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Start-Ups

The Rise of the Biking Entrepreneur

By Townes Haas   |    December 5, 2014   |    9:29 AM

Many entrepreneurs are moving from golf to cycling for networking purposes

When you think about the perfect out-of-office networking activity, does golf come to mind? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. Golf has been known as the quintessential business activity for decades.

But the professional climate has been changing in recent years, with the introduction of new ways of doing business, in and out of the office. Businessmen and women are slowly moving away from a strict corporate lifestyle and adopting new trends and practices. One of the most surprising trends? According to CNN Money, it’s that entrepreneurs are using cycling as a networking activity, in place of golf.

Why cycling? It’s what comes after the bike ride that’s good for business

Put away those polo shirts and khakis. It’s time for some clothes that you can really sweat in (though you don’t need spandex or special biking shorts to enjoy cycling!)

Sure, it’s not as easy to chat about the latest technology trends while biking down a busy road, but it’s what comes after the ride that really counts. It’s easy to hold a conversation during a round at the local country club, and it’s a breeze to carry on after those 9 or 18 holes are complete. However, many entrepreneurs and other professionals don’t have the time to commit to a full round of golf. A one hour ride followed by some beers and a pizza is far less time consuming than tackling 18 holes in four hours, followed by drinks at the clubhouse.

Another perk of the business bike ride is that it’s no frills. Cycling can cost far less than a golf outing, and it the atmosphere is extremely casual. Binging on some brews and pizza after cycling feels completely in tune with the rest of the event… especially after all of those calories have been burned.

As business owners and leaders move away from the traditional corporate mindsets that have dominated the past, it’s easy to see why a bike ride amongst professional peers could be a great way to form relationships. And relationships are one of the most important keys to business success.

Cycling tends to be less competitive, which is good news for networking

Corporations are beginning to sponsor charity rides and other events as they realize how useful this tool can be, especially as a way to calm down competitiveness. There are definitely cyclists with an intense competitive streak, but at least it’s harder to keep score on a bike ride.

If you live in a city with a vibrant biking culture, chances are the other party might even prefer to snag some time outside, while still talking shop. Staying active during the workday also helps keep you productive, so it’s a win-win.

Even with the rise of biking amongst entrepreneurs, golf will still have its advocates

Not everyone is convinced by CNN Money’s argument. It seems likely that many business people will stick to golf for networking and business purposes. But, if you want to try a new way of interacting and networking with clients, coworkers, and other entrepreneurs, consider going for a ride together.

After all, the trickiest part will likely be deciding where to go for your post-ride beers.

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