Benefits Of Cycling
Training Tips

Life Changing Benefits of Cycling

By: Isaiah Newkirk  April 16, 2020

The stories of how these people have benefited from cycling will touch your heart.

Cycling has shown me the world, allowed me to help others, make lifelong friends, experience amazing cultures, make a living, grow up, and above all that, experience things far greater than myself. The bike is an amazing tool for fitness, certainly. But through my years of racing and coaching, I've found that more often than not, cycling helps us grow in ways we’d never expect. What do I mean by that? Here are a few stories - from real cyclists I have trained - showing how the benefits of cycling can change a person’s life for the better.

The first example represents a life-altering moment for anyone. Years back, an athlete of mine (we’ll call him “Brady”) courageously shared that he had recently been diagnosed with cancer. While he could easily have let this disease destroy his world, he chose to face it head-on. After consulting with his doctor he decided to use the bike as a means to help cope with the disease. We set about creating a cycling training plan to keep him motivated and fit during his battle--all in hopes of being able to complete an incredible cycling event called Pedal the Cause. Pedal the Cause is a charity bike ride that supports cancer research and empowers cancer survivors and fighters.

The ride gave Brady something to target that was bigger than himself and bigger than the disease he was fighting. It also provided entry into the cycling community: a group of individuals that not only shared his passion but understood his challenge.

Brady absolutely crushed his training, finished the event in under his goal time, and was one of the top three fundraisers for the cause. I’m extremely happy to report that today, he is now cancer free (though I can’t attribute that to the riding).

Another example of cycling’s unlikely benefits is from an athlete who resided in India and comes from a relatively impoverished upbringing. In his hometown jobs are scarce and it’s often difficult to break the cycle of poverty. Bike racing changed that for him. The national federation in his country supports cyclists by helping them find jobs during the off season. They also provide small pensions to medaling athletes. While cycling is an uncommon sport, his dedication to the bike provided him a way to change the trajectory of his life.

Similarly, I know an athlete who entered college not knowing what direction her life would take or what degree would be right for her. She liked racing bikes, so she joined the collegiate cycling team. The team happened to be one of the best in the country, and as a relatively new rider, she felt a bit in over her head. Four years later, she was winning national championships. Years after that, she began racing professionally to make cycling and coaching her lifelong career.

Finally, is a story of love and of how a lost boy found the woman of his dreams on a bike. It started when he left college in the Midwest and moved across the country to live in the mountains for the first time. He started a new job and found a small place to live. To become familiar with his new home, he would train in the mountains just beyond the city. One weekend, he was riding up a canyon and noticed a group ride up ahead. Full of energy and fueled by a naturally outgoing spirit, he powered up the canyon, giving each rider he passed a little push to help them up the long climb. Soon, he came upon a girl and asked if she would like a push. She accepted, and they started chatting as they climbed. They stayed together all the way to the top. The rest is history; they are happily married and still frequently ride that same canyon together.

While each of these stories is different, each one has reminded me of the power of cycling to benefit someone's life in powerful and unexpected ways. Cycling is often boiled down to riding your bike from one point to another, but I’ve often seen how cycling is more about riding from one stage in your life to the next. The true benefits of cycling are about more than dropping pounds or gaining watts. It’s about embracing the greater journey of what it connects us to.

About The Contributor

Isaiah Newkirk | Cycling Coach

Isaiah Newkirk currently works as a coach with FasCat Coaching. Isaiah has been coaching for ten plus years and is eager to help any rider achieve their goals and potential. Isaiah has coached athletes to national titles, world titles, and the professional ranks. To get in touch with Isaiah about his coaching please email or find him on instagram @isaiah.newkirk.