The good news is that we’ve got fewer than 20 days to go until spring. The not so good news is that there’s still cold weather ahead. Even if the chill is confining your bike to storage for now, you can channel your energies into cycling-related activities that keep you connected to the world of two wheels. Most will pay dividends when sunshine and rising temperatures lure you back to spring cycling. Here are 10 tips to help inspire you:
- Beat the crowds — Lines at bike shops for seasonal tuneups are short right now. After the first whiff of warm weather — not so much.
- Shop smart — Been dreaming of a new ride, an upgrade or a spruce-up? Do your homework online. When it’s time to buy, you’ll walk through the bike shop doors with a better handle on your needs and budget, and you’ll get more out of your shopping experience. Now is also a good time to browse clearance or preseason sales on bikes and accessories.
- Build your base — Pedal indoors. Spin classes, especially those with high-energy intervals, are your best bet for building spring cycling fitness.
- Keep your resolutions — One of the surest ways to stay motivated — whether to lose weight, improve health or just to try something new that feels a little brave — is to set a tangible goal. Register now for a cycling event that challenges you to step out of your comfort zone. Then reap the satisfaction this spring or summer. Early-bird discounts may save you a few bucks, too.
- Expand your horizons — For quality sofa time, pick up a book to build your skills and knowledge base, or just to savor cycling’s history, romance and culture. One of our all-time favorites: It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels. For city cycling, we’re loving Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bike for Transportation (Whatever Your Lifestyle).
- Learn to fix a flat already! — Local bike shops and advocacy organizations teach bicycle maintenance. For example, check out Bike New York’s schedule of upcoming classes.
- Cozy up – Spend Saturday night with a special somebody in front of a great cycling film. Here’s a list of our favorite movies for date night.
- Commune — You don’t have to be riding right this minute to talk about riding. Gather with fellow cycling fans to watch race coverage on TV or commune over coffee at one of these bike-friendly spots around New York City.
- Be social, virtually – Follow bicycle-related feeds (including ours!) on Instagram and Pinterest. Warning: May be habit-forming.
- Build safer streets — More bike lanes mean safer streets and stronger neighborhoods for all New Yorkers. What can you do? Share your personal cycling experiences and speak up for improved infrastructure at a community board meeting, write a letter to your elected officials, join an advocacy organization like Transportation Alternatives.
And in the mean time, hurry spring!
Illustration: Harry Campbell