You know what it feels like – the thrill of the ride. Cutting through the wind, sun on your face, adrenaline rushing through your veins. The scenic beauty, the freedom, the escape from everyday worries… Every time you finish a ride you find yourself thinking, “Why isn’t everyone doing this?” The natural culmination of this kind of passion and love is to want to share it with people. Not only does it give you a buzz knowing you’ve had a hand in changing someone’s life for the better, but it means you’ll hopefully have a new riding buddy as well. However, getting your friend into cycling is not as simple as introducing them to a new band, or making them watch your most recent Netflix obsession. This is something that will take some planning and persuasion on your part, and we’ve put together some tips as a guide to helping a friend fall in love with cycling.
Think about how you’d describe a favorite song you want them to listen to, or TV show you desperately want them to watch, and then tap into that level of marketing. Cycling has so many visible benefits this part should be easy. They’ll be able to see the great shape you’re in, but tell them about the other stuff too – better sleep, mental clarity, stress-relief. Make it a no-brainer that cycling is the best (and cheapest) all-in-one body and mind healer.
Biking is your life, so there’s hardly any thought that goes into it. You gear up, slide into the saddle, and you’re off. Your friend might need some reassurances, so having a fixed plan will help. Plotting a simple route and allowing more time to finish it is a good start. Setting aside time for a coffee break at the halfway mark will give you an opportunity to catch up and discuss how things are going, if they need help with anything, etc.
It’s likely your friend won’t have a clue about what they might need going out on their first ride. Give them advice on what their cycling kit should consist of, ensure they have water and snacks, and help them check out their bike before heading out. This will be a good learning curve for them going forward, and it will also help them feel more secure knowing they’ve got everything they need. Less time worrying about the little things means more time to go out and have fun.
You’re not going to have your friend weaving in and out of traffic, or slipping and falling down a rocky crevice on their first ride. This is the quickest way to scare them off. It’s best to talk about any reservations they might have, and then make a commitment to supporting and guiding them through it. Start easy. If you’re on the road, pick a place and time when traffic is not too busy. For off-road rides, opt for a suitable beginner route that’s not too challenging.
It’s important to remember that you’re not selling your friend on the idea of exercise, even though it’s one of the benefits of cycling. You’re selling a lifestyle. Sure, physical health is a huge factor, but there’s so much more to the biking life that makes it worthwhile. For starters, it’s a sure-fire way to develop discipline. Every time you’re out on the road (or off it) is a new opportunity to reach your quitting point, and then ignore it by pushing through. It takes a special kind of commitment to keep bettering your best, set new goals as you conquer old ones, and consistently challenge yourself as you become a better athlete.
And with every achievement, your confidence increases along with your ability as a cyclist. This sense of self-esteem is with you even when you’re not riding, positively impacting all other areas of your life. Which is why cycling is not simply an activity, or hobby… it’s a way of life. It’s an open door to a like-minded community where you’ll find guidance, support, and inspiration. It’s an escape from the daily grind when you need it, a route to the top of the world when you’re looking to fly. And whether you’re in it for health, travel, or competition, Pearl Izumi’s cycling clothing is your starting point. Your reasons for biking are at the core of every one of our designs, helping us produce gear engineered to perform as hard as you do. There’s no better feeling than when you hit the road knowing you’re in the company of good friends as you take on whatever challenges, and cycle gear that’ll see you through it.