Bicycles are the next big networking tool

Business execs hoping to connect and network with their counterparts might consider investing in a road bike and pair of cycling shoes.

Business execs hoping to connect and network with other professionals might consider investing in a road bike and pair of cycling shoes.

Golf, once the chief pastime for hobnobbing executives, is being replaced by a sport that takes its participants on the road.

Road cycling is surpassing golf as the preferred way of networking for the modern professional, reported The Economist.

Group cycling is seen as an activity that builds camaraderie and is less competitive than golf. In a group ride, cyclists have to work together and typically take turns at the front, a spot that requires more work and benefits everyone else.

A growing number of professionals are participating in long-distance rides, like the annual Cycle to Cannes tour, a six-day charity event that brings together architects and developers. Jean-Jacques Lorraine, founding director of Morrow+Loraine and a regular participant in the charity ride, told the Economist that as much as 75 percent of the practice's workload has come directly or indirectly from contacts made on the road while cycling.

The Portland-to-Portland ride, which began April 27, includes riders who work in communications, architecture and design. The riders are raising money for three charities as they make their way from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and then across the UK to Portland Place, England.

The attraction to road cycling, especially long-distance events, can be partly attributed to the sheer repetitiveness of the activity, which some professionals say helps them relieve stress and focus on the essentials.

Photo: Flickr user Vespamore Photography

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