Why a post on cycling on an event blog? All will become clear in just a few paragraphs…

I’ve just returned from a lovely 6 day break in Majorca and during my time there one thing was screamingly obvious and it’s that at a time of year normally reserved for the annual ski trip or city break there is a new trend emerging, for the ‘Winter Training’ cycling holiday.

It’s not just the pros that are heading off on winter training camps and trips, an increasing number of cyclists from all disciplines, male and female, are jetting off to get their warm winter riding fix. During my time in Majorca I don’t think I have seen so many men, and women, in lycra and I’ve seen a few sportives over the past few years due to my husband’s love of the sport.

Why cycling? There has been a significant rise in the popularity of cycling in the UK over recent years, a large rise mainly due to the legacy of the Olympics, Le Tour de France and the ‘Bradley Wiggins’ and ‘Team Sky’ effect but also a significant increase is simply due to people wanting to live healthier and more active lives.

Cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK, and according to figures on ctc.org.uk and gov.uk around 8% of the population, that’s around 3 million people cycle 3 times a week or more and about 10% of people cycle recreationally, for the pleasure of it, at least once a month.

As a form of exercise cycling has broad appeal. People of all ages, able-bodied or people with disabilities can enjoy cycling, it’s a low-impact type of exercise so it’s easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities, but it still helps you get into shape.

A study found that just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise such as cycling boosts at least one measure of creative thinking. Cycling improves your health and quality of life, it gets you outside, relieves stress and just generally makes you feel better about life.

Any amount of time on a bike will lift your spirits and it’s proven as Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation explains; “Any mild to moderate exercise releases natural feel-good endorphins that help to counter stress and make you happy”.

Researchers from Illinois University also found that a 5% improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus, the region responsible for memory which deteriorates from the age of 30.

Also cycling in a group encourages great team work and communication, what better motivation to consider a cycling weekend the next time you’re planning a company incentive, client or team building event or trip!

There are some stunning European destinations that offer a bit of winter sun and appeal to cyclists of all levels with the flat and undulating roads for the beginners and the challenging hill climbs for the more experienced such as:

Cote D’Azur, France

cote dazur cycling

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife Cycling

Andalucia, Spain

Andalucia cycling

Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Mallorca cycling

Hotel Bikes PicMany of the hotels in Majorca that would traditionally be closed during the winter months are now opening specifically for cycling groups and are geared up for the sport offering road bike, as well as mountain bike and equipment hire. There are also many restaurants and cafes that offer the traditional coffee and a cake or something a little stronger after that long ride.

If you were to consider Majorca as a destination there are a number of companies that specialise in cycling holidays and training camps that you can contact:

Stephen Roche Cycling Holidays and Training Camps

Sunvelo

Stuart Hall Cycling

For more information on cycling in the UK you can also check out the British Cycling website.

So the next time you’re planning that company incentive or team building event or looking to organise a thank you event for your clients then maybe consider something different and think about the benefits of a ‘Winter Training’ cycling trip. Both you and your group will soon feel the benefits and it’ll be a new experience you’ll all be talking about it for months afterwards.

Until next time #Eventprofs…