Cycling the road to minimalism

As Michelle’s already mentioned, this weekend we rode our first proper closed-road bicycle event (a sportive), the London Surrey Classic.

It’s 100 miles in total and takes in the sights of London and Surrey’s biggest climbs (the not so lovely bit) before coming back in to finish on the Mall, which leads to Buckingham Palace. It is a great achievement and something both of us are very proud of.

As much as we both love cycling it can cause problems when attempting to lead a minimalist life because of the amount of stuff you need to keep your bike on the road but also the amount of stuff you can keep ‘just in case’.

It’s also typifies the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality that you can easily get sucked into as new gear and bicycles come on to the market that tempt you to splurge.

In many respects cycling can be the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve, especially true when you have more than one bike (anti-minimalist confession: between the two of us we have five bikes!)

But on the other hand, although we have a lot of bikes and a lot of bike gear, being able to go cycling is only possible because we are leading a more minimal life.

We wanted to have less things so we could actually enjoy life and experience more.

We both love cycling and having the freedom to jump on your bike, that rush when you make it up a climb, and go from one place to another on your own steam.

Cycling for us is so much more than just a hobby to spend money on, it’s an instrument to having a happier and healthier life.

Now we strike a balance on what equipment or clothing we actually need. In the past we had multiple jerseys, spare wheels, saddles, pedals taking up space ‘just in case’ we needed them. Now we’ve stopped accumulating, all that has gone and we only have what is actually needed.

We have a bike each for commuting which can handle the London streets and being bashed around and another for the weekend when we do longer rides (the fifth one is kept for sentimental reasons as I built it for Michelle as a present).

We have one cycling jersey each and the tools to fix our bicycles if anything happens whilst out on the road (you can see exactly what gear I used yesterday in the above picture).

Now we’re no longer weighed down with stuff, both on and off the bike, which would slow us down on our journey.

4 thoughts on “Cycling the road to minimalism

  1. Its nice to see another minimalist cyclist.
    I am a London based triathlete and a minimalist, and sometimes it is really hard to balance all the equipment needed for cycling, running and swimming with a minimalist lifestyle. There is an odd guilt that comes with having so much stuff even though I know it is equipment I use weekly (if not daily)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gary, thanks for stopping by. The stuff for cycling is enough clutter for me, can’t imagine what it’s like 3 x over! I know what you mean about the guilt but it is stuff you genuinely need and enhances your life. I’m sure if people saw my cycling gear drawer they’d wonder why there’s so much of it but it’s all about the layers! M


    2. Nice to hear from another London Minimalist cyclist, a rare breed!! I find that if the equipment is used daily or weekly then it’s not mindless excess, it’s when you have 20 jerseys and spare parts everywhere “just in case” that it’s an issue. Tough balance to keep though! F


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