How to overcome barriers to cycling

Samantha Neville

A mental health problem (or a course of medication) can make you feel tired, disrupt your sleep and drain your energy levels, making it even harder to get up and go.

These top tips from Mind will help you overcome barriers and get cycling which has so many wellbeing benefits.

“I’ve gained so much confidence and made some great friends through cycling. Meeting new people has really helped me socially and reduced my anxiety.” 

Zoe, Breeze Champion

I’m too tired or often have no energy

  • Work with your highs and lows. For example, if you’re not a morning person, go for a bike ride during the afternoon on weekends, and avoid times when the side effects of your medication may be a problem.
  • Start off small. Even small amounts of activity can give you a natural energy boost. Build up at a pace that suits you and remember that exercise can actually help you sleep better.

I’m short of time

  • Be strategic with your schedule. Cycling to school or work is a great way to fit cycling into your schedule. Alternatively, set some time aside for yourself.
  • Join us on a child-friendly bike ride. Finding time to go on a bike ride when you're looking after children can be tough, but kids are welcome on many of our bike rides – just look out for notice in the ride description.

It’s too expensive

  • Look for local schemes and discounts. You don’t need a brand new, top of the range bike to get cycling. Consider buying a second-hand bike from your local bike shop or finding a local bike hire scheme. Alternatively, ask your employer if they have a cycle scheme in place, allowing you to get bikes and accessories tax-free.
  • Join us on a FREE bike ride! All our rides are free to join and make a great alternative to expensive days out with family and friends.

I lack confidence

Trying out something new, travelling to new places, or being with people you don’t know can be really daunting at first. But over time, you may find your confidence increase as you become fitter and improve your skills.

Our rides are guided by friendly British Cycling trained Ride Leaders and Breeze Champions who’ll welcome you to the group and support you throughout your ride. Plus our routes are risk-assessed, ensuring peace of mind and safety for all cyclists.

Meet Zoe

Brighton-based Zoe started riding with HSBC UK Breeze to regain her confidence and overcome the fear of judgement when exercising. A couple of years later and Zoe is now a volunteer Breeze Champion, inspiring even more women to regain their confidence and fall in love with cycling.