You know what they say, “misery loves company.” It’s the same with cyclists… but cycling isn’t miserable, we promise! So, since cycling is so refreshing, healthy, and downright fun, why is it so hard to get someone to start cycling with you? It’s because people are not really sure what they are getting into. They may believe that cycling is harder than it is, so it’s our job to show them otherwise. Here’s how to do it.
- Show How Easy Cycling Is – Cycling is really only hard if you turn it into a race, or if your saddle is set too low, or if your tires are too soft, or if your bike is a rusty old bucket. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be hard at all.
- Set a Goal – Many people don’t want to start cycling because they don’t know exactly what they are signing up for, so lay it out for them. Set a concrete goal with your friend, such as a short distance that gradually increases every week.
- Offer Incentives – The ride itself is often plenty of incentive for daily riders, but that will rarely be enough when trying to persuade friends into joining you. Try planning a ride that ends at your friend’s favorite restaurant or ice cream parlor.
- Don’t Show Off – There’s plenty of time to do a hard ride after you’ve helped out your friend. Showing off by riding fast, or talking in bike geek language is the quickest way to dishearten your friend.
- Talk Safety – One of the most popular reasons people give as to why they don’t want to go cycling is traffic. Talk you friend through all the important bicycle safety tips and start out on the safest routes you know; back roads, parks, paths, etc.
- Be Patient – Don’t balk at your friends when they ask a lot of questions or get nervous every time the wind blows. Listen to their concerns and offer assistance when they ask.
- Celebrate – Make sure that the end of every ride is all positive. We don’t really want to say it’s like training a puppy by using treats to reward great behavior, but it’s exactly like training a puppy by using treats to reward great behavior.
Rather than letting yourself or your friend dwell on any failures, be sure to talk about the positives. If you rode a mile on your first trip, then dance and sing of the triumphs you both accomplished. After all, that’s one mile more than you used to could say that you rode together.