How cycling can make you better at business.

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

This year I've been training for 'LEJOG' (Lands End to John O'Groats).

Frankly, LEJOG is a rubbish acronym. Cycling over 980 miles in 9 days whilst camping and sharing facilities, CRAP seems far better (Camping, Riding And Portaloos).

Whilst I'm now accustomed to (and quite like) donning Lycra, embracing my inner MAMIL, this is going to push me further than any endurance event I've done before. The upside is that whilst I'm cycling I've a lot of time to think and in the hours of boredom I've made up some parallels between cycling and running a business which I thought I'd share.

Think big:

When I started training, I thought a couple of laps around Richmond Park was good work, but now Richmond Park simply isn't big enough or have enough hills. If I'd had a smaller goal, I'd have achieved far less.

Have Time-bound goals:

Establishing an event or deadline date helps you focus, think bigger and push yourself to achieve.

Reduce Drag:

Seek out and solve what is getting in the way of progression; you'll go faster and get there quicker and easier. For me it was a misaligned hub on a new bike, meaning I cycled 75km with a wheel that didn't want to turn - unnecessarily hard work!

Draft behind someone better:

Learning from others who've been there, done that and know the way, can streamline and even transform your journey; helping you avoid the mistakes they made and get there quicker.

Leverage data:

Data must be the baseline for understanding where you're improving, failing, in line with your targets and benchmarking you against what good looks like. Without it opinions and decisions are biased, subjective and siloed. I didn't actually know if I was improving my speed, strength and power output until I switched on Strava. I was just out enjoying the ride.

Invest in the best equipment:

Don't get stuck halfway on your journey because the tools you rely on fail you. 'Cheap' is a short term solution and guaranteed to fail on you at some point.

Batten down the hatches:

Always be prepared for stormy weather and you'll still come out smiling (see top pic).

Protect your assets:

Make sure your assets and IP are tightly secured, or you risk someone stealing it for themselves (as someone did with one of my bikes).

Beware of BMWs:

Customers (and staff) who are B**ches, Moaners & Whiners can be a real drain on your resources - avoid! They're also the worst cars (in my opinion) for cutting up cyclists!

Hold yourself accountable:

Enlist the help of others to ensure you do what you commit to. Which is why I'm writing this on LinkedIn - there's no backing out for me now! But I need your help...

I'm cycling as part of a team who are looking to raise £100,000 for the Advanta Foundation to help child poverty at home and in Africa. You can see my journey on JustGiving (link below) and on my profile. Any pennies you can spare are greatly appreciated.

For the cyclists out there, am I missing any cycling-based business insights?