Why I Ride
Since the age of 10, riding bikes has been a constant in my life. I haven’t always ridden every week, nor have I competed at a high level in cycling or spent every weekend in the saddle. I haven’t always had the latest bike or fanciest gear, but cycling has always been there like an old friend.
When I was fortunate enough to become a Specialized Women’s Ambassador last year, I was working hard to grow a local community at my gym; ‘Workshop’ that I own with my brother John. The community hub that we have built is absolutely awesome and one of my favourite ways to celebrate a growing community is to organise weekly rides, enter cycling events and get groups together to try new things like mountain biking! It’s such a great way to apply strength and fitness that we build in the gym to a real world experience.
When I work with nutrition and personal training clients, there’s so much more to my approach than focusing on weight loss alone and/or smashing them in the gym. Our approach is a holistic one, and often focuses on stress management and reducing inflammation first. For me, cycling plays a key role here as it’s my form of self-care, pushing pause or resetting.
From what I’ve noticed, there has been a shift towards busier schedules, harder training sessions, less sleep, stronger coffee and a whole lot more screens. I believe that the long-term impact of this is showing up in our collective health as more burnout, fatigue, lack of motivation and poor quality food choices. It seems to be harder to get the results that we want and to find time to switch off, spend time in nature and with those we love.
For me, cycling is the perfect way to create more balance in my life. When I’ve had a busy week – it’s so easy to drop self-care first. When I prioritise getting out on my bike either for a cheeky lunch ride or on a social ride with friends, I feel more energised, less stressed and as a bonus, I find that my fitness and confidence improves because I’m focused on using my body for fun and adventure rather than aesthetics.
In a world full of screens, cycling is the perfect excuse to log off and forget about your growing inbox or incoming calls. For this reason, I’ve had a newfound love for the mountain bike. Single tracks and rugged trails take 100% of your mental focus and leave no room for distractions. Even a short ride provides an hour of focus, clarity and freedom.
An exercise that I often work on with clients is to create a “bliss list” – can you think of 10 things or activities that allow you to unwind, unplug and recharge?
So WHY do I ride – it is in search of better balance and a day on two wheels tops that ‘bliss list’. Give it a go – switch off, take an extra cruisey km rather than an extra shot of coffee, breathe deeper and fill that list.
Check out Lizzy's latest recipes here.