Home Cycling A cyclist’s guide to surviving Christmas

A cyclist’s guide to surviving Christmas

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Christmas is a time of year when many people are on a mission to shed pounds and are eager for new fad diets, diets that promise to make you lose weight fast. It’s hard to know where to start when you’re trying to lose weight fast. But one thing is certain: you can’t go on a crash diet and expect it to work. So instead of doing a crash diet, why not try a cycling diet? Cycling is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.

Here’s a guide for cyclists to enjoy the Christmas period with their friends and family, without spending too much time on the bike, and without spending too much money.

Christmas is around the corner, and that means getting ready for the holidays. Now, this may not be a problem for you if you get along well with your family, but what if you want to spend the holidays solo? Most people will spend this time with their family and friends, but why not get away from the traditional Christmas scene for a while and spend the holidays alone? This is where cycling comes in, as the perfect way to spend time alone without being bored.

Non-cyclists seem to want to unwind, relax, and flop around on the couch, watching old movies and eating their entire weight in chocolate, gently preparing their intestines for the next assault of food at Christmas.

For bikers, though, not having enough time out on the bike to blow off steam may be irritating, and if you’re anything like us, cabin fever can set in after just a few hours of confinement with a distant cousin droning on about something completely unrelated.

But don’t worry. We’ve put our heads together and compiled a list of things you should be doing to stay sane throughout Crimbo’s long social interactions. There is a possibility of escaping to the trails or the tarmac.

Make a detailed schedule for your Christmas vacation.

Cyclists on a winter group ride

A group ride is an excellent method to motivate you to get out and about. Immediate Media/Robert Smith

On the surface, this may not seem to be enjoyable, but with a little planning, a few spreadsheets, and well-timed phone calls to family, you can free up valuable biking time.

In fact, if you plan ahead, you should be able to sneak in some festive rides every day of the Christmas holidays.

Every day of the Christmas vacation, make sure you know where you’ll be, who you’ll be with, and what you’re intending to do. We’ve got a few Christmas and Boxing Day ideas for 10 people as a beginning.

No one wakes up early on Christmas morning (unless they have little children – we have a solution for that, too), so sneak in an hour-long ride before the madness of present-opening begins. If you have small children, give in to their desires by allowing them to open their gifts as soon as possible. You’ll be able to saunter out for a ‘cheeky one’ after they’ve become absorbed in exploring the delights of their new acquisition.

Boxing Day is a fantastic opportunity for cyclists. You can virtually guarantee that the evening’s activities will be boring and slow-paced, including mainly TV viewing and dismal small talk. Put your lights on your bike and go off under the cover of darkness for another wild ride.

Rinse and repeat this excellent – if somewhat clinical – method of going out on the bike in tiny windows of opportunity to get the most out of your time.

You’ll thank us when you get that much-needed workout in, and your loved ones will thank you since you’ll be in a lot better mood after that endorphin rush.

What’s the best way to get the last roast potato?

Roast potatoes on baking tray, Christmas food

Last of the Roast Potatoes It stands alone in the plate, deliciously crispy on the surface and fluffy, white, and carbohydrate-packed on the inside, waiting for someone to make a move. You should be that person.

You’ll be doing a lot of riding during the holidays, so make sure you’re well fueled to compensate for the energy you’ll be spending. This is especially true for our readers in the Northern Hemisphere, who will be fighting the cold, snow, rain, or perhaps all three.

Do you think your family wants you to go bonk while you’re out?

So go ahead and eat that tiny crispy packet of deliciousness, and while you’re doing it, wash it down with some more turkey. You’ve worked hard for it.

What to do if you’re having a bad day right now?

Wrapped kids bike with other wrapped presents with out of focus Christmas tree in foreground.

Don’t hold your breath; you’re not going to receive a bike for Christmas. Getty Images/Martin Leigh

You dashed down the stairs, leaping over dogs and young children, to tear the covering off the package bearing your name. It’s large enough to accommodate a new groupset! Perhaps some new rubber? What about a clothes stockpile for your new year’s riding plans? When you unwrap your present, you discover… well, it’s not exactly what you expected.

Unless you’ve previously had a candid conversation with your family about what Santa should concentrate his attention on, disappointment lies under the tree. While we understand that it’s the idea that counts, why not exchange it for something you really need or desire? That is, after all, why gift receipts were created.

We’ve put up a list of tailor-made reasons to assist you through the difficult process of lavishly thanking the present-giver while gently hinting that the item in question may not be exactly what you intended and that you exchange it. Strategically deploy:

  1. Oh, it’s gorgeous! But, unfortunately, it’s incompatible with my bottom bracket/headset/wheel size/hubs (delete as applicable) – mind if I replace it?
  2. I’ve always wanted a chocolate fountain/donut maker/candyfloss machine, but I’ve just signed up for a major event and need to keep track of my calories. Is it possible to swap it for a NutriBullet?
  3. That perfume/aftershave smells wonderful, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t use it. Rapha, on the other hand, makes a wonderful chamois cream. That would come in handy for me!

How to avoid doing the dishes

Stacked crockery stacked on cutting board for washing up

On Christmas Day, everyone’s least favorite job is doing the dishes. Burnt-on pieces of roast parsnip, congealing custard, and the inevitable remaining sprout linger in a huge mound of plates, silverware, and pans the height of a person.

Here’s how to avoid spending several hours with your hands in sudsy, gravy-stained water by instead going on a ride.

  1. Pretend to fall asleep on the couch until someone else does. Wait until everyone else has gone to sleep, then softly slip out the door. Make sure you’ve prepared your equipment ahead of time.
  2. Offer to assist a young kid in putting together a model. Remind yourself that you need a tool from your garage. Take a ride without being seen.
  3. Are there more than one of you? Assume you need to drop off a present at someone’s (think of someone believable) home and decide to go for a short ride instead. Prepare a briefing for the opposite party ahead of time. Alternatively, make sure the other person is also riding a bike and set out together.
  4. Couples: you may use the excuse that you need to see the other set of parents. Alternatively, prepare ahead and use this as an excuse to take a trip in between appointments.
  5. Act noisy and obnoxious until you’re asked to leave. It’s risky, and it’s not exactly joyous.

WARNING: Deploying these may have severe consequences, including a loss of trust and the prohibition of any future bicycle activity over the holiday season.

OR, and this is our personal favorite, you might OFFER to clean the dishes. Put your family to sleep, turn on some holiday music or your favorite cycling movie, and get into that sudsy bowl.

You’ll feel wonderful about contributing to the holiday spirit, and you’ll be able to ride with a clean conscience afterwards. Why don’t you invite the whole family?

How to take your bike with you for the holidays

Skoda crossover with bikes on roof driving

The Karoq is a capable family vehicle that isn’t particularly thrilling to drive. Immediate Media / Matthew Allen

Are you spending the holidays with your family? One of the first challenges you may encounter is persuading your other passengers that riding your bike is a good idea, especially if the vehicle is already packed with people and gifts. There are a few choices available here:

  1. The first is to make sure that everyone in your family enjoys riding, which implies that everyone is on board with the concept in the first place – of course, you’d bring your bikes along. Duh!
  2. If you have children and have given them bicycles for Christmas, just explain that they will want to ride them as soon as possible, and that you will need your bicycle to keep up with them.
  3. Purchase a van so that you can transport a large number of bicycles as well as all of your Christmas decorations. Unless you already own a van, it’s a little pricey.
  4. Persuade them that it will help you stay healthy, calm, and out of the way when things become hectic.

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