I never cared much for golf, and I was never any good at it. The last time I played — in high school — I shot a 90-something, and that was for nine holes on a municipal course.
In later life, I never had a job in which a good golf game was a prerequisite for success.
Alas, it’s too late for me to use one of my favorite pastimes to get ahead in the world.
“A growing number of corporate-sponsored charity bike rides and city cycle clubs are providing an ideal opportunity to talk shop with like-minded colleagues and clients while discussing different bike frames and tricky headwinds,” The Economist blog Prospero reported last week.
“Many believe cycling is better than golf for building lasting working relationships, of landing a new job, because it is less competitive.”
As an example, the Economist blog cited the case of Peter Murray, a former architect, journalist and long-distance cyclist.
“Group cycling, and especially long-distance riding, is a shared experience,” the blog quoted Murray as saying. “Riders often collaborate and help each other out, taking turns to be at the front so that the riders in their slipstream can save almost a third of the effort needed to travel at the same speed. Some riders selflessly volunteer to stay in the front earning them the awe and gratitude of the entire group.”
Added Jean-Jacques Lorraine, founding director of Morrow+Lorraine, an architecture practice in London: “The adrenaline rushes, the serotonin pulses and the surges of endorphin create a kind of high, a sense of euphoria. I feel open, honest and generous to others. I often find I’m saying things on a bike which I wouldn’t normally say, and equally I’ve been confided in when I wasn’t expecting it.”
But perhaps the most compelling reason why cycling is a good way to network is because, for many professionals, it’s a passion and a way of life, The Economist said.
“Getting out on the bike is what we’re all dreaming of doing whilst we’re sitting at our computers,” Simon Mottram, chief executive of Rapha, a premium cycling clothes brand, told the journal. And a shared passion is a fantastic way to start any relationship.