Now, if you’re looking to smash the miles this summer, we salute you and are happy to provide you with some inspiring challenges here. But maybe, this summer, you’re hoping to tap into another layer of your love for cycling with a less conventional goal. Either way, below, you’ll find some great ideas for getting even more in tune with your bike over the months ahead and possibly even strengthening your ties to the wonderful cycling community we are all so lucky to be a part of!
Some points to keep in mind
There is no point in aligning your goals with one of your riding buddies if what pushes them out of their comfort zone doesn’t correspond with what would push you out of yours.
What’s more, there isn’t much point in setting a goal just for the sake of it. Take some time to ask yourself what matters to you, what motivates you to ride, and what you’d like to achieve. This could lead you to anything from having more compassion for yourself during training to working up the courage to try something new. Whatever the case, find your why, and you’ll be one step closer to finding your way.
Spend the night alone with your bike
If you’ve never done this before, it can be a fun and hugely rewarding way to spend a summer weekend. Pick a destination within a comfortable distance from your home, pack the essentials, and prepare for some quality alone time. I’d suggest camping for a night to get the most out of this but pedalling to a B&B in a nearby town is an option, too. You’ll indeed travel lighter if you book a place to stay but you’ll also miss out on the gratification of being self-sufficient on two wheels.
Treat yourself to a coach
Improving a skill or learning a new one is an empowering way to breathe fresh life into your relationship with your bike. Even if you’ve been at it for a while, some proper coaching could go a long way to helping you take your enjoyment of cycling to the next level. There’s always something to learn or improve, and an expert can assist you in feeling more confident, safer, and potentially more adventurous on future rides. Coaching is a great place to start if you’d like to improve your handling skills, understand how you could use your energy more efficiently or have enhanced confidence on steeper, more technical sections. Book yourself in for a few sessions this summer, and get ready to surprise yourself!
Plan a mini cycling event
We’re not talking about a multi-day cycling camp or thousand-participant race event—although, if you feel so inclined, please, go for it! Depending on your level of cycling involvement or event-planning skills, though, even organising a group bike outing or cycling day trip might be enough of a challenge to take on. Bringing people together to ride bikes is a wonderful thing to do, and even (especially) if you’re usually not the one to take the reigns when it comes to planning, this is a great summer cycling goal! Pick a destination you’ve been wanting to visit, gather a crew, designate some tasks in terms of snack preparation and feel proud of yourself after the fact when everyone is thanking you for starting a new summer tradition.
Recruit a new cyclist
Speaking of the joy that bringing folks together offers—this is another rewarding (and altruistic) goal to add to your summer list. In addition to the fun you’ll have, and the satisfaction you’ll get from sharing your knowledge with a friend, introducing someone to cycling can be a great way to get yourself to return to the basics. The beginner’s mind is arguably one of the most useful training tools out there and can help you see your sport of choice through fresh eyes. In addition to a new riding buddy, you might just end up reconnecting with what made you fall in love with cycling in the first place.
Leave the devices at home
This might sound crazy to some of you but the truth is that analysing all that data can get a bit tiresome. We understand if you consider your Garmin to be part of your inner circle of friends but even besties need a break sometimes. Many of us have more time to ride in the summer, which means having the freedom to experiment with leaving our devices at home to better reconnect to our bodies and the feel of riding.
In this sounds challenging, that’s good! That is why it is a goal. As any accomplished athlete will tell you, data can be helpful but you must also learn to tune in with your body to make real progress. So this summer, set aside time to learn to listen to and work with your body. Plus, you’ll tend to remember your surroundings better if you piece them together yourself versus experiencing them through a computer screen.
However you choose to take advantage of the summer of cycling stretching out before us, try to focus on ways to invigorate your passion for the sport and celebrate the aspects of it that make you happiest. Long live those sweet summer rides and the goals they help us to accomplish!