A cycle a day keeps the boredom away
Do more outside. Do more socially distancing. So do more cycling!
There is something fundamentally true in the simplicity of this advice. Being outside more as the wonderful British weather kicks in seems counterintuitive. Doubling down on warm cosy living rooms and a nice glass of red seems much more sensible. But wait....
The whistle of wind in the ears, the neck straining gaze upwards to swaying treetops, the rolling mist across sleeping fields. Calming our mind, giving us perspective, pushing the heart and lungs a little. The benefits we know; so why don’t we do more of it?
Our willpower muscles aren’t having to work that much in our relatively comfortable lives. Getting to work on a Monday morning usually drains the small reservoirs we have if you're going to work. If you're working home this is arguably MORE important.
Like all muscles – the willpower one can get stronger, fitter and easier to use.
The environmental, emotional, physical and social benefits of riding your bike more are there for the taking.
Setting actions not goals.
Specific activities that can be put into your diary. Ride to the supermarket for top up shop. Ride to work on Tuesday morning. Ride to Chris’ house for catchup on Wednesday. High intensity ride on Friday morning.
Being specific about why you are doing the activity helps to create a sense of loss we don’t want.
thank you GIPHY for this fab gif
Worry about today not tomorrow.
A visible consistent chain of successful actions is the single best exercise for the willpower muscle. Put it on the fridge, by the front door, next to your bed – make the whole household see it. Then just get an ‘X’ on today’s space – don’t go to sleep till it’s done. The more ‘X’s we see, the harder it is to break the chain.
Winning combinations make new habits.
Routines are already part of our lives. We tend to like routines, it’s why COVID has been such a challenge. Link your plans to ride to your existing routines. The school run, the shopping trip, a catchup with a friend, weekly yoga class. Linking them with a ride is an easy additional action that can be simply made to happen.
Treat yourself or get rewarded by someone else.
Making ourselves feel good and giving ourselves reasons to be proud is an addictive thing. Find reasons to win the bet with your friend that you won’t do it, buy yourself a new riding shirt, an hour extra with a favourite book, a double gin – whatever feels like a prize recognise and reward yourself.
Plan and prepare in advance.
The little snooze devil, the rainy day demon, the can’t be bothered imp. Their voices inside you will be loud and powerful. Taking away their power is about preparing. Get your rain coat out and your backpack cover. Put a shower kit in your bag. Make your first appointment a little later. Lay your shoes and bike in the hallway. As easy as 1,2,3 – that’s the goal.
The secret recipe for being a person who rides regularly will be special to you. We are interested to hear your stories. You never know: you might just inspire someone else.