Peer into any weekend group ride around the country, and you're sure to hear at least one tale of how cycling has put a rider on the road to happiness. After all, recreational cycling and exercise, in general, have long been celebrated for the positive effects they can have on both general and mental health. While many operators exist that focus on the physical enrichment cycling can bring, few, if any, look at tackling the complete suite of benefits that riding can bring to an individual.
Enter cycleWELL, a world-first concept that seeks to deliver coaching and development of a myriad of skills from cycling fitness, through to nutrition, mental health, wellness, personal leadership, relationships and interpersonal relationships. With so much on offer, it's clear to see that these are no ordinary training camps. So with that, we caught up with Ash Bennallack, founder of cycleWELL, to find out what these revolutionary camps are all about.
The Road to Better
Initially established to provide men with the opportunity to find their better, cycleWELL has grown to incorporate dedicated camps for both me and women in some of the country's most desirable cycling locations. The first message you're likely to see is "We are NOT a performance cycling training camp for competitive racers." That means, no showboating, no proving who's strongest on a climb, fastest on the flats and no competitions for the fittest overall rider. For the 90% of us that ride bikes purely for the joy of it, this should come as a welcome relief. Instead, cycleWELL seeks to help riders increase their performance by providing them with the knowledge and skills to improve all aspects of their physical and mental health.
In essence, it's a coaching camp that's a cross between a personal development weekend, a team training camp and a girls/boys weekend on the bike! A peek at the itinerary shows that each camp packs a substantial amount of value into each schedule.
Such as over 30-hours of structured content and coaching delivered by experts including professional cycling coaching, mental and physical health and wellbeing, as well as personal leadership and performance. On top of this accommodation (three nights Thursday to Saturday), meals, evening drinks (beer and wine) and riding supplements are also included.
Each attendee also has access to one-on-one professional physical and mental health screening. Add to this tailored workshops with guest coaches, all while being fully supported on each of the four structured group rides.
Stories of Success
The testimonials from previous camp participants paint a clear picture of the different ways a camp such as this can help"hit the reset button on any aspect of who you are" and "become who you want to be."
One such advocate is Martyn Stanley, who recounts that he initially signed up to the first cycleWELL camp as a leap of faith. His reason for joining was that he felt that his mental health and cycling had become stagnant. After four days being of surrounded by like-minded individuals, cycleWELL had helped him re-focus on what's important to him. In addition to this, Martyn stated cycleWELL provided him with the tools to be able to shift his focus back to what matters when his mind starts to drift.
So if you're seeking an environment that can improve your proficiency on the bike, arm you with the tools necessary to step back from the daily grind, take a breath and find your "better", this camp is for you.
How to get Involved
cycleWELL is for men and women who choose cycling as their '3rd place' - as the 'thing' they do outside of family and work. It's for those who know that cycling is great for their physical and mental health and good fun. They also know that cycling gives them the opportunity to be part of a community - part of something that is both bigger than them AND better with them.
cycleWELL is about helping people who love cycling to become happier, healthier, higher-performing versions of themselves both on and off the bike. If you want the freedom to live life your way more often, and you're ready and prepared to commit to the process, call 'BS' on your excuses and do the work required to facilitate the change you desire - It can all start for you at a cycleWELL Health, Wellness and Road Cycling Training Camp.
Join the Road To Better at one of the upcoming cycleWELL camps below;
Men’s Camp 2019: October 24-27 - Bright, Victoria.
Men’s Camp 2020: February 20-23 - Perisher, New South Wales.
Women’s Camp 2020: March 19-22 - Bright, Victoria.
Thanks to Ash from cycleWELL for providing the insight necessary for this article.
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