Cycling is great right? Some people just don’t know it yet. Their inner cyclists are dormant and all they need is someone to show them the way.
Offer to help them get started
Everyone has to start somewhere. Offer your help to get a non-cyclist get started, maybe pointing them to our last blog since beginner cyclists will have many questions. You can advise them on what type of bike they should consider and what accessories they may need. They won’t necessarily need or want the same things you do so listen to what they’re saying. Go shopping with them; sometimes bike shops have too many options and can feel dauntingly teccy for the uninitiated. Plus the sales staff may be keen to sell something that’s not strictly essential so your experience will be valued.
It works and you don’t need to condition your friends like Pavlov did with his dogs. Offer loads of encouragement to reassure them that they can cycle. Ask them about their first ride and congratulate them on it. Or go on a ride with them to offer support and be their guide.
Arrive on your bike and with a smile
Cycling is satisfying, practical and basically fun. If you make a point of always arriving to meet friends on a bike, on time and with a smile on your face, they’ll start to wonder if they should give it a go.
Get from A to B faster (and cheaper) than them
There’s a range of travelling distances in cities where cycling is certainly faster than waiting for and using public transport. Time is precious so point out to your friends they could be spending a lot less of it waiting and not knowing when they might get to their destination. And not only will their journey be a knowable length of time but it will have cost them nothing into the bargain.
There is a reason corporate companies spend money on product placement; it works! Maybe leave the odd glossy bike mag open on a page with a particularly irresistible illustraion. Perhaps slip in some cycling related puns in your texts. If you find out what works, let us know in the comments section!
Keep talking about cycling and how great it is. Send them bike-themed birthday cards (even if it’s not their birthday). Get a bike tattoo. Buy them a bike chain keyring or a cycle-themed tea towel. Whatever it takes! You’ll be running the risk of becoming a nuisance by now but don’t give up!
Team up with your other friends who cycle and alienate those who don’t. Occasionally forget to invite the bikeless friends to meet ups or maybe meet up with them but go off on your bikes and leave them behind. Or just exclude them from the conversation by using cycling lingo to bamboozle their non-cycling brains.
No one’s actually advocating any bullying here – we’re all nice people and friends are friends! But get past what may feel like fierce resistance, turn a non-cyclist into a cyclist and they’ll probably thank you for life (not to mention go on to spread the word themselves).