A recent Harvard Business Review study looked at why hobbies are so important to executives. Research showed that executives benefit from a hobby to help cope with the stressful demands of their job, but the best for mental recovery is tackling an activity that requires passion and training. Hobbies along these lines, such as golf and more recently, cycling, align with many goals professionals also strive for in their careers.
It is without question that the recent pandemic has magnified the euphoria for cycling as a hobby for ambitious professionals. It’s proven to be a great method for relaxation and a beneficial exercise. When most of the world had to stay inside, it came as no surprise that many folks in the technology sector became enthusiasts for turning the cranks in a virtual world, using Peloton or ZWIFT, while still churning out the miles outdoors on road or trail when possible.
Cycling Takes a Swing at Being the New Golf for Execs
According to a different Harvard Business Review study done in 2016: “on average, a CEO records 16 rounds of golf per year —a little more than one round per month.” Traditionally golf has been the sport of the C-Suite crowd for getting in work, while taking in fresh air and making professional connections. Or, getting in the practice at home or in the office through virtual trainers. According to Reuters, it’s popularity is waning, and the number of courses has been on the decline in the past eight years. Although, it still has its place, these days it is cycling that has catapulted in popularity amongst the tech savvy crowd. In addition to the virtual rides that has captured the mainstream crowd during the pandemic. (C’mon, we all know at least one person who constantly announces their love for their favorite Peloton or ZWIFT ride instructor on social media or in person). The electrification craze with the evolution of E-Bikes is further increasing the capabilities of everyone regardless of fitness levels to jump-in-the-saddle and ride.
“Unlike golf, cycling is also a great equalizer,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “You’re the same as the person riding next to you. So it makes people more approachable.”
Connecting Why Cycling (for Work) or Business Networking on a Bike
Across the globe, but specifically in Silicon Valley, a massive, organized culture of cycling options are available for riders to enjoy their community, invest in their local economy, improve their health and lessen environmental impact by using a bike for commuting. All important factors within our own technology sector, but more specifically bicycling finds an attraction among the tech folks because it is easily quantifiable. It definitely finds more appeal in the fans of the digital activity trackers, like the Fitbit, who want to track their activities. Support for cycling is front and center and in groups like the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. Bikesiliconvalley.org is a great place to learn more.
In Palo Alto and the roadways around Stanford University, pre-dawn traffic on Sand Hill Road and up into Portola Valley is typically where you will find hundreds of techies smashing the pedals as the sun rises to the east. National Bike to Work Day (third Friday in May) has become an everyday occurrence for many commuters. Tech companies in the Silicon Valley, in addition to companies from other sectors in all parts of the world, even have started offering incentives to employees to bike to work. In Summer 2021, Amazon announced a $170/month perk incentive to employees using a bicycle to commute.