Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Cycling Buddies
Cycling is much more than an activity because it can become a lifestyle. It helps to keep you healthier, stronger and teaches you the importance of working together as a group. Some cyclists choose to go out on their own, but when doing so they’re missing out on an array of benefits that could improve how they ride their bikes.
If you’re interested in getting into cycling or if you’re looking for a way to fine-tune your existing skills, below are some of the most important benefits associated with cycling in a group versus going out on your own.
1. Improving Your Handling
Cycling with strangers, friends, or family isn’t always a cakewalk, in fact, it can be much more difficult to navigate through city streets when you’re with a group of people. Although this may seem intimidating, it’s also the best way for you to improve your handling. You’ll gain a lot of practice learning how to predictably and safely handle your bike when you’re just a few inches away from other people.
You’ll learn how to correctly position yourself, move up, and use as little energy as possible to stay within the group. If you’re preparing for a big race, riding in a group is a great way to get yourself both physically and mentally ready so you can complete it safely.
2. Preparing for a Race
As mentioned, riding in groups is a great way to prepare for upcoming races. In most cases, coaches will recommend that riders group together and go off on rides. This is because it can be a great simulation for race day. You can easily pick where you’d like the finish line to be and each person will be able to experience what it’s like to bike under pressure.
For yourself, try practicing different tactics that could help you to win the race when you’re faced with your opponents. The more people you cycle with, the easier it will be for you to take on other cyclists in a more professional setting.
3. Riding Further and Faster
When you start riding with other people, you’re going to notice you’ll be pushing yourself to ride both further and faster. Not only will you want to focus on staying with the group, but you’ll also want to accommodate to the distance that everyone else wants to go to.
On your own, it can be easy to get distracted by real-life events, such as wanting to go back home to cook dinner or watch your favorite television show. All you have to do is make the decision to turn around and go back home. It doesn’t work that way when you’re cycling with others, as you’ll feel motivated to push yourself harder so you can feel just as successful as the other people in your group.
By the end of the trip, you might find that you’ve done almost double the distance that you normally do, mostly because you’ll be distracted by the idea of keeping up with the rest of the pack.
4. Making New Friends
Cycling is an incredibly social sport, especially because it’s a gathering of like-minded people who already have a common interest. Some of the people you meet in cycling groups can grow to become your best friends in a short amount of time. You might even find that they’ll call you to hang out outside of your cycling group to grab dinner or go out on the weekends.
Whether you’ve moved to a new area or if you’re simply looking for a group of cyclists you can train with, you can meet some of the greatest people you’ll ever know. This is also a huge benefit because it will push you to get outside more often.
5. Improving Your Safety
This benefit is especially true if you like to ride at night. It’s much easier for drivers to be blind to a single cyclist than a group of people on bikes. Especially in today’s day and age where everyone on the road seems to be speeding to wherever they need to go, you need to take your safety into account.
The larger the group, the safer you’re going to be simply because you’re more visible. There are obvious things that you still need to take into consideration such as reflectors on your bike and clothing, especially at night, but being in a big group reduces your chances of experiencing an accident.
To make group bike riding even safer, ensure that you follow the leader of the group instead of trying to surpass them – even if you’ve taken the same route before.
6. Building Overall Confidence
At the end of the day when you get a group of people together, each person is going to learn something new from everyone else. In your case, you might learn about different techniques that you can use to improve your cycling capabilities. Over time, you’re going to notice how much you’ve grown and how skilled you’ve become.
As a cyclist, confidence is key not only to keep you safe on the road but to also motivate you to continue reaching new goals. The more that you’re open to learning from other people in your group, the stronger you’re going to be and the more confident you’ll feel. Eventually, you can be the person that helps new people assimilate into the group and you can teach them all of the tips and tricks you’ve learned since you joined. The more confident you are, the stronger you are, and the more comfortable you’ll feel when it comes to pushing yourself to face new boundaries and obstacles.
Cycling is much more than exercise; it’s a social event that can help you to become a better version of yourself. Although it can be nice to go on a solo ride once in a while, it’s far more beneficial to opt for group rides whenever you can. You’ll meet new friends, learn new things, and become a stronger rider that will be a force to be reckoned with.