge base or not, does not really matter, what has been achieved along with your enthusiasm and increased health and well being could well be the impetus of getting others to follow your lead in getting started.

A lot of people have memories of cycling as a child and the freedom that this brought.  While others have memories that relate to cycling that are not so fond of pushing to school which in itself may not such a fond memory. It is helpful to be mindful of your own experience that cycling today is not like yester years bikes on rough roads of heavy steel bikes with no gears and clothing not conducive with the hard old leather seats. Our knowledge of bike setup has come a long way and we are more mindful of treating the body with more respect than we did as children.

After having been cycling for a while we seem to have an issue of multiplication of items and these are something we can make a resolution to give up.  It’s like when these pieces of cycling hardware are locked away in dark cupboards they multiply and populate amongst themselves.  The drink bottles that are kept under the sink seem to increase in number and fall out of the cupboard space whenever the door is slightly opened as if alive and trying to escape. Encouraging people on the benefits of hydration and flushing the body system out by drinking more water and less tea and coffee can make an amazing difference in someone’s life just starting out into an exercise régime even if walking more often. Rationalising drink bottles can be a great new year’s resolution.

Cycling jerseys seem to be another item that increase in number and of course we have our favourite that come straight off the clothes line and straight back onto the body to be out on the road.  There is a fair chance that you may well have a near new top that has not seen the light of day for some time, sharing these with others to help them out in getting started to look and fit the part even if they don’t feel it just yet.

Cycling requires discipline, perseverance and commitment of time and effort; we don’t have to struggle with this part of getting the break through, maintaining our encouragement to others can be as simple as being there for them. Whether they turn up consistently or not is of no consequence.

What’s the catch?  It will be making some self sacrifices of slowing down which for some could well be what they need to give the aging body some recovery time. Rides will be shorter in length and degree of difficulty will be lessened but not for too long once your partner establishes their confidence. Working on gaining confidence will be the biggest step you can help them make in having cycling road sense as it is one of the biggest barriers to many older people getting on a bike.  Bike paths are a safe way to get started.

Make this New Year adding to others and enjoy your cycling even more.

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