With magazines and websites packed the ways to achieve your goals for 2019, it’s a good time to think about getting more from your riding. Rather than goals or new years resolutions, lets look at options to keep your riding fresh for the new year.
Get Off the Road
Swapping from road to MTB or gravel gives a relaxing traffic-free alternative to road rides. As well as the serenity of the trails and tracks, MTB and gravel riding is a great way to boost your skills repertoire too. New loops become possible by mixing terrain and including the tracks and trails in your area. The joys of mixing road and gravel have developed a whole new aspect to road cycling. Ancient Roman Roads, goat tracks and coffin roads seldom used in the modern era have seen their first action for years, partly thanks to the tech advancements around gravel biking – Get involved!
Riding your bike lots but never raced? Racing is the ultimate test of your fitness and all round abilities on a bike. While websites such as Strava and Zwift give a rough idea of how you compare to others, you can’t beat actual elbow to elbow racing. British Cycling, TLI and Cycling Time Trials have events largely from March onwards in the UK. A good way to gauge fitness without taking the plunge into racing is to ride your local time trial course and time yourself. Whilst it’s hard to produce the same effort when it’s not an actual race, this will give an rough guide to your fitness.
Touring is not just slower bike riding, It’s a completely different state of mind and can be very rewarding. Rather like watching ‘slow TV’, forget about rushing around, ticking villages or castles off your list – take your time and see the ride as an experience rather than a challenge.
Joining a club or meeting up with a regular training group will increase you keenness to ride. Having the kick up the ar*e which we all need from time to time, or people to talk to when the going gets tough really helps get you through the worst of times.
The strongest friendships are forged through adversity…
Find new places to ride
Get the maps out. This is particularly worth while if you have moved to a new area or if you never venture off the same route ride after ride. Be nosey and adventurous! Head down those roads and trails which you’ve never been on before, getting a bit lost is a brilliant way to find new places to ride.
Turn your back on tech
For more and more road riders this is getting harder to do – If it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen… However, remember the days before Strava? When you just used to ride and not feel the pressure to perform on segments. Switching off technology returns bike riding to that bygone era; when watts were used to rate light bulbs, and phones were in big red metal boxes at the side of the road.
Ride somewhere Inspirational
Ever wanted to ride the Flanders cobbles in the wheel tracks of your classics heroes? Maybe climb the most iconic Alps from the Tour De France? planning a trip to visit somewhere amazing is one of the best ways to stay motivated and keep you bike riding on track. Once you’ve got the plan, make sure you think about it. A lot. Keeping the goal fresh in your mind will ensure that you don’t lose focus.
2019 – Get out there and Enjoy it!