Cycling is a great way to keep fit and active, to boost immunity, and it's also fantastic for your well-being!
Our Managing Director, Paul Hipkiss is a dedicated Cyclist himself, and to celebrate Bike Week 2021 he shares his insights and experiences for those looking to get into the sport...
I got into cycling in 2010 when I bought my first road bike, I had never done it before and back then doing 10 miles seemed a long way!
In 2012 I did (with some other work colleagues and a couple of clients) London to Amsterdam in 48 hours. 330 miles from Central London, through France, Belgium and into Holland. Looking back, I wasn’t prepared really for such an event and struggled at times but completed it in 46 hours whilst helping to raise over £100k for Scope. That challenge really hit home how mental strength and a positive frame of mind did work as most of that ride was more mental than physically hard. In the first 24 hours, we rode 196 miles in a day, which was very hard and to this day is still the most miles I have ever done in 1 day.
In 2019 I wanted to step up my training and become a little more serious about it, I bought a Wattbike Atom as I had always ridden in the summer but always stopped in the poor weather months, got unfit, and then struggled to get back into it until Summer was almost over when I was fit again. With the Wattbike I got into a habit (and still am) where I ride on my Atom via Zwift each morning before work, typically 4 mornings a week and an evening, since I have trained this way I have never been fitter or more prepared for the day ahead, this links to the mental side of the sport and my own mental wellbeing and strength is 100% better when I ride, I don't suffer from any issues normally speaking, but when I ride in the morning the day ahead seems so much clearer, I am sharper, more focussed and driven than ever before.
Cycling is a great sport that you can do at any age, it's stress-free on your joints and has obvious health benefits if you do it regularly. I have done many sportives over the years and enjoy nothing more after a long week at work than 50-100 miles in the saddle with a couple of mates to blow away the cobwebs.
In 2020 I did 2517 miles which is the best year I have ever had on my bike. In 2021 I set myself a target of 4500 miles and so far at the end of May I have almost beat the miles I did in the whole of 2020 and I am currently on 2115 miles and now cycling at least 100 miles every week. Hopefully, now the summer months are here I will be outside more than in and will be setting a weekly target of at least 150 miles per week.
Cycling has made fitness “fun” I never really enjoyed going to the gym and don’t have to, so long as I have my bike I know my fitness will never drop again, It's very enjoyable, especially when the weather is good, a great way to get fit and a very sociable sport. I would highly recommend Cycling to anyone looking to improve fitness, get out and in the fresh air, or simply just looking to blow the cobwebs away and get some headspace and use it as a motivator to focus better on other things.
To learn more about Bike Week, visit https://www.cyclinguk.org/bikeweek