It’s starting to get lighter in the evenings and we’re getting closer to changing the clocks again which can only mean one thing. Spring is here and we can begin to look forward and plan for the summer months, especially now that the route map out of lockdown has been made public.
We can’t let last year get us down either; it’s time to start looking forward and plan a summer that will be dominated by the bike. Proper, non-restricted cycling will hopefully be back too, so here are seven ways to make the most of summer 2021.
Get your bike ready for summer
Summer means getting your best bike out of storage, ditching the mudguards and getting it ready to take on some serious miles. But before you throw a leg over and turn those pedals, there are some crucial bike checks to be made to avoid you having to dig deep into your pockets on day one. As a minimum you will no doubt have to degrease the chain, check your brake and gear cables to see if they are working as they should be, pump up the tyres, look for wear and tear, and check that every bolt is in good condition. If you think your bike needs a little more TLC, the best thing to do is take it to your local bike shop for a pre-summer service.
Follow a training plan
Following a goal-led training plan is a great way to achieve and maintain super fitness this summer. We wouldn’t blame anyone for letting things slide in 2020 as other more important things occupied our minds, but this summer is a great time to get back on top of your fitness. This way you can be ready for racing and events when they restart. Training plans can be found online and on your favourite indoor cycling platforms but if you are super serious, a personal cycling coach is the best place to start. This will really help you make the most of the long summer days as you take on interval sessions, strength and gym work, and cross training at home to improve your core.
Plan an epic ride
One thing that has been severely restricted lately is our ability to travel. So whether it’s self-planned or part of an event, such as the ever popular Dunwich Dynamo, this summer is a great time to do a big ride, and you can start planning for this epic challenge now. Ideas from us include an unassisted bikepacking adventure, riding 100 miles off-road in one day or trying to tick off the 5 Hardest Climbs In The UK. You don’t have to go abroad for a great adventure, as Pedalsure ambassador Chris Hall proved last summer. Sometimes delving into your own imagination and creating your own epic challenge is very rewarding, and a very good way of passing the time in what remains of lockdown.
For a change of pace, there is no better time to start racing than in the summer. Both fun and competitive, racing your bike is a great way to put a training plan to the test, make the most of your fitness and see how you match up against your fellow riders. Closed circuit road races, local time trials, MTB races, triathlon and summer cyclocross leagues all happen in these months. The British Cycling website is your best port of call to find such events. Of course, in the short term you can stay in and race on virtual cycling platforms like Zwift. Heading outside and wondering if your cycling insurance covers your race?
Commute all summer
How about making the most out of the time by riding to work all summer? Warm, light commutes make for a refreshing change compared to the cold and soggy rides that characterise the winter months. There are so many advantages of commuting by bike too, including a boost to your wellbeing, productivity, wallet, local air quality and base fitness. If you’re a first timer, make sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide To Commuting By Bike. So ditch the car, train and bus and stay on two wheels all summer.
Try something new
Summer is a perfect time of year to take your bike off-road and get into MTB and gravel riding. Trying these disciplines will make you a better overall cyclist, improve your handling ability and more than anything, they are both super fun. Prior to taking your wheels off-road though, it’s a good idea to research local routes, borrow or invest in a bike and get your mates involved to make it extra worthwhile. You can’t go wrong acquainting yourself with: How To Get Started In Mountain Biking and How To Get Started On Gravel.
Finally, it’s time to get back to doing what we have been told explicitly not to do over the past year: socialise. The taboo word of 2020, even writing it seems a little risky. But fear not, hopefully during the summer we will be able to ride in groups again, at least in some form. What better time to catch up with both old and new ride mates on all day adventures than this summer? There’s also no better time to join a cycling club in anticipation of this summer of cycling.
There we have it, our suggestions of how to make summer 2021 your best months on the bike yet.
Of course, with the increased amount of riding you’ll be doing this summer, another goal to hit is taking out one of our cycle insurance policies. Pedalsure can insure all of your bikes and accessories and cover them even in your home. The fact is, you won’t find many of the things we cover in your typical home insurance policies. Taking out a policy with us means that your bike is protected in cases of bike theft and damage. Pedalsure can also protect you, your bike and your accessories in mass participation events and races, in cases of personal injury, personal liability and when you are travelling abroad. Getting yourself set up with a Pedalsure policy is something you only have to do once a year, but you benefit from on every ride.