For any cyclist aspiring to a fulfilling 'ride life,' some handling skills, cycling goals, and abstract bike-y yearnings are more important than others. Despite the diversity of cyclists out there, all of us tend to find motivatation in similar things.
Back in 1943, behavioral psychologist Abraham Maslow theorized what is known as the Hierarchy of Needs, an explanation for how humans prioritize requirements for survival. In this model, humankind's most essential task is physiological--simply staying alive--while at the top of the heap, ready for us to tackle after the bottom needs are met, rests self-actualization, the need to accomplish lofty, personal objectives.
We tailored Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to better reflect cyclists' needs. Here is a review of what it takes to develop and succeed as a rider, no matter what your priorities may be.
Physiological: Getting a bike and riding it
It's that tough, and yet that simple. If you're a true beginner, just saddling up can be the hardest step in your journey. It doesn't matter how fast or how far you go, or even what kind of bike you have; what matters is that you start pedaling. (Want to help a friend take their first steps? Give them a boost with our Get Someone Riding Gift Pack!)
Safety: Learning the rules of the road and investing in safety gear
Knowing how to ride in traffic--let alone with other riders--is key to expanding your cycling world. Figuring out hand signals, traffic laws, and other elements of cycling etiquette will keep you safe throughout road rides, and on your way to the trailhead or bike path. As a precaution, you'll want to read up on basic first aid skills, and invest in some quality safety gear: bike lights, reflective clothing, and other preemptive products.