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RELATED: 5 tips to ride more this spring

Many cyclists use early season group rides to show off the fitness they built on the trainer over the winter. However, it is okay if you aren’t one of those riders and are eyeing the early season to build form for the coming months. With summer riding still a couple of months away you have plenty of time to ride yourself into shape=. Here are seven reasons why it’s okay to ride into form this spring:

1) There is no prize for winning the first group ride of the season

Sure, being fast on the first outdoor ride of the season feels great but the season is long. If you are eyeing a race, a gran fondo or charity ride that is still a couple of months away you’ve got plenty of time to work with. Don’t stress if the first couple rides hurt, you are certainly not alone.

2) If you get dropped, your friends will wait for you

And if they don’t, maybe it’s time to get new riding friends.

3) You will avoid mid-season burnout

Cyclist who come into the spring flying may have trouble keeping their fitness throughout the season. As an amateur or recreational rider, you are best off upping the mileage gradually over the spring months. You’ll be rewarded with fresher legs come summer meaning you’ll be flying past all your friends who peaked for the spring. You’ll also be fittest when you can get the most out of the weather.

4) Your lack of fitness gives you an early season goal

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Knowing you have some catching up to do will get you out to ride. Extra motivation is sometimes needed when the weather is not perfect and you need to pull out the layers. It takes the right gear to protect yourself from the elements on spring rides but the investment is surely worth it when your driven to ride yourself into shape.

5) Being slow is one more excuse to go for that bike upgrade you were eyeing all winter

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All your riding friends will talk about is your new bike allowing your lack of fitness to go entirely unnoticed. A new rig will also get you excited to get out early in the season for rides. A new bike is also a sure way to make you faster, maybe.

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6) You should be riding base miles anyway

Spring is the time to build endurance so when you start riding harder later in the season you’ve got better fitness to build off of. Longer steady rides are the way to do this and you don’t need to be in tip-top shape to hold a nice steady pace.

7) Your winter weight gain will be masked by layers

A mountain biker riding through a trail.

Spring riding is often chilly and wet so you’ll be decked out in more gear. What better time to bring up your mileage and start shedding that extra winter weight. You’ve got no knife edged tans to show off either so you can keep your legs hairy a couple more weeks.

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