Here’s a post I see a lot on cycling group social media, “how do I get my significant other to ride with me?” Many cyclists lament their friends, and/or partners do not share their love of cycling. That’s because most people are not cyclists, they’re bike riders, and they’re put off by spandex shorts, riding in a pack and rocketing down mountain passes.
As with most things in life, if you know your audience, you can win them over every time. Most cyclists make the mistake of being too excited to ride with a friend, who’s finally agreed to go for a ride. The cyclist wants to enjoy their favorite routes with a new companion, and often plan too many miles for a casual rider; the cyclist should really plan for a bike ride first.
Plan an easy route, preferably on a designated bike path, and build in a coffee/pie or beer break. Some light spinning, a chat over a tasty snack, fresh air and beautiful scenery will have friends coming back for more. Some might even graduate into a bike upgrade, a set of padded shorts and join you on a 30 minute climb, but most will remain your bike riding friend.
Not every outing has to be a sprint. Often times I’ll get in a “real ride” on my way to and from the bike path I’ll amble on with a friend. I think that is why Handlebar Bike Tours are successful, we plan for the casual bike ride, with a little break built in. Plus we start and end at Grand Central Market, with enough food options to please any group at the end of a bike ride.