As the days grow longer and warmer, it’s time to wish you all a happy new cycling season! I thought there would be no better way to start this year’s column than to talk about something we all need sometimes: Motivation. However, I’m not going to give you a pep talk or even talk about the benefits of cycling and exercise. Instead, I’m going to talk about another kind of motivation. The kind you can buy.
There are countless companies willing to sell you motivation in all shapes and sizes, from expensive to cheap, and I want to mention a few different types that might be just what you need to get going if you’re having a hard time getting started. Riding with friends and family can be motivating for sure, but if you’re on your own, a little extra something to get you engaged could be just what you need.
First, something that can motivate a lot of people is a fitness tracker. Companies like Apple, Garmin, Fitbit and many more sell, collectively, a range of devices from simple to complex. Sometimes having something on your wrist, showing your achievements is just what you need. Most devices can also connect to your smartphones so you can track your progress. Did you ride farther today? Or maybe you’re just happy to see that you made it two days in a row. Some of these devices can also track your heart rate. This can show health progress over time as it gets lower as you ride more often.
And if you want something a little more specific, then how about a cycling computer for your bike? Companies like Wahoo, Garmin and others have you covered. This little computer will attach to your bike handlebar (and is easily removable). It’s much easier to see your data since it’s always in front of your eyes and can also connect to your phone. Seeing your distance and average speed increase in real-time can help people motivate themselves to get out more often.
There are fantastic apps and online communities for all these devices to help motivate you if that’s your thing. You can share your ride data with friends or strangers even, see other people’s rides and get inspired by them. If you need a little extra push to get out there, it’s ok to pay for a little motivation. How much is your health worth anyways? Have a great start to your cycling season!
Geordie is an avid cyclist who writes his column on cycling in Richmond. His Saddle Up column focuses on different aspects of cycling from a beginner’s guide to cycling safety in Richmond.