100 Things To Slightly Improve Your Bike Life Without Really Trying

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The Guardian published a list of 100 Things To Slightly Improve Your Life Without Really Trying. We thought we’d bring you our own list of marginal gains.

  1. Organise a Monday night ride and go out regularly. Make sure the pub is open if you’re ending at one.
  2. On the fence about a purchase? Make a space for it in the shed before you buy it.
  3. Tip: It’s nearly always quicker to stop and faff (put that glove back on, do that zip back up) than trying while riding.
  4. Put a beanie in your pack for stops.
  5. Try to build a bike ride into every day off. And into every other day if you can.
  6. Work on your riding skills weak spot.
  1. Try to never run over a wildflower.
  2. Have a note in your phone with your suspension settings in it.
  3. Check your tyre pressure.
  4. Always bring Haribo on a ride.
  1. Set up a light charging spot, to keep everything ready for when you need it.
  2. Clean your jockey wheels.
  3. Spend 10 minutes checking all your bolts are tight.
  4. Buy a proper track pump (it saves on time and tears).
  5. Keep your race plates. Put them all on the garage ceiling.
  6. Book a skills course.
  7. Don’t be weird about the height of your socks.
  8. Pack latex gloves as emergency liner gloves (they also help with trailside repairs/punctures).
  9. Take a quick, clear photo of the trailhead map before you set off. You may need it.
Know where you are.
  1. Take a quiet moment after every ride, while you’re in the shower, to remember your favourite bit of it.
  2. Try electrolyte tablets in your water at least once.
  3. Laugh at your own crashes.
  4. Always take enough water, but don’t burden yourself with too much water on shorter rides. Water is heavy.
  5. Start a Sunday morning with some drum and bass – it sets the tone for a day of activity.
  6. Look closely at drivers, especially at junctions and roundabouts.
  7. Do intervals between lamp posts to boost your fitness.
  8. If possible, book an uplift.
  9. Always have lights so you can ride a bit longer if you want to.
  10. Drive once a week, max. Ideally less.
  11. Be nice, say hi.
  1. Admit you don’t really understand suspension, go and learn how to set yours up properly.
  2. Connect with nature: lick the mud from your lips at the end of a ride.
  3. Join the OS Mapping app and use it.
  4. Go for a ride without a phone, Garmin or anything. It still counts.
  5. Eat normal food (life’s too short for gels).
  6. Stretch before and after a ride. Maybe use a foam roller too.
  7. If you’re going less than 5 miles, walk or cycle.
  8. Don’t keep your bike lock keys in the same room as the locks.
  9. Send jumps.
Send it!
  1. Treat yourself to winter riding boots. Buy them in June.
  2. Buy the right quick-link for your chain.
  3. Don’t have Strava on your phone.
  4. If you find a saddle you love and are certain you will use for ever, buy two.
  5. Wash your bike before you put it away.
  6. Make cake to say thank you.
  7. Bookmark the singletrackworld.com home page and visit every day. Hey, visit twice!
  8. Stop and listen to the birds.
  9. Check it’s not stolen if buying secondhand.
  10. Use your local bike shop.
  11. Learn how to wheelie properly
  12. If something in the world is making you angry, go and ride your bike.
  13. Say hello to other riders.
  14. Learn the basics of maintaining your bike
  15. Always take a waterproof jacket on a ride, even if the weather forecast is good.
  16. Learn the names of 10 trees.
  17. Invite a lapsed riding friend on a ride and don’t drop them.
  1. Subscribe to the Singletrack newsletters.
  2. Buy a magazine (ideally this one).
  3. Always carry a pump.
  4. Drop your heels.
  5. Make your own flapjack and take it on a ride.
  6. Be on time – or early – for group rides. Do the faff the night before.
  7. Volunteer. Join your local trails association.
  8. Dry your chain and lube it.
  9. Pay for parking at trail centres.
  10. Don’t save your bike for best, just enjoy it, even in winter.
  11. Sing – it makes you faster on descents.
  12. Think about your posture: look where you’re going and don’t hang off the back of the bike.
  13. Hang up your wet gear, don’t leave it to go mouldy in your car/garage/backpack.
  14. Take wild swimming opportunities whenever they present themselves.
Come on in, the water is lovely
  1. Put your phone on powersave mode when you go out (so you still have battery if you really need to call for help).
  2. Always use freshly ground coffee.
  3. Thank the person who got you into bikes.
  4. Respect your trail builders.
  5. Put your tools back where they live. Every time.
  6. Patch your inner tubes.
  7. Rent a nice bike as a treat.
  8. Book a rest day in your ride holiday and take it.
  9. Ignore the algorithm – ask the Forum.
  10. Wait at gates for the last rider and give them recovery time too.
  11. Edit your GoPro footage before you post it. Then edit it again.
  12. Repair something you’ve never attempted before.
  13. Collect a random bit of trail trash on every ride.
  14. Wash your knee pads and helmet liner.
Not everyone will appreciate your trail dog.
  1. Ask before you bring a dog to a group ride.
  2. Map! Use one. Learn how to read one.
  3. Learn how to pedal smoothly.
  4. Teach a friend how to fix a bike.
  5. Don’t worry about the events you can’t make. Enjoy the ones you can.
  6. Thank the organisers.
  7. If in doubt, bend your arms.
  8. Don’t look at your phone at the lunch stop. You’re enjoying nature, remember?
  9. Do that one thing you’ve been putting off.
  10. If someone cleans a tricky bit of trail/beasts you uphill, compliment them on it.
  11. Set up an affordable standing order to a charity, World Bicycle Relief springs to mind.
  12. Keep a snack in your bag to avoid bonking.
  13. Sing a cheery song at the bottom of a big climb. Your buddies will hate you.
  14. Don’t pass comment on people riding e-bikes.
  15. Friend left a bike over at your house? Clean and lube it for them.
  16. For instant cheer, take spare gloves.

Do you have other tips for instant slight improvements to your life? Add them below. Or call us out on the suggestions you think are rubbish!


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Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
  • 100 Things To Slightly Improve Your Bike Life Without Really Trying
  • Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    Pick black nitrile gloves, oil and grease resistant and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. (Blue are food safe only and split easily on contact with oil/grease)

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Full Member

    Not sure how taking Strava off phone will help? But lots of the other ideas are good

    Premier Icon peekay
    Full Member

    20. Take a quiet moment after every ride, while you’re in the shower, to remember your favourite bit of it.

    😏

    Premier Icon kuco
    Full Member

    (Blue are food safe only and split easily on contact with oil/grease)

    Don’t know how you work that one out we use blue nitrile gloves at work including our fitters using oils and grease and have no issues.

    Premier Icon angrycat
    Free Member

    He’s probably thinking of the polythene like ones they use in fast food places.

    Premier Icon jonba
    Free Member

    Regardless of colour (it doesn’t matter*) I’ve never been convinced that thin nitrile/latex gloves under other gloves makes any difference. It goes against my experience and knowledge of how insulation works.

    I know people say it does but I’d love some one to explain how they think it works.

    *There’s an EN standard that details resistance of gloves. With nitrile gloves it largely a function of thickness that gives protection and resistance to organic liquids.

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    I hate rules

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Were the Guardian 100 things as shit as that? I don’t want to check for fear of doubling up the time I won’t get back 😀

    Premier Icon Mark Alker
    Full Member

    Bad day Rubber?

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Well, it was going well until I started reading this list of 100 things.  I should have given up at about 30 but I felt sort of invested by then and it all went downhill from there 🙁

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Full Member

    Stretch before and after a ride. Maybe use a foam roller too.

    Before a ride? Nooooo no no

    Bookmark the singletrackworld.com home page and visit every day. Hey, visit twice!

    Missing the word “only”

    Premier Icon Phil_H
    Full Member

    10.5 Never take sugar free haribo on a ride 😱💩😱

    Premier Icon brakestoomuch
    Full Member

    For me, number 6 should be plural.
    Numbers 12 and 13 sound like they should apply to life in general.

    Premier Icon augustuswindsock
    Full Member

    Pop a face cloth in your pocket, especially on warmer rides, when you’re sweating cobs at the top of a climb and its stinging your eyes give your face a good wipe with it (and the top of your head if you’ve got no hair there – like me!) far more absorbent than a snot-wipe or the hem of a nylon jersey!
    Handy for wiping down wounds too, preferably before you’ve grimed it up on your mucky face and head though😀

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Full Member

    ^^^

    do you mean a hanky? My gran would be proud…

    Premier Icon Cowman
    Full Member

    Just some thoughts…

    Volunteer in some capacity, ideally in a way that helps youngsters enjoy the hobby.
    Learn a ride well so you can lead it and make it safe for others.
    Take youngsters out on a good ride that you know is low risk, but they think is amazing
    Whinge if your kids don’t clean their bikes, but do it anyway for them. It’ll save you money in the long run.
    Long term loan out old bikes if your in a position to.
    Accept that if it moves and contacts another surface it’ll wear out. Especially in the UK in winter. Budget for this and don’t skip services.
    Don’t skimp on spending on helmets
    Contact points are vital, buy the best you can
    Learn enough about nature to enjoy pointing things out to others when you stop.
    Understand you don’t need to be the best rider to lead a really enjoyable ride. So give it a go.
    Seek out people trying new things with mountain biking (YouTube route guides, accommodation, podcasts etc) and support as you can. Don’t critisise them.
    Engage with and support racing at all levels.

    Premier Icon Convert
    Full Member

    Take on a ride purely for the views regardless of what is under the wheels. Plan to get to a specific point for sunrise and sunset. Soak it in with you eyes not an electronic device.

    Premier Icon augustuswindsock
    Full Member

    A hanky won’t cut it Jambo, a proper towelling flannel face cloth, save the hanky for snot and such like😉

    Premier Icon colin9
    Full Member

    Not sure how taking Strava off phone will help? But lots of the other ideas are good

    I agree. Try it?

    Premier Icon Gary Biles
    Full Member

    Good list!
    Always forget to put the plastic gloves on when servicing the bike, black greasy fingers are the usual prompt that I have forgotten them. Don’t feel I have serviced the bike properly if my hands are clean afterwards 🙂
    I would also add to the list:
    > Visit a proper pub during or post ride, not bloody Spoons!
    > If there is a coffee & cake stop on route use an independent shop, not bloody CostaBucks!
    > Check your tools and spares before you go out, recently rode with a mate who had a puncture and found 5 (count ’em!) empty CO2 cartridges in his backpack 🙂

    Premier Icon clubby
    Full Member

    Love the cheek of the person that put 33 and 34 in that order.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    > Visit a proper pub during or post ride, not bloody Spoons!
    > If there is a coffee & cake stop on route use an independent shop, not bloody CostaBucks!

    These two are just weird as I can’t imagine :
    How anyone would not take them as given.
    What sort of crappy mtb ride goes past either a spoons or a Costa.

    Premier Icon Thepurist
    Full Member

    If you encounter parent & child riding, give them room and encouragement. Don’t be the one who makes the kids stop just so you can get by – they deserve the flow as much as you do.

    Premier Icon Gary Biles
    Full Member

    @thegeneralist – Pretty presumptuous on your part about where people get out to ride, sometimes the only source of refreshment is the local town, the natural habitat of Spoons and Costa.

    Premier Icon Steven Hill
    Free Member

    All great, apart from the no phones bit.

    ALWAYS take a phone with you. Strava or not.

    Premier Icon Lunge
    Full Member

    If you have a 2 hour riding window, use it all for riding and get the best out of the day. Coffee and cake can be done at another time.

    Find better climbs. So many rides just go up fire roads, make the climbs interesting and you’ll enjoy them more.

    Ride your favourite route backwards occasionally.

    Premier Icon Tom Howard
    Full Member

    Don’t bother yourself with what other people are riding.

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Always take a waterproof? there are many rides/times of year where putting a waterproof coat on is going to leave me wetter from sweat than from the rain. Not to mention carrying a waterproof will almost certainly neccessitate a backpack, which is going to sweat even more.

    The random Drive once a week one is a bit out of character with the rest of the list. I should proably set off now to have a chance of making wednesday’s meeting by bike. I kind of need my job to have money to live.

    Sort though your old bike parts stash and pass the usable stuff on to your local bike recyling project, your mates or their kids. Wonderfully cathartic.

    Premier Icon Storer76
    Full Member

    Anybody else read this with Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen going round their head?

    Premier Icon 4orust
    Free Member

    Dynamic stretching before the ride, static stretching after.

    Premier Icon Olly
    Free Member

    Anybody else read this with Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen going round their head?

    I was dissapointed “wear sunscreen” wasnt No. 100 when i saw the Guardian version

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Don’t argue on STW.

    Oh.
    Wait.
    Sorry.

    Premier Icon thenorthwind
    Full Member

    Anybody else read this with Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen going round their head?

    Yes, I read it in his voice, but was trying to remember the name of the track so I could make the same comment!

    Premier Icon beefy
    Free Member

    Wow. Lovely list. Should one of the rules be:

    “Don’t feel the need to comment on everything on STW”?

    Oh hang on.

    Dam.

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Full Member

    Always bring Haribo on a ride.

    Offer them to your vegetarian friends and then pull them back, saying “Oh, sorry, you can’t eat these, they’ve got pigs feet in them”. Always raises a laugh.

Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)

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