This year hasn’t been easy at all and 2021 looks like it could be similar, at least at the start. But with a vaccine arriving, normal life may be closer than we thought, so New Year’s resolutions are a great way to create positivity.
So here are just 10 suggestions for your cycling New Year’s resolutions as we head into 2021…
1. Ride further than ever before
Thanks to Strava you can track your how far you’re riding every year and now with more and more people paying the new lower price for the app’s premium service, you can keep track of your training.
So take a look at how far you’ve ridden this year and see if you can beat it. You can set yearly targets on Strava, so if you’ve ridden 2500km in 2020, maybe aim for 3000km in 2021.
With so many of you taking part in the CW5000 challenge in 2020, aiming for the next thousand kilometres next year would be a great target in building your fitness.
2. Join a cycling club
If you want to get friends in the world of cycling then joining a club is a great place to start. Filled with very friendly people and regular rides, clubs are usually the perfect thing to do, especially if you’re moving to a new area.
Universities often have clubs or teams as well, they have the usual rides but also have socials and nights out along with potential rides at velodromes and competing in BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) races with some even having Varsity races.
3. Ride abroad
Something that becomes more and more popular every year, riding abroad is great fun and can be extremely varied. From the high mountains of the Alps to the harsh cobbles of northern France and Flanders.
The islands of Mallorca and Lanzarote are two of the big favourites for people looking for some early in the year sun and smooth roads. Mallorca has some of the most varied landscapes around and there’s also a chance you’ll stumble across a few WorldTour teams out training for the new season.
Of course, travelling abroad may seem a way off at the moment with the pandemic, but the future is starting to look brighter on that front.
4. Make and do your climb bucket list
Something that all cyclists should have is a climbs bucket list. This can be for climbs around the world or maybe just in the UK as we do have some incredible ascents on our shores.
Whether its the vicious gradients of Hardknott Pass in the Lake District or the cobbles of Shibden Wall in Halifax in the UK, or Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps and Monte Zoncolan in the Dolomites, there is a huge choice.
You could go further afield and look and more edgy climbs, for example Tianman Mountain Road in China, which you can only ride up on one day of the year.
5. Cycle to work instead of driving
The best way to keep fit with a modern lifestyle is commuting by bike or on foot, most people don’t work within walking distance but cycling distance is on the cards for many of us.
It is a perfect way to keep fit, plus the fresh air will release endorphins and make you happier as well as improving productivity, which is great for you and your boss.
The government are also backing this, recommending that everyone cycles or walks instead of driving. The Cycle To Work Scheme is also a big help in getting a new ride, so ask your employer to see if they take part in the scheme.
6. Ride a Sportive
Sportives are a great way to create targets for your riding, whether that’s taking on a new record distance, total climbing, or just to go that bit faster.
Most of these events on open roads but usually feature support from organisers and some closed road sections. Others are huge sportives abroad like La Marmotte in France where you ride on closed roads over the Alps or the Pyrenees; a great way to build your confidence on the road while riding with a group of riders.
7. Work on your diet and nutrition
If you’re on top of your training the next part is getting your nutrition sorted. It can make such a huge difference if before you were having that extra slice of cake or a second helping with dinner.
Change your fuel from Coco Pops to porridge, not only is better for you but it also gives you so much more energy and is a slow burner through the day in comparison to a sugar rush.
Instead of sugary or fatty snacks, have a high protein recovery drink so you can help repair muscles and help sort any aches of pains so you’re fresh for the next ride.
8. Start racing
Racing is a big step for some riders and there are a few rules and ways of riding that you do need to learn, but you will pick that up as you work your way through the British Cycling race categories.
You start at Cat 4 and work your way up the ladder and who knows, maybe you’ll get to an elite level and a possibility of joining the pro ranks.
But even if you think you’re past that point in your life, it’s never too late to start your racing career.
9. Try different cycling disciplines
Road cycling is amazing fun, you can ride mile after mile for hours on end in all weathers, but have you thought about maybe diving into other sides of this amazing sport?
Well there are so many options. Gravel biking is probably the main one for roadies to go to, like cyclocross but a little less intense and for longer distances, it is an ideal new strand of the sport to pick and start the adventures.
CX can’t be discounted though as racing in a field in winter may sound pretty grim but it superb fun. Along with that, time trialling, cross country, downhill mountain biking and more are all available to the everyman/woman of cycling.
10. Upgrade your bike
You don’t always need to splash out on an entirely new bike. You could, instead, upgrade the frame. New tyres, light wheels, new gears and even bar tape can all speed your bike up.
It may not seem like a New Year’s resolution, but it can be a whole year project on your bike as each component can be changed without you losing the bike that you love.