Instagram and cycling
One of the main questions I've been asking myself as a cyclist and Instagram user is:
"Why do cyclists use Instagram so much?"
For me, it all began back in Los Angeles around 2016. I had a personal Instagram, and one account for a small business that I was running at the time. Things ended up becoming pretty stagnant in my life and then a friend of mine got me to go mountain biking with him. Not too long after that, I was buying my first MTB and getting ready to hit some trails in the Santa Monica mountains. You better believe I posted a picture immediately! #doitforthegram
I don't like labels, but for the sake of this article, let's call people that ride bikes "cyclists."
As a returning cyclist, I started to remember why I loved riding bikes in the first place. There is so much freedom that you get to experience while being outside! It helps you to become more aware of your body and mind, meanwhile becoming more in tune with the connection to your bike. Do I even need to mention all of the health benefits?
Because I enjoyed cycling so much, I started posting pictures of my adventures and bikes. Eventually, I began tagging brands in my photos as well. I wasn't working with any brands at first, but a handful of pages began to repost my shots. A couple of reposts later, and the world of Instagram started to make its impression on me.
It gave me a place to document my experiences on a bike, which led to me finding this massive community of people that all loved the same thing. Cycling!
How cool is it that when you post a picture of yourself, your ride, or your bike, cyclists from all over the world can flood to your page and share their enthusiasm with you?! That is, of course, if you're posting in a cycling niche.
What's the secret?
Cycling-related content, the "proper" hashtags, and REAL social engagement. Remember, social media is SOCIAL for a reason.
Likes, comments, shares, reposts, and DM's become new connections with people. Suddenly you're planning to meet and ride in person. Maybe you want to explore a new city or country by bike? Trust me. There's a cyclist on Instagram for that!
Reach out to a fellow cyclist, and soon enough, someone just as passionate as you will take you on their version of a good ride. Add a few shots in your story, stop for a coffee, take a group picture, and post it. Suddenly, your community is now checking out their page. Then, all of their followers are checking out your page! Businesses would call this cross-promotion. Cyclists call it...well, I guess we call it being friendly and social.
We enjoy sharing good vibes on good rides with good people.
Instagram connects people both digitally and in person. It has become a platform for businesses to make a ton of money and people to remember how important human connection is. Remember, there's a real person behind that funny username and perfectly edited picture.
As you may have experienced, Instagram does have a downside: The algorithm prioritizes posts, spam accounts use follow-unfollow, and you never know if you're interacting with a bot ('Nuff said). Oh, and a plethora of non-cycling photos regularly infiltrates cycling-specific hashtags. Don't act like you don't know what I mean. Take a look at #cyclingapparel.
When you get past the nonsense, there's a global network of awesome cyclists that use Instagram as a platform to share their experiences.
Curating Your Instagram Experience
Recently, an account called The Curated Bikes asked me to write a bit about how cycling has inspired/influenced me. So, I wrote this:
It goes way deeper than that, but I like that there are still people out there building pages like @thecuratedbikes because it unites others through picture and story.
I've met so many cool people, talked about bikes, kit and even the universe. I’ve also had some fantastic opportunities come up, like the Isadore Apparel Alternative shoot in Bratislava. It was all because of Instagram!
(The new Isadore Autumn/Winter collection is dropping this month and this jacket is 🔥)
Hopefully, you got a taste of what it's like to be a cyclist on Instagram. There's so much more to cover, but we can talk about that another time, or just hit me up on IG.
…but before you go, I’m curious to know: