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When the bike means business

 Published on: 10th September 2015   |   By: Nik Allen

As some of you know I’m a keen cyclist. I love it. That’s when I don’t crash or get crashed into.

In 2014 while preparing for the London to Amsterdam bike challenge I hit a pothole, went sailing through the air and used my face and collarbone as a brake. I was too injured to take part in the ride.

This year I was going great guns on the actual London to Amsterdam challenge in June until a white van took me out. Stitches in the knee, bloodied and bashed up and again out of the ride. Gutted.

This Sunday I take part in the 45 mile Palace to Palace ride which goes from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle. I’m hoping to stay in the saddle and safely on the road.

Now this blog isn’t to impress / distress you with my cycling prowess. There are two things I’ve learned during my cycling ‘career’. Both related to business.

I’ve been guilty of being a bit gung ho on my bike. Too fast going round corners, flying down hills like Sir Bradley Wiggins (I wish) and generally not being fully switched on to the dangers around me.

However, the last few occasions when I was out on the road recently I’ve noticed my focus has been more about looking ahead for dangers, being vigilant and not ‘switching off’.

I’ve started using this approach in business. Outlining my goals for the day / week then sticking to them with real focus, weighing up the pitfalls, problems and easy wins.

My first Palace to Palace in 2011 (I'm a few pounds lighter now!).

My first Palace to Palace in 2011 (I’m a few pounds lighter now!).

The other aspect has been really valuing the benefits of preparation and planning. Before setting off on a ride I’ll check I’ve enough water, energy gels, tyres inflated, I’ll know the route, the weather. I’ll even tap in a cab number in case I get a puncture or mechanical failure.

Going through my checklist it struck me that I should be doing something similar in my working life. Look at all angles, plan for all possibilities and get out there and do it.

The time in the saddle is also my time. I get to think clearly about things and of course the endorphin rush at the end of a ride beats almost every buzz, well apart from launching a new magazine.

Thanks for reading.

Nik

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