Go cycling!

Here is Cycle Hayling’s recipe to just ‘Go Cycling’ (cyclehayling.org/go) – for beginners, bike potterers and advanced cyclists. It’s good to pedal outside your comfort zone! This was originally our 2023 New Year Resolutions but you can do them any time of year.

We’ve got some great ideas, whether you’re thinking of cycling round the world, or cycling round the island, and everything in between – or just keeping fit and warm and having fun. And Mengham Junior School gave us 51 reasons why we should cycle.

Just scan down our list. For any you’ve already done, give yourself a pat on the back and move on – pick something you haven’t done, and make a plan to give it a try.

Stage 1 – just starting:

  • Come along to one of our Cycle Hayling starter sessions which we try and run every 3rd Wednesday, 10am at the Community Centre, details on our Facebook page.
  • Get or borrow a working bike – see our help getting started page.
  • Be ready to ask for help from a friend, or from us.
  • Find a quiet place to practice and gain confidence, such as a driveway, a quiet street, a quiet car park, or one of our lovely parks.
  • Ride to a coffee shop and reward yourself with a coffee and cake.
  • Ride along the seafront from Eastoke Corner to the Ferry Boat Inn.
  • Ride the Hayling Billy Trail between the Station Theatre and the bridge.
  • Ride the Hayling Billy Trail all the way to the Havant’s Spring Theatre. It’s traffic-free except for crossing the road at Langstone.
  • See other local people’s journeys into cycling.
  • Get inspiration from the book of the Hayling Cycle Ride, Raw Hides And Sore Heads (and buy it from Hayling Bookshop).

Stage 2 – I’m already riding:

Stage 3 – more advanced:

  • Sign up for Hayling’s very own Hayling Cycle Ride, a wonderful week’s sociable riding, just across the channel to the cycling paradise of France.
  • Sign up for HaylingCycleRide’s Channel To Channel Ride, from Bristol or Weston back to Hayling over 2 days.
  • Get yourself a navigation app and learn to use it – Bike Radar has a great guide.
  • Improve your hill-climbing with some interval training.
  • Book an organised cycle trip in Britain or abroad – just google “best cycling tour companies UK” and look at the reviews.
  • Plan your own cycling trip, here or abroad. The Cycle Hayling committee and members of Portsmouth CTC in Havant have planned many trips between us – just talk to us!

And if you’ve done all the above, perhaps you’re ready to try to beat a world record? Maybe the the UniCycle high jump (1.42 metres), or the UniCycle 100 metre sprint (12.47 seconds) – Yes, unbelievable, but true. Or some UniCycle tricks.

Get started today! Bookmark the link, cyclehayling.org/go.

Or Stage 0 – Keeping fit (and warm)

But Stage 0 is keeping fit – and saving money. Twenty minutes on an exercise bike and you’ll be turning down your heating, and your heating bill savings will pay for the bike. It’s a great time to catch up on music, podcasts, and TV.

We use and love the latest Which Best Buy exercise bike, the “Ultrasport F-Bike“, £137 on Amazon. Unlike many, it instantly folds up to save space. To be fair, it’s not quite like riding a real bike, but it’s much, much better than riding a sofa. Plenty of others are available.

Spend a bit more money and you can get closer to the real cycling experience with a smart turbo-trainer and/or a training app. With the right screen, some of them can simulate riding anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home.

Why not plan yourself a virtual cycle tour to make it more interesting? Plot a start and destination on a map or online, and plot your progress weekly. Why not cycle to the Lake District? Or across France? Or round the world!

You can work out a route and distance with any number of specialist bike apps – Bike Radar has a great guide.

If your exercise bike measures miles, you can tick off the miles you ride directly, otherwise estimate the mileage from the time you spend. 12 mph is an average touring speed, which is about 5 minutes a mile. So exercise for 30 minutes, and you can tick 6 miles off your tour!

Bookmark this page to come back to when you need more inspiration – it’s cyclehayling.org/go.

Happy cycling!