Come out of hibernation – spring cycling is almost upon us!

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Hopefully, winter didn’t put you off riding your bike. Still, with morning temperatures nudging -7C some days, we really can’t blame you if you and your bike have spent some time in hibernation. But there are signs that spring is on its way so it’s time to get motivated for some primo bike riding weather. Paralympian, keen cyclist and motivational speaker, Michael Milton, shared his top ten tips to get motivated for spring riding.

  1. It may still be a little chilly at times but the time to start riding is now. With the right gear, cycling while it’s still technically winter is not as bad as you think. Okay, it might be awful but toughen up and get back into the cycling rhythm. The good news is it’s only going to get warmer!
  2. Keep your eye on the weather forecast. It may still be winter but, at this time of year, we’re just as likely to get a run of warmer days. Riding for three days in a row is better than not riding at all.
  3. Squeeze in a lunchtime ride. Sunny winter days in Canberra are perfect for a midday cycle. Shorter rides often require proportionately more exertion and your soul will be better for it too.
  4. Sign up for a cycling event. Nothing’s more motivating than the prospect of a marshal radioing for a sag wagon pick-up 5km into a big ride. The Centenary Trail Blaze is coming up in September and for roadies there’s Fitz’s Challenge and the Ronald McDonald House Challenge. Or come along with me and Ride the Divide.
  5. Organise a group of friends to ride with. Even on the coldest mornings, it’s easier to get out of bed and onto the bike if you know someone’s waiting for you, especially if you’ve organised it!
  6. Promise yourself at treat at the end of the ride. Maybe coffee and cake at a café is your thing or a long, hot, luxurious bath. Reward yourself for riding.
  7. Go on a cycling holiday. Five days cycling in warmer climes could help kick-start your fitness and get you back into the cycling habit. Plus, when you get back, the climate at home will be five days warmer (in theory).
  8. Lose some weight. Shed some of that winter insulation with a few good rides before the beach weather sets in. You’ll feel and ride better.
  9. Now for my personal favourite: Buy a new bike! Nothing is more motivating than a brand new shiny steed. If you’re in the market for a new bike anytime in the next six months, buy it now.
  10. Item number one on this list should be “Prep your bike”. Check out Stuart Jones’ helpful checklist Seven steps for a quick bike tune-up.

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Michael Milton is a six-time Paralympian and mad-keen cyclist. He owns five bikes and operates a small Canberra-based cycling touring business called Big Foot Adventures. This spring they are running a full calendar of guided cycling tours, including the very popular, Ride the Divide, a two-day ride from capital country to the coast over the Great Dividing Range. Reserve your place now and, while you’re there, check out Big Foot’s other adventures.

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