Riding Right

Easy Ways to Ride Your Bicycle More Often

Making New Year's resolutions is so passe, but keeping them is the stuff of right now--and of every day of the year going forward.  So to help you keep your resolution to ride your bicycle--the BEST of all New Year's resolutions, and here's why--we've compiled a list of easy ways to incorporate more biking into your life, all year long!

1. Bicycle when you travel

When biking isn't part of your routine, it can be difficult to work into your life--but when you travel, you HAVE no routine, so you're open to ANY possibilities!  And if you're anything like us, your travels happen mostly over long weekends, so you have to squeeze in as much of a city as you can in a short period of time.  Bikes literally allow you to actually experience (not just drive by) more stuff in less time than any other form of transport--faster than walking or sitting in traffic, and less restrictive than public transportation, which determines your route for you, or a car that separates you from what you're passing.  P.S. Many hotels and AirBnb hosts offer free bikes with your stay--see a comprehensive list here--so be sure to check before you book!

2. Bicycle on special occasions

Even when you aren't traveling, special occasions can feel like mini-holidays that free you from your routine and give you an excuse to do something out-of-the-ordinary...like biking!  Mom coming to town?  Rent city bikes and introduce her to your community.  Making birthday plans? Invite friends to rent bikes and head to the park for a picnic!

3. Bicycle somewhere safe & relaxing

The number one thing that stops people from biking is fear, and mostly the fear of being hit by a car--so ease yourself into biking by doing it somewhere there are no cars (or at least very few), like a giant park--think Central Park, Prospect Park, or even a national park if you're near enough--or bike path (think rail trails like the Atlanta Beltline).

4. Bicycle when you have nowhere to be

Starting your bike resolution by commuting to work can be scary, and might put you off biking for good: What if you get a flat & are late? What if you wind up way sweatier than you anticipated?  Instead, bike on the weekend, or after work when you're not in a time crunch.  Lots of cities now have bike share programs--bikes available for public transport--that you don't need to reserve ahead of time, and can try out whenever you have a free afternoon.

5. Dress appropriately

 We suggest an extra layer (both top & bottom) under whatever you'd normally wear on a winter day, plus warm, practical shoes, and the classic hat-scarf-gloves triumvirate. For more in-depth recommendations from a stylish New Yorker, check out how George Hahn dresses to bike in the cold.
There are lots more ways to incorporate biking into your life, but these are some easy
ones to get you started and to help you feel again in yourself the joy of cycling--the number one thing that'll lead you to bike more and more regularly, one ride at a time.

Have other suggestions for keeping your bike-centric New Year's resolutions? We wanna hear 'em! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet at us.