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Cycling is the new golf? Business networking’s next sport

I'd rather be cycling.

I’d rather be cycling.

As some of our readers might know, most members of the Abacus Data team are avid cyclists.  Our interest goes beyond the thrill we get riding a bike but with the sport and even the history and culture that surrounds the bike.

A few days ago, a blogger on the Economist wrote a really interesting piece on the growing trend of using cycling as a way to network for business and professional success.

The blog notes,

“Traditionally, business associates would get to know each other over a round of golf. But road cycling is fast catching up as the preferred way of networking for the modern professional. 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. Many believe cycling is better than golf for building lasting working relationships, or landing a new job, because it is less competitive.”

Unlike golf, cycling is less competitive, more team oriented, and it’s not difficult to get involved.  Also, as someone who played a lot of golf as a teen I know that there’s less chance of embarrassing myself and less pressure to hit that perfect shot.

While on a bike, I’ve never thrown my water bottle in frustration or sworn to never ride again.  I can’t say the same thing about golf.

I recently joined the Ottawa Bicycle Club and hope to get out to their group rides a few times a week.  There really is nothing like riding in a big group, feeling safe in the company of others and being pushed to rider harder for the benefit of the peloton.

For hardcore road cyclists, there is also a bond between those who share the passion.  And as cycling becomes more popular and more and more charity rides pop up, I bet that cycling will become the new golf for business networking.

As the blog concludes,

“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. “Getting out on the bike is what we’re all dreaming of doing whilst we’re sitting at our computers,” says Mr Mottram. And a shared passion is a fantastic way to start any relationship.”

David Coletto is CEO of Abacus Data and leads its Public Affairs research practice. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University.

Contact David Coletto:

T: 613-232-2806 x. 248

E: david@abacusdata.ca

W: http://www.abacusdata.ca

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