Its now 2015, and the world hasn’t turned out quite how Back to the Future II predicted, but no matter! I’m sure cycling is way more fun than hover boarding anyway…
So in the spirit of New Year here are a list of 8 things to try in 2015 to spice up your cycling!
Go for a Ride without Technology
Leave your heart rate monitor home and swap your Garmin for a paper map. Swing your legs over you bike and ride off – you will experience the joy you felt when you cycled as a child! Try going as fast as you can for a bit, just for the hell of it, then coasting on a quiet road and taking in the scenery before perhaps stopping for a ice-cream or cake. Just for once let it not matter if you don’t have anything to upload to Stava, cycling should be FUN after all!
Refurbish an Old Bike
Find yourself a vintage steed bring it back to its former glory, perhaps then you could get togged up in wooden shorts and leather riding goggles and ride it at L’Erocia Britannia in Bakewell in June?
Go to a Bike Jumble
Once you’ve found the perfect fixer-upper vintage bike (or maybe even just a frame) you will need seek out all the authentic parts to finish the project. Sitting somewhere between an antique fair and carboot sale, you will be certain to find lots of interesting bike-related items. A list of all the UK Bike Jumbles can be found here. On the 11th of January at the Manchester Velodrome there is the World’s largest indoor Bike Jumble- with over 160 stalls it should be well worth a visit.
Volunteer at a Cycling Event
Take a few hours out so your schedule and give something back to your favourite sport. There are so many things to get involved in from leading a local club ride to marshaling or timekeeping at a race or time trial. More information on volunteering with British Cycling here.
Try a New Discipline
Spread your cycling wings and try something different – get muddy on a mountain bike or in a cyclocross event (the season doesn’t end until February so its not to late!) Book yourself a track session at a velodrome…or (dare I utter the words..) try BMX.
Encourage a Friend into Cycling
Many cyclists proudly speak of the great numbers of bikes they own (need I mention the N+ 1 rule!), why not loan one of these to a friend? Think how much you love cycling and the enjoyment its gives you – what a gift this would be to give someone. Plus you know it won’t be long before they are hooked and buying something “lighter” than whatever you have chosen to loan them. My first road bike was one borrowed from a family member and without it I would have never started Road riding.
Donate a Bike to Africa with Re-Cycle.org
Do something with a bike you no longer use and you could help someone in Africa get better access to eduction & health, as well as improving their income prospects. You can drop off you Bike at one of Re~Cycle’s 7 dedicated collection points dotted around the country or at one of 77 branches of Halfords – full list here. Alternatively you could volunteer with Re~Cycle and help refurbishing bikes, organising bike collections in your area, van driving or container loading.
Find yourself a willing partner and try four legs on two wheels! Coordination and trust is key! There are plenty of places to go riding for the day where you can hire a Tandem – try Rutland Cycling for a traffic-free introduction to riding Tandem. You never know you might discover an thus-far undiscovered urge to ride as a pair – this may lead to Tandem Time Trialling – you have been warned!