Stuck for a New Year’s resolution or stuck in a rut? Here are six things to do in 2020 that will benefit you and the cycling community.
1) Encourage someone else to start cycling
Teaching someone to ride a bike, or encouraging someone back to cycling when they haven’t ridden in years, is a gift that can be life changing. We don’t need to explain the reasons that cycling is beneficial; physical health, the environment, fitness, independence, companionship, enjoying nature, mental health, because as a rider you will have already experienced some of the benefits cycling can offer. By extending your support you can help someone else start to feel the rewards of getting back on the bike.
2) Speak up for cyclists rights
To make significant progress in cycling infrastructure, law related to cycle accidents and road safety every voice needs to be heard. Write to your local M.P, report any potholes in your area and join CyclingUK to support their work as cycling activists. Cyclists are too often portrayed by the media as Lycra clad extremists. However, by normalising cycling and when more of society is represented, it is harder for our needs to be ignored as a minority.
3) Educate a driver
We aren’t suggesting you do this in a confrontational way whilst out on the roads but instead talk to your family and friends who don’t cycle about what it is like to be a rider on the roads. Teach things like the Dutch reach so they are aware when opening their car door and show examples of good overtaking technique. If you have children in the car with you get them to play a game of counting cyclists and motorbike riders so when they are on the roads themselves in the future looking out for vulnerable road users, it’s embedded in their minds.
4) Take part in an event
Cycling events are a great way to meet other riders and challenge yourself. It doesn’t have to be competitive, many people take part in events purely for the social interaction or chance to ride somewhere different. Cycling is hugely diverse and an organised event is a great way to try something new in a supportive environment. Whether it’s a sportive, a race, a club or charity ride take yourself out of your cycling comfort zone in 2020.
5) Learn a skill
What would you love to be able to do on your bike? Fix a puncture? True a wheel? Maybe even build your own bike? Learning some basic mechanical skills is very satisfying and can save you money. Some bike shops offer mechanics courses but if you are prepared to have a go at home there are some excellent YouTube videos that will take you through simple tasks, step-by-step. Make every day a school day, it’s never too late to learn.
6) Ride somewhere new
Broaden your cycling horizons by pedalling your way to somewhere different this year. It could be as easy as picking a new route to work, or a long-distance cycle tour, swapping your road bike for some off-road wheels or taking the train and riding home. Exploring somewhere by bike should be a must-do this year.