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Cycling: The new golf

Business group cyclist
Not a single golfer amongst them! Photo: Chain Reaction
Photo: Chain Reaction


Not so long ago high flyers in the business world would meet for a game of golf. It was a relaxed manner in which to discuss important things such as flowcharts, profit margins and whether the indoor plants needed less watering and more direct sunlight. But times have changed and golf has gone out the window. Nobody was good at it anyway.

Cycling is the new golf and there's no hiding it. At no other point in your career will you have the opportunity to see your boss in lycra and be completely okay with it. It seems as if the open road and rolling bunches are the perfect way for those very same high flyers to talk business - or is it more an opportunity to leave the stale conversations of the rat race behind, in exchange for one common interest?



Cycling has become a fantastic way for employers and employees to bond and get to know each other. After all the office hierarchy, it's nice to ride two abreast as equals on the bike.

Cycling has also become one big melting pot of opportunity when it comes to business. Unlike golf, where you're stuck with the same small group all day, cycling allows you to meet a huge range of people in a single ride. Let's take a local bunch for example, seeing as I've ridden with them quite frequently - here's a list of the following employment backgrounds of just some of these riders! This is all in one bunch, on one ride;

Dentist, electrician, architect, environmental engineer, weather analyst, anaesthetist, lawyer, celebrity chef, property developer, professional cyclist, real estate agent, salesman, graphic designer, website designer, freelance writer, barista...

The opportunities are endless! Let's just say you were looking to build a house, and happened to ride with the above group. You could chat to the electrician, the environmental architect and the real estate agent all at once. If you had plans to start an entrepreneurial business venture, the website designer, graphic designer, real estate agent and the freelance writer would all become useful contacts.



As we said earlier, cycling offers an opportunity to ride as equals regardless of background. Not only that, but from a customer relations standpoint cycling is a great way to build a lasting relationship with current clients, or potential business partners.

If you ever played golf with a client you'd know it wasn't in the best taste to give them a hiding on the leaderboard and then expect them to be bristling with enthusiasm when it comes to talking shop! "I just whipped your arse in golf - now about that merger we were speaking of". It just doesn't work.

Cycling is different; it is the most honest sport available. Put the bunch at the foot of a decent climb and you either have it or you don't, there's no hiding. The beauty of cycling is in the camaraderie of a difficulty overcome by each individual's sheer strength of will and effort. No matter who reaches the top first the respect is shared with all.

Bike golf caddy
Photo: Aticky Bottle


What was once an embarrassment to be covered in longish sleeves is now a badge of honor. Okay maybe that isn't completely true but one thing golf lacks is the ability to use it to get fit, lose weight and look cut! Sun burnt crows feet and tan lines are the signs of a weekend in the saddle and lead to bragging rights. Sun burn from a golf day leads more to the suspicion of maybe more drinking in the sun than actual hitting of balls and is best covered up if possible!



More and more office hubs are also turning to cycling as a form of team building - and not just for the office workers to get along with the receptionists. We're talking about Managing Directors learning to work alongside their fellow staff members of all levels. Cycling has offered many companies the opportunity to build their cohesion and cooperation, both on the road and in the office. Whether it be working together to share the load on the road, or to nail those Key Performance Indicators in the office - cycling offers the perfect platform to break down the barriers and allow staff members of all levels to really get to know one another.

Some companies have taken this a step further, organising charity rides and tackling distances of hundreds of miles. Regardless of the cause at hand, these charity rides serve as an ultimate test of team building, cooperation and mutual respect; all assets that are invaluable in the workplace. These charity rides have become so successful that they usually recur every year following the inaugural edition. Needless to say, more and more co-workers take part each time round, changing lives as well as remoulding the workplace and the capacity of the company at hand.

So the next time you're out for a ride, take the opportunity to talk to the cyclist next to you. You just never know where the conversation could lead to - you will make some genuine friends from walks of life you would never have crossed paths with as well as becoming involved in some thought provoking conversations with people you'd never have met. It's an incredible networking opportunity waiting for the taking...



Gopr2706Author: Joey Esterhuyzen
Joey has been racing bikes since he was a kid. He never grew old because of this, and still pops up on the race cards now and again near the pointy end... Joey loves nothing more than a solo road ride in the hills, or a fast and flowing MTB trail session... "Who says you can't whip an XC hardtail?!"

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