Don’t underestimate the power of the mind

It’s best to be prepared

Cycling is both a mental and a physical challenge. There are so many ways that exercise can boost your mood: there’s the basic release of adrenalin and endorphins, and the improved confidence that comes from achieving new things (such as completing this cycle ride). Make a promise to yourself before heading out on any ride, that you’re going to focus on generating positive energy and that you are going to enjoy yourself. You always have the power to banish any negative thoughts so when things get difficult, take in your surroundings, congratulate yourself for doing something healthy, and push yourself to get to that next rest point.

Positive thinking can go a long way, but longer rides also come with an increased chance of the occasional puncture. Most of these can be quickly dealt with if you’re prepared for them. You should always ensure you have a spare tube to fix a flat, a mini tool, your cell phone, ID, and a bit of cash for any longer ride. Cycling is an incredibly enjoyable and sociable sport and as a fantastic bonus – exercise has been repeatedly linked to brain health – and the reduction of cognitive changes that can leave us vulnerable to dementia later in life. S0 if you are an older rider – just get on your bike and rediscover the joys of riding in social groups.