Six ways to ride more in 2014

January 02, 2014

It’s pretty rare to go for a bike ride and end up regretting it. Even if you don’t feel like riding when you hop on your bike, chances are by the time you park it at your destination, you’re feeling better than when you started. The endorphins, sunshine, fresh air, conversations, time for contemplation, and sights and sounds of the road all can bring great pleasure.

When we surveyed our supporters73% of you said you don’t ride as often as you like. With all the family, work, and social obligations out there, sometimes it can be hard to make time for a bike ride—even when you know it would be good for you. If you aren’t riding as much as you would like to, here are six tips on how to ride more.

1. Substitute car or bus time for bike time.

If there’s a trip you’re going to have to make no matter what—a doctor’s appointment, picking up something at the store—try riding instead of driving or taking public transportation. If it’s a longer trip, you might have to leave a little earlier. But this way you kill two birds with one stone. As Congressman Earl Blumenauer says, “Let’s have a moment of silence for those stuck in traffic on the way to the gym to ride a stationary bicycle.”

2. Set a riding routine, especially during the week.

If you have an employer where lunch rides are acceptable, they are a great way to stick to your riding routine. When you ride at the same time every day, it’s hard to push off riding until later...or not at all. Alternatively, creating a routine of riding before work can help you stick to your riding schedule and, in turn, get out more often.

3. Take outings by bike.

Have a date scheduled or a family outing planned? Make bikes part of the mix. If you’re fortunate enough to have a well-designed mountain bike park in your town, they are a great place for riders of all abilities to ride together. Or, grab bikes and ride to a local park or beach for a picnic and some lawn games.

4. Go there by bike, get a ride home.

If you don’t have time to get in a ride and then go wherever you need to go with your family or friends, send them with a change of clothes and shoes (if necessary) and meet them there on your bike. You may feel guilty for sending them with your stuff, but they’ll probably be thankful when you arrive in a good mood.

5. Bike commute.

This combines tips #1 and #2. A survey of Americans (PDF) found that if their commute times were reduced, 37% say they’d spend the extra time exercising. Escape this pressure by combining your commute and your exercise by riding to work!

6. Find a group ride.

Group rides are great for motivation. You have pressure to show up, and it’s not always easy to bail whenever you start feeling tired. Especially in summer when daylight hours are at their maximum, evening group rides can help you find yourself riding much more than you would on your own.

What other tricks and tips do you have for riding more? Tell us in the comments below.

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