Cycling is one of the best ways to pass the time, where you can enjoy the nature and can also work out at the same time. But, sometimes cycling all by yourself gets a little monotonous and boring. We always wish we have someone to ride alongside us. This need of ours is aptly fulfilled by social cycling.
The Concept of Social Cycling
Social cycling means you team up with your buddies, or maybe someone unknown, and then you ride along with them. This makes sure you have companionship and gives you the motivation to do the routine properly. It brings about a sense of joy and friendly competitiveness at the same time. Having a company makes the ride a lot easier and fun.
Benefits of Social Cycling
Cycling has many health and environment related benefits. But Social Cycling has some benefits of its own. Some of these are:
- Riding along with someone makes the ride easier. A group of riders is called “” It is quite interesting part of it. It brings positivity and supportiveness into the members. They are willing to put in their extra effort as they want to be with everyone and not left behind.
- Social riding makes the ride safer. It is obvious that people can get distracted and lose their tracks. They may mistakenly go on roads and hit a car. But if there is someone riding along, this won’t happen. Out of the many people driving, some will always be attentive and not let you go in the wrong ways.
- When you ride along with others, you observe them, and you learn. Cycling is not just peddling and steering, but controlling and keeping attention. Going on a ride gives you a chance to observe those people and learn how they are riding the bicycle. You learn something new each day, and that makes you a better rider.
- It motivates you to go out and ride daily and give your best. When you see so many other people coming together, you also get motivated to be with them. It makes you punctual and regular with your rides. You really hate it when you miss a day or are late and thus behind the group. It also makes riding uphill easier for you.
- It makes you more competitive. When so many people are out there and are cycling, you feel that you also need to match them. You are daily out with them, and when you see doing better than you, it makes you put double the effort just to be ahead of them. This kind of friendly competitiveness is very healthy for a good social cycling group.
- Social cycling also gives you a platform to socialize. This “socializing” isn’t the one where you interact with social It is the real socializing where you meet with real people, get to know them personally, and have a good activity daily. It makes you get rid of the shyness and be open in communicating.
Drawbacks of Social Cycling
These are the very basic and general benefits of social cycling. Just like a coin, this aspect also has another side. Some of them are:
- When you are riding in a group, there are not a lot of things under your control. You don’t have a lot of control over the speed you ride, the distance you cover. If you are a very good rider, you have to reduce the workout benefits and increase the enjoyment benefits. It is exactly the other way around for slow or poor riders.
- In social riding, when you are riding with so many other riders, there is a big possibility of you crashing the bicycle into another rider. Due to the proximity between the riders, there is just a small margin for error before you crash into another rider. This can be a very common disadvantage.
- Not everyone at the ride is an expert. Some may be beginners, and thus, our safety measures may not be good enough. Some people are experts, but if the person driving right next to you is a beginner, he may be nervous and thus, may commit a mistake. This could lead to crashes.
Tips for Social Cycling
These were just a few benefits and drawbacks of the concept of social cycling. Implementing it, in reality, is a totally different concept. Some tips for making sure you do well at it are:
1. Hold the Line
The line you drive in is a very important thig to keep in mind. One has to make sure that he holds his line, and do that mainly during the turns. One should always avoid the unusual and unnecessary movements and change of lanes. This will avoid the disturbance to other riders, and be a precaution for any collisions.
2. Concentrate Ahead
Keep your concentration on what is going on ahead of you. There are chances that you will drive into the rider immediately ahead of you, rather than the one behind you. It is your obligation not to hit the biker ahead of you. For that, you have to keep note of what is happening in front of you.
3. Helmet is a Must
Out of all the safety accessories you have to carry and wear, the helmet is the most important one. The helmet protects your brain and, which is the most important part of your system. In social rides, even a small spill can mean someone riding over your head or neck, and may cause severe damage. Thus, the helmet is a MUST.
4. Check the Signals
Listen and carefully comprehend the signals. In a ride, you may not always communicate with your voice, but mainly with your hands. One has to keep a track of the signals to wait, turn, slow down, etc. One should also learn how to give this signal, in case one gets ahead and has to guide the group to a place while riding.
5. Track Your Road
The route is not always marked; thereby, at the end of the ride, you may end up far away from your car. To avoid these, keep a track of where you are and how far your car is. Break off from the group when you feel that you are going to end up pretty far away from your car.
6. Group with the Like-Minded
Nowadays, there are some online sites that allow you to find riders in your area with whom you can go for rides. But one must make and update his complete profile on such websites so that he can find like-minded people who will be interested in being their ride partners.
7. Socialize with the Members
Socialize and get familiar with the group you go riding with. The more you gel up with the group, the easier it will be to enjoy the daily routine and have fun in working out together. If you don’t know your group well, you will always be unwilling to go out with them, and you will never feel the positivity, motivation, and competitiveness.
8. Keep the Confusion Away
Never be confused while riding. If the group is going ahead and crossing a road, just follow the suite. If you stutter and stop, you will affect the group, as well as the traffic around you. Also, once you get confused, the rider behind you may lose control, and it may result in a crash.
9. Create Your Idea
Search for different ideas that you would look for riding on with the group. These ideas should be there to challenge you and make you challenge others too. You may have an idea to go riding uphill one day, or on bumpy off-roads. Share these ideas with the group members and then you can decide collectively.
10. Maintain Your Ride
Make sure to maintain your bicycle. If it breaks down in the middle of a ride, then you will have to get detached from the group and find a way to fix it. Or else you may cause the group to wait for you, and disrupt the ride of everyone. So it is best to maintain the ride and get all the specifications checked.
11. Check Your Speed
While going uphill or downhill, try to maintain speed that everyone in the group is driving. If you suddenly slow down or pick up speed in such a situation, it may cause unnecessary adjustments in the ridings of others. If you are uncomfortable at the current speed, communicate it to others and ask them for a break or else a decreased speed.
12. Be Punctual
Always be punctual and regular. If you can go for the rides, make it a point to show up on time. This way you will always be in good contact with the group and the routine. You will always be fresh and willing to go out and exercise. This will also improve the group’s internal bond.
Our Way to Socializing, Our Way to Cycling
As we know, cycling is a great activity. It acts as a stress buster, helps us to get fresh and also is a great workout. But, if we can do it with others in a big group, or else with friends, the fun quotient is a bit too high.
These were a few tips on how to improve the social cycling. These were just the most important ones and not all the tips. You may be having some tips of your own. If you do have them make sure to leave it in the comments section. If you think reading this blog was helpful and if your friends would love to read this, don’t forget to share with them.