We all know the benefits of a daily riding habit. You get in great shape, train for the big rides, reduce stress and build a fun daily ritual. Starting the habit is easier said than done, however. Most habits die in the first few weeks. It’s easy to give up the first time you feel tired or unmotivated. Here are some thoughts on how to make the habit stick.
4 Tips for Building a Daily Riding Habit
- Start small: The most common killer of New Year’s resolutions is high expectations. Many people push themselves way beyond their limits. After a few weeks, they get burnt out and quit. You don’t have to start training for a marathon right away. Just start by going for a quick ride every day. Then you can build from there.
- Not all rides are training: This goes along with the first point. One of the best motivations to ride is just good old fashioned fun. If you feel like you are forcing yourself to get on your bike, you are more likely to give up the habit. Remember that not every ride can or even should be a training ride. It’s ok to just glide around a park and enjoy yourself. This will help your body recover and keep you excited about the sport.
- Anticipate the reward: Scientific research has shown that anticipation is a crucial part of building a new habit. Start looking forward to your next ride throughout the day. Think about the new neighborhood or park you want explore, or the euphoria of that post-ride endorphin boost.
- Schedule time: If you start with just a vague idea that you’ll find time to ride every day, life will have a way of keeping you too busy. You must clear out a designated time on your calendar or else work, friends and family obligations will get in the way.
When it comes to starting a habit, it’s best not to overthink it. If you keep having fun and maintain reasonable expectations for yourself, you’ll be enjoying your rides so much you won’t be able to imagine giving it up.
Joshua Bonnici is a San Diego bicycle accident lawyer and cycling enthusiast with a passion for promoting bicycle safety and fighting on behalf of his fellow riders.