New Years’ Resolutions for Cyclists
Come the 1st of January, and everyone’s setting new goals, welcoming the new year with a fresh start. Road cyclists are no exception, coming up with their own cyclist resolutions.
As an avid cyclist, what will be your intentions for 2023? If you’ve been setting the same resolutions every year and never really sticking to them, it’s time to shake things up.
In one way or another, every bike rider wants to become better on the road. At the same time, to have more fun on the bike.
As you head your way into the new year, the perfect time presents itself for a new set of bike resolutions. One reasonable goal or a few ambitious targets will give you a framework to plan for the next 12 months of biking.
A 10,000-mile cycling goal, for instance, seems like a fulfilling goal for amateur cyclists. Establish aims - something with the potential to finish, and that’s as rewarding as possible.
To help you get started, here are some bike resolutions to make your best year of cycling yet.
1. Bike off road
Getting off-road provides tons of biking benefits, and you’d want to take advantage of those this year! So, squirrel away your competitive side on the road and turn into gravel or mountain biking.
On high-speed roads, you have the basic technical skills of going fast with extra caution in mind. But when you go off-road, you’re forced to learn new things and rediscover the cycling bliss.
Not only that, but you’ll be able to build strength and speed as you tackle challenging landscapes. Including varied terrains, obstacles and inclines with an exhilarating experience.
2. Be a part of a cycling club
Biking alone is okay, but where’s the fun in that? Make friends with the same passion for cycling as you and form camaraderie. Joining a club is a great starting point.
Such clubs are the backbone of the cycling community. An invaluable source of knowledge and advice that can help you improve as a bike rider.
Other biking benefits include discovering new routes and riding buddies. You can also join British cycling with your like-minded riders with proper training. A racing-oriented club usually have coaches and courses that’ll help you get fit enough
Note: You don’t have to sign up and join the club right away. Most organisations will let you come on a ride or two to see if you enjoy their company.
3. Set a defined training plan
The truth is, your fitness may not lead you to your end goal without a proper training ride plan. Cycling training plans can do one thing in particular – it allows you to measure your fitness.
What’s more, the benefits are almost as psychological as they are physiological. Once you begin to see yourself gaining power, grit and confidence, you have a sense of triumph.
So now’s the time to have that attitude to training plans to improve your fitness in double-quick time. At the same time, change your mental outlook for the better.
4. Ride further than ever
If you’ve been keeping a record of your mileage throughout the year, look at how far you managed to ride last year. For a sensible mileage target, add a little bit on for the new year and see if you can beat it. (You can, of course!)
To keep you inspired, why not sign up for a 5-000 mileage target or more? You may enter as a solo mountain biker or with a group, a.k.a. your new club.
Top tip: Say you plan to ride 100 miles in a week to improve. It might seem like a lot at first, but it can be achieved by breaking it down into smaller goals. Instead, you could aim for 15 miles every weekday and then do a long bike ride on the weekends.
5. The climb bucket list
A part of British cycling is to have a climbing bucket list. Although bike climbing around the world is a dream, you can’t go wrong with the UK’s incredible ascents on the shores. At least for now.
There are lots of options; it could be the vicious gradients of Hardknott Pass in the Lake District. Or the cobbles of Shibden wall in Halifax.
In the future (or why not this year?), you could go further afield and more edgy climbs. The Tianmen Mountain Road in China is a great example, a.k.a. the mother of all mountain roads - perfect for cycling!
6. Cycle your way to work
Cycling to work doesn’t only have health perks but also financial and ecological gains. It’s also the best way to keep fit with a modern lifestyle. Plus, the fresh air will boost your endorphins and make you more productive.
Other biking benefits of commuting on two wheels include:
- Save more money
- Boost your heart health and muscle strength
- Reduce carbon footprint and help protect the environment
Bicycling to work can simply mean better health and longer life.
7. Work on your diet and nutrition
A better diet will make a huge difference to your riding. This is especially true if you’re on top of your training. So get your nutrition sorted before you end up having another slice of cake after dinner.
To give you an idea, here’s how you can set up your cycling diet and nutrition plan:
- Pre-ride. Consume a light source of protein and hydrate. Try scrambled egg or porridge and drink half fruit juice, half water.
- During cycling. Carbohydrates, such as carb-based energy bars.
- Post-ride cycling recovery. Eat protein and carbohydrates. It could be recovery bars, nuts or dry fruits.
Note: This is just a general concept. Do what’s best for you. And on a serious note, don’t forget to hydrate!
8. Do your own bike repairs and maintenance
Even affluent cyclists find themselves wincing at diminutive bike shop bills. But once you’ve learned to fix your bike, e.g. wheel change or tire patching, you’ll save yourself from costly repairs.
It’s also a great skill to have, whether a novice or professional. With proper guides, you start getting into the habit of trying until you can do it on your own. It may take some time, but it’ll be worth it, that’s for sure.
And maybe you should add “patience” to your resolutions, as well.
Sticking to Your Goals
Setting yourself achievable goals is one way of sticking to your cycling resolutions. You may pick one, two, perhaps a few, or all the ideas above for a challenge.
Once you get everything sorted, aim to stick to them longer than the six-week mark. Fortunately, there are lots of methods you can use to avoid having them fall by the wayside, including:
- Write them down. Write out your goal/s where you can see it every day. On a sticky note, for instance. When you see it, you’ll be reminded of your intentions and eventually start taking small steps.
- Share them if you want to. It’s up to you if you wish to share your resolutions with your fellow cyclists/family or not. But doing so can make you feel accountable, plus the support you’ll get can be uplifting. Remember, falling off the wagon doesn’t mean the end. Overcoming hurdles makes success all the more sweet.
- Reward yourself. Even if it’s a small achievement, it’s still a win – and you deserve the credit. Treat yourself; it could be a day off or a new set of biking clothes, gear, or shoes. How about upgrading your bike? You’ve earned it, after all!
The New Year is a great excuse to go all in with one big goal or spread your resolutions across the year. Decide exactly what you want to do.It could be wanting to improve your fitness. Or beat your goals from previous years, or simply get out on the bike more. Hopefully, these resolution ideas will help achieve a wonderful cycling year for you.