Bike Shorts: How To (Almost) Never Miss a Ride
Moments of inspiration are a dime a dozen — it’s what you do with them that matters.
Whether you’re new to cycling or you’ve just been off the bike a while, many things can give you that internal nudge to get riding. But, all too often, those fleeting moments don’t translate into a lasting change in our routines. Maybe it’s a new year, maybe just a mid-year reset. It doesn’t matter what prods it — it’s all about what you do next.
For longtime cycling coach Darryl MacKenzie, the next step is surprisingly simple. It’s worked for him for more than 35 years, and if you take his advice, you’ll be much more likely to create that cycling habit and stick to it.
Remember Why You Want To Ride
Before you take that simple step, though, it’s important to pause a moment and reflect on why you’re inspired to ride. If cycling is going to truly be a priority to you, you need a good reason. “I just need a hobby” probably isn’t strong enough.
It may be that you want to be healthier, whether for yourself or for your family. Maybe you’re already fit, but you want a new way to stay that way [LINK TO NEW ONE] that’s easier on your body. Or perhaps you just want a form of exercise that’s more social. Cycling offers all these benefits, and more, so these are great reasons to get on the bike.
Whatever the reason may be, make sure it’s powerful enough to keep you motivated. That will provide the extra push you need to follow through with your simple task.
Set Your Calendar Before It Fills Up
Even when something is important, most of us know all too well how easily life gets in the way. Too often, we relate to the cyclist Darryl describes:
“They really mean to get their four rides in this week, but then it’s Thursday or Friday and they haven’t gotten a ride in. And the issue is that it just never seems like it’s the right time to do it.”
The right time. Therein lies the key to ensuring you follow through. The right time won’t come — you have to make the right time. If you want to get cycling, then put it on your calendar.
It’s as simple as that.
For decades, Darryl has followed this rule. When he’s done weekly Saturday rides, they’ve been on the calendar first so other weekend activities couldn’t take their place. When he worked, he scheduled ride times two evenings a week. During the winter months, he used them for stationary training; in the summer, he rode outside. Either way, the key was having it on his calendar. He treated it like a critical business meeting so he would ensure that, in most cases, other things wouldn’t take precedence unless they really needed to.
Put First Things First
This simple act reflects a principle made famous by the late (and beloved by Coach Darryl) Stephen Covey: Put first things first. Even when you know something is important to you, you have to make time for it, or it won’t happen.
Or, as Darryl puts it, “When it’s on your calendar, you tend to schedule things around it.”
So, next time you get inspired to start riding more often, take a moment to reflect. If you’re serious about it, then don’t wait — put it on your calendar and make it happen.
Look for more of Coach Darryl’s tips and insights at his website.
Photo by Jack Delulio on Unsplash