There are multiple benefits from cycling and studies show employees who cycle regularly are happier in their workplace and take half the sick days of the average worker National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE); Public Health Guidance PH13 (2008), and YouGov, 2013 Commute and Exercise Survey commissioned by Sustrans. Here’s some top benefits and information for those interested in taking up cycling or introducing a cycling club to the workplace.
Cycling, as a non-weight bearing activity, is particularly suitable for those who have given up on team or other weight bearing activities. Cycling can be carried out at any level, suitable to each individual or groups and weekend recreational cycling gets employees into refreshing rural surroundings and can be balanced with indoor cycling during colder, wet months. Apart from a helmet and sturdy bike, no special gear is needed which makes it a relatively inexpensive hobby in the long term.
‘An organization that plays together stays together’ ‘6 Ways To Increase Employee Morale and Performance (Without Giving a Raise)’; Forbes SEP 11, 2014
There are many business and employee benefits of an active workforce such as improved employee health and wellbeing, increased productivity and employee retention and motivation. Setting up a cycle club within the office and signing up to a cycle event such as the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle (July 7) will set a common goal shared by a group of employees, helping with workforce team-building, leadership and morale. Prospective employees are attracted to companies that display a concern for workers’ wellness and an environmental consciousness The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2014
With anything new, it can be a good idea to set yourself a challenge. For beginners and cyclist enthusiasts alike, I would recommend looking at a community-based cycle such as the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle, it will improve your health and fitness, you’ll support deserving local charities involved.
At 175 kilometres, the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle provides a large but achievable challenge for anyone in general good health and for 35 years the event has attracted ‘ordinary’ people who don’t consider themselves to be ‘cyclists’. With a supporting ‘You Can Do It’ ethos, The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle organization discourages fast cycling or the achievement of ‘personal best’ times on the route as this is not a race event. So, there will be no pressure to compete!
Take your first step: get on a bike - any old bike - and start pedalling. There is lots of great tips available on how to best prepare and if you sign up as a team, you’ll also be in it together which will make training more enjoyable.
Getting started is often the hardest part but a few basic guidelines will help:
· Begin gradually at an easy effort: a good rule of thumb is to ride at a pace where you are comfortable having a conversation.
· Aim to do three spins per week at least, however short.
· Your type of bike and kit is not so important, especially for the early stages of preparation, but ensure it is in good order and that your helmet fits well.
· Ask an experienced cyclist or a bike shop to check your saddle height.
· Use your gears, especially on hills: many beginners pedal too hard in a high gear and this makes it difficult and tiring.
· Be patient and progress gradually: give your body time to adapt.
· Rope in a colleague or a friend for company: having an arrangement to meet other people is a very good motivator.
· View these General Guidelines and The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle preparation advice for April for more information on how to get started!
The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle as a Focus and Goal
The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle is an ideal goal for individuals or work-groups to focus on.
Starting and finishing in Killarney, it is a memorable weekend get-away for individuals and groups and provides an unpatrolled atmosphere involving up to 10,000 cyclists and 1,500 community volunteers.
What sets the event apart is its commitment to charities and its level of community support unparalleled in Ireland. There is reduced traffic on the route due to partial road closures and this is further supported by fixed and mobile repair stations; recovery vehicles; multiple food stops and first-aid/medical stations. There are 15 motorbikes and 80 cycling marshals ensuring all cyclists complete the route safely.
Whether you do the ride it in eight hours or twelve hours doesn’t matter, what matters is the look on your face when you arrive into Killarney and, as was the case last year, are presented with your medal by a young child whose life has been made in some small way better by the collective decision of 10,000 people to do something that will raise money for a special cause.
It is a movement as much as it is an event, with an entire focus is on supporting charities and backed by the entire county: €1.5 million was raised in 2017 and €15 million since its inception.
All in all, it is a challenge I would recommend to any beginner or improving cyclist, and also to businesses as an ideal way for to help build esprit de corps in their workforce.
To learn more about The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle (July 7th), visit http://www.ringofkerrycycle.ie/
- Dr Tom Daly, Master’s Cycling Coach (http://mccm.iwsi.ie)