How to Make Time to Ride

You’re busy. I know you are. If you are a wife, mom, employee, employer, freelancer, or whatever role you have as a woman, you’re busy. Studies show that women have a larger share of stress and work from housekeeping, child care, and family duties than their male counterparts. With all this stuff in your life, how are you supposed to find time to ride your bike? 

As a single mom, I get asked all the time. How do I find time to ride my bike? And my response is, I have to have time to ride my bike, or I just won’t survive. So I get creative to make sure I get my bike riding in. I need it – the mood-boosting endorphins, the calorie burn, the ‘grit’ that comes from doing hard things, and the fun of riding with others. I need to make more time to ride my bike. 

You don’t have to spend all day riding your bike, but you need to take time to ride. You need time to ride so that you feel good about yourself! I know I’m a better mom if I’ve taken time out to give myself a little bit of love. You need that, too. So, before you give up bike riding because you’re too busy, here are a few tips to help you take the time to ride. 

Schedule it. 

You’ve no doubt heard this before, but it has its place here because it’s true! We schedule doctor appointments, school meetings, plan outings with the kids, but do we schedule time for ourselves? Put it in your calendar, and it’s more likely to get accomplished. 

Delegate. 

Get a housekeeper. Carpool. Order takeout. Pick those chores you dislike the most and find someone to do them for you. I gave up going to the grocery store! Now, I order my groceries online and have them delivered by Walmart. Is it glamorous? No. Do they mess up my order? A lot. But it’s worth it because it saves me from taking a gaggle of kids to the store. It’s less exposure to germs and much, much faster. 

Hire a sitter. 

Find someone you trust to watch your kids. Hiring someone new may take a little effort, but I promise it’s worth it. If you can’t afford a sitter, find someone to trade off with. Consider another mom from your kids’ school, a trusted coworker, neighbor, friend, or grandparent. 

Get your kids involved. 

If your kids know how to ride bikes, you can all ride together and have fun! If not, they’ll be excited to see you set goals, make new friends, and feel great about yourself. Plan something special for them if they help you clean and work around the house, so you have extra time to ride. They’ll love it, and you’ll love the extra help! 

Cycle indoors. 

If you simply can’t get out to ride your bike, try riding indoors. It doesn’t have to be expensive (although it can be if you want it to!). An inexpensive trainer, a bike, and an iPad or cell phone will get you riding indoors. There are plenty of options, too – Zwift, Rouvy, RGT, TrainerRoad, Training Peaks, and even the apps that come with your trainer will get you cycling in your living room. 

Cut something out.

Like Doom scrolling, you may have to give up some things to make it happen. But I promise you can! We waste so much time doom scrolling, chatting on WhatsApp, flipping pics on Instagram. But because we do it in short little spurts, we don’t realize how much of our time it takes up. Close the laptop, put down the phone, and get productive, so you have time to ride. 

Make dinner easier. 

Seriously. You don’t need fancy dinners every night of the week. It’s ok to have PBJs, cereal, or eggs and toast for supper. If all else fails, get takeout! You could even ask Grandma to cook. If you simply MUST make a full course meal, try putting something in the crockpot or freezing leftovers ahead of time to reheat. 

If your kids are old enough to cook, it’s a great time to enlist their help! Have them plan and shop ahead of time, so on ride night, it’s just a matter of them putting dinner together.   

Join a cycling club.

Sometimes, it isn’t very motivating to ride by yourself. So join a cycling club in your area and find some pals. It’ll be easier to commit if you know other folks are counting on you. Plus, it’s way more fun! Riding is safer in a group, too. You’ll help each other get better, stronger, and faster! 

Get some accountability.

Sometimes, we just need someone to hold us accountable. Maybe your spouse will help push you out the door! Get someone to help you stick to your goals. Perhaps a friend, significant other, your kids, or a coach will help remind you to go out and have some fun. 

Get up early. 

We all love to sleep, but maybe you need to get up a little early to get ready to ride. As for me, I often get up long before my kids so I can squeeze in a few miles on Zwift before they start asking for their breakfast. But I could also get some work done while it is quiet, making room later in the day to get on the bike. 

Set your alarm early, a few days a week. My alarm goes off at 4am on the days I ride inside! You won’t lose too much sleep, but you’ll have found a few extra hours in your day to accomplish stuff. Bonus if you turn off the tv and go to bed early, too!

Work on your time management skills. 

Time management might be an unpopular topic, but we could all get a little better with our time management skills.  Look at your schedule long and hard and figure out where you are least productive. Maybe you need to spend less time chatting on the phone;  maybe you vacuum too often! We can all look at and improve areas where we waste time.

Be consistent. 

New habits are hard to start, and old habits are hard to break! But consistency gets us results. If you want to ride more, try to be consistent with your riding. Once you hit the snooze button and skip a workout, it becomes easier to skip each time until you’re no longer riding at all!  Of course, if you’re not feeling well, you need to take a break, but overall, consistency is king for getting out on the road and making goals happen. 

Love your bike. 

Show your bike plenty of TLC, and make sure you have a bike you love, if possible. If it doesn’t fit well, if the brakes squeal, if the handlebars are crooked, it will not be as fun to ride. Take your bike for checkups at your local bike shop so that it’s the best it can be! You’ll have way more fun on a safe, well-maintained bike than on an old clunker. 

Just get out there and ride. 

Seriously, just ride!  If all you have is 15 minutes to ride around the block, then do it! If all you have is a short lunch break  – get on the bike and eat while you ride. Set aside your excuses and make it happen! You can do it! Just get on a bike and ride it! 

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