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A Few Interesting Things that Every Cyclist Loves

A Few Interesting Things that Every Cyclist Loves

They say that the best things in life are free, and with the exception of fun new gear, the same goes for cycling. There are certain benefits to the sport that only cyclists can truly appreciate, such as the feeling of the wind behind you when you’re speeding down a street, or that rush of satisfaction when the new road you decided to travel on emerges as a cool new place to ride. Here are a few interesting things that every cyclist loves:

Difficult Uphill Rides

By now, you are likely a pro at handling obstacles while bike riding. One of the most common obstacles for a rider is steep hills, but these obstacles are also blessings, giving cyclists a feeling of accomplishment as they approach the summit of a hill or mountain. Though it is also the toughest part of any cycling workout, there is something amazing about feeling yourself and your bike move forward with every pedal. And once you finally reach the top of the hill, you are overwhelmed with endorphins and excitement because you now get to speed downhill.

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Riding Downhill or with a Tailwind

Coasting downhill, or riding with the wind behind you, makes you feel unstoppable, fast, and unquestionably stronger. You just can’t get enough of that feeling of freedom. Though riding downhill generally means you must ride uphill first, there are some days where you can enjoy a tailwind both on the way out to ride and on the way back, depending on the way the wind moves.

Green Traffic Lights

Drivers and cyclists hate waiting at red lights, but there is nothing more satisfying than speeding through several green traffic lights on a route that usually requires you to stop several times.

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New Bike Clothes

Of course, you will always continue to enjoy your old favorite pieces, but it is nice to upgrade every now and then, especially when it comes to fancy new bike gear. This also applies to clothes; aerodynamic shoes, wheels, and handlebars are always a must. Bike wear, special cyclist clothing, and gear like cycling goggles can greatly impact your ride, and it is always fun to deck yourself out in your favorite products before going on a ride. There is nothing a cyclist loves more than going online and browsing the wide range of smart cycling jackets available (besides going on a long ride, of course).

New Routes

Similar to clothing, while you may be tempted to stick with your old paths and resist changing your ways, it is always satisfying to find a new path or trail to travel down, allowing for a change of scenery.

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Not Counting Calories

Cycling burns a significant amount of calories, so regular riders typically do no need to worry too much about what they are eating, the amount of calories and fat they are taking in, and how they are going to exercise those calories off. Cycling gives you the freedom to eat that glazed donut or drink that cup of soda, without feeling bad about it later.

Avoiding Traffic

Two words: bike lane. Biking saves money that would otherwise go toward gas, eliminates the need for parking, and allows you to avoid dangerous and annoying rush hour situations. Though pedestrians also profit from these things, bikes allow you to move faster, offering the speed of a vehicle with the benefits of walking.

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Though they may be a little odd, these are just a few of the many things that only cyclists are able to fully appreciate. Each sport has its tiny joys and small benefits, and these are some of the ones that cycling boasts.

Featured photo credit: http://procyclingtour.com via procyclingtour.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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