As 2018 starts spinning, we all have our secret hopes about what it will bring us. Most of us are determined to become more fit, healthy, and happy this year.
If cycling is your passion, beloved hobby or just your daily means of transport, make sure to include these resolutions in your new year’s to-do list.
1.TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOUR BIKE
When it comes to bike maintenance, the formula is simple: the more you cherish your cycling buddy, the longer it will serve you.
We all ‘kinda’ know it but let’s be honest - are we really maintaining our bike as well as we should?
Most of us don't. At best, we check the tires before leaving the flat and take the bike to a mechanic once a year.
But what about all the washing, waxing, and lubricating in between? Oops…
To remind yourself of all the small, but essential things that can prolong the life of your bicycle and improve the riding experience, check out our Bike maintenance checklist that we prepared together with professional bike technicians.
2. SET UP A SUITABLE STORAGE SOLUTION
If your apartment or house has limited space, storing your bike indoors might seem problematic. Luckily, there are many smart storage solutions available for every living space and budget.
There are many handy bike hooks or racks that hold your bike beautifully while making it more accessible for your daily rides. A bike rack is also a practical way to store your bike during the winter season.
Here are some bike storage questions to consider:
How many bicycles do you have? There are various stands and racks available for one or several bikes.
How often will you use your bike? If you ride daily, your bicycle needs to be easily accessible. If you want to store it for winter, you can choose a system that is less convenient but saves space.
Where will you keep your bike? Will it be a presentable space, like your living room? Or a less aesthetically important place, like your garage?
How much space can you dedicate? Is there enough floor-space or must it hang on the wall or below the ceiling?
What is your budget? Some bike hooks cost only a few euros, while more artisan ones can amount to hundreds.
Any of the bike storage solutions go well with the VELOSOCK indoor bike cover. Furthermore, the cover will protect your walls from accidental scratches and dirt when putting the bike on the rack.
3. START CYCLING SAFER
Safe cycling starts with being polite, careful, and positive on the streets. Always remember that as a cyclist you are vulnerable and you need to be able to predict - and prevent - risky situations.
Ride your bike so that you can “see and be seen.” If you cycle in dark or semi-dark conditions, always wear reflective clothing and use bike lights.
If you still aren’t wearing a helmet, resolve to do it every day. Worried about looking dorkish? Don’t be.
It turns out there are many good-looking bike helmets, like Torch, Bolle or Yakkay. Or go for Lumos - a next-generation bike helmet with integrated LED lights for brake and turn signals controlled via a Bluetooth remote.
4. DISCOVER A NEW CYCLING ROUTE
No matter if you’re a weekend cyclist or if you ride your bike every day to work. We challenge you to try a new cycling route every week or month!
Cycling on an unexplored path can be a great way to break a routine, bring you the joy of discovery and new inspiration for your work and daily life.
Some tips for finding new routes:
Check the map for an unfamiliar side road. Chances are, the roads you ride have streets branching off them. Try turning on those and go off the beaten track for new experiences.
Throw your bike in the car and drive to new roads. Even a 15-20 minute drive will open up new possibilities in the towns or villages that were just a bit too far to cycle.
Find new roads on Strava. It’s an online platform for cyclists (and runners) to upload their GPS-tracked rides to interactive communal maps. You can find a segment of local cyclists and explore which roads they have taken and find inspiration for new routes.
Who knows - you might even find yourself in the middle of a
5. TREAT YOUR BIKE (AND YOURSELF) TO NEW ACCESSORIES
We all want to be more healthy, successful, and good-looking this year. Why not start by cycling with style? Check this list of cool cycling gadgets or choose a new cycling outfit - for yourself or the bike.
Hip and practical cycling accessories will make the riding experience even more pleasant, safe, and smooth. For example, cyclist raincoat, rain hat, handlebars or seat cover will motivate you to ride the bike when it’s raining outside.
6. ORGANIZE A CYCLING EVENT
Cycling is an extremely fun recreational activity that unites people of all backgrounds and ages. Indeed, it’s adored by many seniors as well as kids and youngsters.
If you have an active family, why not arrange a cycling tour for them? Or have a fun ride and picnic with your friends?
How to organize a weekend cycling trip:
Pick a suitable date. Check the weather forecast for the areas you want to visit.
Find a pleasant, less popular route. For a day trip, the distance should be around 20-50 km (depending on your skills and experience). Mind that roads with less traffic are safer.
Pick a cool destination. Your group will feel more motivated and excited to reach the goal if it’s something unique, mysterious, or very beautiful.
Set up an event to invite your friends. Use Facebook or another communication channel to inform the participants about the trip and include some motivating pictures. Tell everyone to bring their sandwiches for a friendly picnic.
Make the necessary arrangements. For example, book a picnic table or a museum visit in advance.
Don’t forget the first aid kits - both for the bikes (tire pump, spare tubes, multi-tool) and their riders.
7. PROTECT YOUR BIKE AGAINST THEFT
Have you done everything in your power to protect your two-wheeled buddy from thieves?
Stolen bike stats are still alarming in many locations around the world. For example, bicycle theft is on the rise in Melbourne, Australia while in the UK nearly 400,000 bicycles are stolen annually.
As you prepare for the cycling season, make sure your bike will see the end of it in your possession.
Here are some tips for avoiding bicycle theft:
Get a sturdy bike lock, maybe even two. Thieves can get through big bike locks, but it takes them longer, and they need special tools. Get more locking tips here
Park your bike in a well-exposed place, where passers-by can easily see it.
Don’t park in the same place every day. “Professional” bike thieves can spot your bike’s location and the times when nobody’s watching it.
Register your bike. If your bike is stolen and recovered, a unique code will enable the police to trace your bike back to you.
Get bicycle insurance. If your bike's expensive, insurance is a small price for the comforting feeling of safety.
8. CHALLENGE YOURSELF IN A RACE OR COMPETITION
As your fit and sporty year progresses, try setting a cycling challenge for yourself! Check the local competitions suitable for your fitness level or even go for an international race if you’re up to it!
Check out some of the toughest races on the planet to inspire yourself for your personal feats.
When you sign up for a race, you’re taking your recreational hobby to the next level. It takes work, but you can do it!
Here are some tips how to prepare for a cycling competition:
Find the race that suits you best (mountain race, road race, cyclocross, etc.).
Check the demands and requirements.
Find a mentor - this is not compulsory, but can help a great deal.
Get the right equipment - it has a crucial impact on your performance in the race.
Work on your fitness and skills - this can take weeks or months, depending on the race you choose and your present fitness.
Find more detailed tips here.
9. USE MOBILE APPS TO NAVIGATE & TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Whether you want to monitor your cycling progress, find your way in a new area or simply record your ride, there’s an app designed for you. Various mobile apps not only make a cyclist’s life
Here are some cycling apps we’ve found to be precious:
Strava is one of the most popular GPS apps for cyclists. It keeps track of your ride stats, including speed, time and distance, and records where you’ve been. Strava user community is large, and you can always compare your performance against any of the numerous Strava segments.
CycleMaps makes it easy to plan your cycling route, choosing the most direct and safest way. You can set a single destination, include multiple stops, or choose an alternative (e.g., more scenic) route to the selected one.
Bike Computer - if your phone also serves as your cycling computer, this app gives you everything you need. You can also sync all your activity with Strava.
Bike Citizens is for you if you love to travel by bike. Just find the city you want to visit and use this handy app as a map and travel guide in one! Use voice commands to guide you to your point of interest while you’re on the go.
Find many other useful apps here.
SPIN INTO THE NEW YEAR!
Albert Einstein once said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
We say - to have a year full of action, well-being, and new experiences, you must keep riding.
So pick one or several of these new year’s resolutions and don’t lose your determination after the first few months!
We wish you good luck - and a dynamic new year!