Cycling isn’t just an ideal way to time manage the daily chores and improve fitness. It can also open up new social avenues through club membership and participating in organised events.
Even if you are not geared towards putting yourself and your machine to the test in a competitive environment there is still plenty of scope to enjoy the sport in the company of fellow enthusiasts. Fun rides, for example, live up to their name.
They are designed to offer the opportunity to get more out of your bike and meet new people but without that competitive edge.
Charity events not only offer that fun element but there is the added bonus of being able to put something back into a favoured cause or the local community by raising funds through sponsorship.
Some charity events do have a competitive edge to them, but these involve a rider setting themselves a challenge, for example on an endurance event.
They may not wish to test themselves against others through a lack of self-confidence, but when it comes to pushing themselves through the pain barrier for others, they are definitely up for the fight.
Physically and Mentally Prepared
If you are going to test yourself in a good cause, or do yourself justice in a fun event, then to perform to your maximum you are going to have to be physically and mentally prepared.
So before signing up for a place on the starting line and making that commitment, ensure you are aware of the distance and terrain involved, and train accordingly.
It is dispiriting enough to feel you have let yourself down; to know you have let down all those people who signed your sponsorship form is an even worse feeling.
In terms of opportunities to enter these events, you will be spoilt for choice. Those who have joined cycling clubs will be kept in regular touch with forthcoming runs through the notice board.
The same is likely to be true of people who hold general sports club or gym membership. The local press, too, is often used by charitable organisations to publicise sporting activities.
If you are really ambitious and want to support a good cause that is personal to you or your family, you could think about planning your own event.
However, remember that there is a great deal of work involved – finding a suitable route, stewarding, first aid and refreshment facilities – and it is likely that you will need permission from both the local authority and the police.
Number and Variety of Events
On the Internet, many sites carry plenty of information and contact details. Sustainable transport charity Sustrans is another useful point of contact for UK residents.
Once you begin exploring links such as these, the number and variety of events on offer will pleasantly surprise you.
Venues are not just restricted to the United Kingdom – Africa, the United States, and South America are just some of the corners of the world hosting charity runs.
So not only is cycling allowing you to contribute, but it is also broadening your own horizons. What started out as a few tentative trips down the promenade or along the paths of the local park has led you to places you never dreamed of visiting, let alone cycling in.
Sounds like getting on your bike was one of the best decisions you ever made.