In the second in our series of training tips and advice we will take a closer look at how you can get cycling. With the NHS Fun Triathlon fast approaching, now is definitely the time to get out on your bike and get some serious practice in. Here are some ideas to help you get pedalling.
Get yourself a bike!
First things first- you could probably do with getting yourself a bike if you haven’t got one already! If you don’t want to buy, have you thought about asking friends or colleagues if they have one you can borrow? If you are borrowing, just make sure that it is the correct size and that it’s safe to ride. Lots of bicycles have been left in the corner of an old garage for years and could probably do with a bit of TLC before being taken out on the open road. Your local bike shop will be more than happy to give your bike a service and check that it’s roadworthy (Oh, and don’t forget your helmet!)
If you would rather invest in your own bike, ask your employer whether they offer a Cycle to Work Scheme. Usually operated via a salary sacrifice arrangement, cycle to work schemes allow you to spread the cost of a new bike (and accessories) over 12 months and usually include a tax exemption on the total cost of the items. This is well worth thinking about if you are planning on cycling more after the triathlon.
British Cycling organise recreational cycle events and local rides throughout the UK. Mass participation Sky Rides usually take over entire town or city centres and allow riders to pedal on traffic free roads with thousands of others.
Sky Ride Local rides are guided by British Cycling Ride Leaders along scenic planned routes. They offer different ride levels making sure there’s something for everyone- whether you’re still building confidence to ride or already comfortable on a bike. Rides are all free and grouped in levels to suit everyone. Find your nearest ride here.
‘Breeze’ rides are designed specifically for women and are great place to cycle with other ladies. ‘Breeze Champions’ organise fun, social, local bike rides for women. Rides go at a speed that suits everyone, and they often start and finish at a café so everyone can have a drink and a chat. Find out more about Breeze and how to get involved here.
If you simply want to find someone to go out riding with, Social Cycling Groups is the ideal place to start!
For the more seasoned cyclist, there are a huge number of cycle sportives taking place every week throughout the UK. Sportives are organised, long distance events, typically ranging anywhere between 50 and 150 miles. Find your nearest sportive here.
NHS Triathlon- Beginners 20K Cycling Plan
For more focused, triathlon specific cycling, take a look at our free, downloadable 20K cycling plan right here on the NHS Fun Tri website. The 12 week plan, written exclusively for NHS Fun Triathlon by specialist coaches can be found here!
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