Building a new habit takes discipline, motivation and focus. While it can be intimidating to try to start doing something every day, riding your bike is a good habit to really get into. Cycling is not only a great form of exercise but it’s also an affordable mode of transportation and can get you outside when you otherwise spend much of your day inside. So if you want to make cycling a daily habit, here are some tips that can help you succeed:
Don’t make riding an option
Having an assortment of excuses not to ride your bike is an easy way for it to never become a daily habit. Make a plan on how you are going to accomplish your riding goals so that you quickly fall into a routine. If your goal is to commute to work every day, make sure you’ve mapped out the route you want to take and figured out all the logistics. That means if you need to freshen up at the office after your ride or don’t know where you will leave your bike for the day, make a plan. The night before your commute, layout the gear you need and make sure you are in the mental space so in the morning you don’t come up with an excuse to get to work some other way.
Find internal motivation
Are you riding your bike to lose weight or perhaps because you are frustrated with public transportation or traffic in your city? Maybe you are trying to ride your bike because the joy it gives you and the peace you get from pedalling that allows you to escape from your busy day-to-day life. Whatever it is, keeping your reason to ride in the back of your mind at all times is a great way to stick to your new riding habit. With strong enough motivation, you will get out more often than you first anticipated.
Always be prepared
The easiest way for an activity to never become a habit is if you simply aren’t prepared to do it every day. For riding a bike, this means keeping up with maintenance on your bike so it’s reliably ready for you every day. It also means that if you intend to ride through inclement weather, you have fenders and raingear on hand the forecast doesn’t give you a reason to abandon your ride. Know where you can securely lock your bike and purchase a sturdy lock. Have lights so if you plan to be out past sunset, you aren’t deterred from riding.
To reinforce your habit, find ways to make it more rewarding and fun. Perhaps you want a new piece of gear for riding but can’t justify it quite yet. Reward yourself after two consistent weeks of riding. Maybe there’s a coffee shop on your route that you’ve been meaning to stop at. Once a week reward yourself by stopping in on your way past. If you do miss a day of riding, don’t beat yourself over it. Being lenient on yourself is a good way to make sure you are in a positive headspace and keep motivation up for your next ride.
Find someone to build the habit with
Support and encouragement from a friend, family member or partner is a great way to make your new cycling habit stick. Beyond just having someone to talk about cycling with, that person can help hold you accountable and you can share the experience with someone further entrenching your new habit. The social element can keep you striving to keep your riding streak going.