How to quickly improve your cycle confidence
It’s June, and not long to go until Bike Week and Love to Ride. There are some great prizes up for grabs, but is your confidence holding you back?
Love to Ride looks great but I am not a proper cyclist
If you don’t feel like a ‘proper’ cyclist then Love to Ride IS in fact for you.
Bike Week runs from the 9th to the 16th of June. During this time we’re challenging people across Tees Valley to use their bikes instead of their cars, particularly for local journeys.
There are prizes drawn each day, all you have to do is register and log your rides. Even a 10-minute cycle ride counts.
So far people from Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland have logged more than a million miles by bike by taking part in Love to Ride with us. We’d love you to join us this month.
But what if you don’t feel confident enough to LOVE riding? Do you feel nervous or uncomfortable? Unsure of where it is safe to ride and what your rights and responsibilities as a cyclist are?
How can you get more confident on a bike?
We have a poster up in our office from the Mental Health Foundation: Do something you’re good at to beat stress. It got us thinking: what if you want to cycle more but you don’t feel you’re very good at it… the opposite is quite probably true!
Well, the good news is you can improve your confidence on a bike and you don’t need to do it on your own.
In addition to improving your cycle skills (which we will get to further down) the mental aspects of cycling are also important, so we’ll stick with that for a bit.
Why cycle and where can I cycle in my town?
There are a number of benefits to cycling, including saving money and improving your health. If you are unsure about cycle routes in your area you can check out the local cycle maps on this site or speak to the team at your friendly local cycling hub.
Taking a positive approach – why is it so important?
We like the advice from Total Women’s Cyling on taking a positive view of your riding as the first step to getting better at cycling. They also look at:
- Improving your internal locus of control, believing in your own abilities when things go right and avoiding an emotional negative response when things go wrong.
- Harnessing positive self-talk
- Practicing mind training
- Setting yourself achievable goals
It’s a great article and we recommend giving it a read.
Where to go to improve your cycling skills
Our partner Hubs
Our walking and cycling hub partners run a variety of confidence related sessions to help you feel more at home on two wheels.
- Free or low cost beginners bicycle maintenance courses – feel confident your bike is safe
- Beginners’ confidence rides
- Group rides for different abilities
They can also provide maps and advice on where to ride.
- Take a look at Bike Stop in Darlington and the Hub Stockton for details of their current adult rides and confidence sessions
- The Stockton Hub is also running a 6-week course on getting back into cycling which includes some basic maintenance, group rides and a Bikeability assessment (details on the banner image). You can get in touch with them to put your name down for the next available session.
- The Active Travel Hub in Hartlepool run courses in partnership with Hartlepool Cycle Clinic as well as Bikeability training. You can contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Middlesbrough Cycle Centre offer training as well as secure cycle parking.
Commercial cycle training providers
There are courses available to help you improve your proficiency and bicycle maintenance skills.
Look online, speak to your local hub or commercial bike shop, they often have information about courses.
Let's Go cycling Tees Valley!
If you’d like to get cycling so that you can:
- Use your bike to get around town
- or to ride to work, college or school
get in touch with one or more of the hubs or look online for a local training provider to see how they can help you Love to Ride.
By Nicky at 1 Jun 2018, 16:22 PM
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