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Sadly the rumors are true, simply making a New Year’s Resolution doesn’t guarantee that you will follow through with it.
This year I made a resolution to choose biking instead of driving when the distance I’m going is less than 20 km. I have gotten into a good habit of biking to work most days, but there are other trips, like going the grocery store, when I am still using my car.
What can I do to make sure I stick with my resolution this year? This is exactly the type of question that health psychologists ask. What can people do to increase the chances they will succeed at changing their behaviour?
There is one factor that tops the list again and again as the best predictor for whether or not someone will be successful at changing his or her behaviour. Psychologists call it “self-efficacy”, which is essentially someone’s confidence that they can complete a specific task in a specific setting.
My bike feels like more than a metal frame with rubber tires, it feels like an old friend. I remember the time I flipped over my handlebars -I had foolishly hung a grocery bag off the end of them and when something in the bag became lodged between the spokes of my wheel it brought my bike to an abrupt halt and catapulted me onto the pavement. A man who had been driving past stopped to help and when he approached me my first question was, “Is my bike ok?” His brows made knots, confused by my misplaced priorities. My bike could easily be replaced, my head on the other hand couldn’t.
I was lucky because I had no serious injuries but I’m not the only one who treats my bike more like a loved one than an appliance. Karly Coleman, a researcher out of the University of Alberta, interviewed twenty-eight regular cyclists and she found that they all had strong attachments to their bikes.
“People talk about riding the bike and I, I’m trying to find a better term, cause you ride a horse -horse is doing the work and you’re just sitting along for the ride, like in a car, but the bike is you.” This quote from one of Coleman’s participants clearly articulates how his relationship with his bike was very different from his relationship with his car. He explains how his bike feels like a part of him rather than an object he uses.
Check out these short YouTube Videos about Route Planning, Fenders, How to Keep Your Feet Dry, How to Keep Your Hands Warm, etc...: CLICK HERE
GoByBike with Grandma: CLICK HERE
Planning for Winter Cycling: CLICK HERE
Make it Yours: Plan Your Route to GoByBike: CLICK HERE