12 Habits We Should All Give Up For Lent

Right across the Urban Cycles enterprise it’s been a crazy few days (more of that shortly). We therefore apologise that the weekly blog is running a little late; unforgivable we know! While we work out our penance we thought we'd take the opportunity to share 12 suggestions of bad habits we should all give up  for  lent.

Give up. . . 

Riding The Pavement

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It’s for trees, dogs, bins, preachers, street artists and pedestrians not you and not your bike. Always better to be a vulnerable road user than a menacing pavement problem. 

Riding In The Gutter

Simple rule: If the vehicle behind you doesn’t have to both think and deliberately maneuver she sure as hell wont and that means you’ve just created a whole heep of nasty possibilities. Hang wide because that’s where you belong and that’s where you’re safe. It’s not lane hogging it’s safe proactive riding. 

Climbing In The Wrong Gear

It’s a painful moment when you hit the hill and find that your legs are either slowly grinding out massive pressure against your joints or spinning at such a ridiculous rate you are sure to burn out within seconds. Selecting the right gear for your hill climbs is something of an art and lent offers a good time to perfect the art. Your goal is to select gears which enable you to maintain constant cadence (the number of revolutions your pedals turn per minute) regardless of gradient. Find your sweet spot on the flats (a comfortable constant cadence, moving your bike against real but not unbearable resistance), count your cadence and work at maintaining the same count by shifting through your gears when you hit the hills. The pro’s say you need a constant cadence of between 90 and 100 rpm but don’t stress if that feels unachievable, focus only on maintaining a constant rhythm and counting it out. 

Riding Cheap Tyres

Give yourself a break from the Russian Roulette of hoping a nasty puncture isn’t about to mess up your next ride and start enjoying the wonders of puncture resistant tyres. We’re huge fans of the Schwalbe Marathon Plus and Durano Plus and offer free fitting on these and all our other tyres at our University of Birmingham pod. 

Yes the Smart Guard lining and anti-aging wall mean they’re a fraction heavier but if the marginal increase in the weight of your tyres is the only weight gain you have to worry about congratulations!  

Being Hard On Yourself

You’ve dragged yourself through the dark cold months of winter now it’s time to make sure you keep taking good care of yourself. Eat well, sleep well, live well and be kind to those you love. And as for any temptations to compare you or your bike to anyone else forget it, prompto! You are a wonderful human being, your bike is your bike get out and enjoy it! Life is way too short for anything else. 

Skipping Breakfast

It doesn't matter how busy you breakfast is THE most important meal in your day. Eat breakfast every day and make sure it’s a good breakfast packed with slow burning carbs and wholesome nutrients. 

Avoiding Challenge

So you know there’s another route home and you know that on a spring evening it’ll host some of the most beautiful urban sunsets imaginable but it also involves a tricky round about and a long incline and that’s why you avoid it at all costs. It’s an understandable thought process except that in doing so you not only rob yourself of that sunset but also of the opportunity to progress your abilities and become an even better cyclist. Embrace the struggle it’s how we grow. 

Being So Damn Miserable

Cycling is a joy it’s just a shame that some cyclists have a tendency to replace the freedom and wonder of cycling with some sort of weird addiction to painful militant struggle. In the words of my delinquent son “chillax!”, enjoy the road, share a smile, breathe deep and be sure to offer a word of encouragement.

Being A Loner

Whether it's Bike Radar, Sky Social or just good old fashioned mates down the pub, there’s a world of ideas and encouragement waiting to be grasped so get out their and grasp them. If you need help, advice or support, rest assured there’s a million people who’ve been there before and most of them would love to help you. 

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Using A Shitty Lock

Bike theft is on the rise so fight back and protect you’re loved one with a decent U lock

Big Ideas

Whether you want to be a truly great cyclist or the kind of girl who cycles everywhere all of the time such ambitions are in fact the most likely ingredient of failure. Use lent to get small and incremental. Instead of dreaming big ask yourself ‘Which one additional journey could I do by bike this week? where could I add just a few miles to my training ride.?’ Building incrementally is much more likely to leave you reaching your goals.  

Giving Up

So you’ve found a new route or a new challenge, you’ve started to recover the joy of cycling and you’re looking after yourself except that suddenly other things invade your holy space;  work gets busy and sleep is replaced with stress, that car just cut you up again and so pleasant encouragement is replaced with profanities, you say ‘good morning’ but no one ever replies and now you’re tempted to give it all up. Why not return to the world of grumpy, militant, cyclist, over tired, horribly aggrieved, riding the same old route and with no intention of doing anything other than the minimum requirement. Don’t do it! Hear that voice and kick it into touch. Lent is for growing!