It’s as easy as riding a bike…isn’t it? We chatted with CALM ambassador and professional cyclist Juliet Elliott to get some advice on making the most out of rides. Here’s how she harnesses the positives of pedalling, and how you can cycle for your legs and your head.
Cycling isn’t all about fitness. Heading out on a bike can boost your mood – making it a top notch thing to do if you’re feeling a bit shit. But don’t take our word for it. BikeRadar found that nine in ten people said cycling had a positive impact on their mental wellbeing. Whether you’re a solo rider looking for headspace, or you’re a sociable cycler who enjoys opening up to other bikers, there are loadsa benefits to hopping on a bike.
Sound good, but not sure where to start with cycling? From honking, heated motorists in rush hour, to feeling like you need flashy kit to be part of the cycling clique – it can feel a bit scary to get going. CALM Ambasador and pro-cyclist Juliet Elliott wants to change that. She’s all about getting riders of all abilities out on the road, so here’s her top tips.
Before you hit the road
Want to build confidence? Start on smaller roads and build up to the big stuff.
When it comes to riding a bike, everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Even Juliet, who rides road, gravel and mountain bikes professionally, had to learn once. But with so many different bicycles, routes, and the kit to choose from, it can be easy to doubt yourself. Juliet suggests starting with the basics and finding a support network of other local cyclists:
“A good place to start is to plan a route that just goes down back roads, rather than any busier ones. You can look on the Sustrans website for suggestions. There are also some group rides that you can join through British Cycling that are really good for building up your confidence. Find a local club or group for all levels and they’ll ease you into things and build up the amount of distance you can cope with on a bike. You can learn together as you get up to speed.”