Monday, January 8, 2024

5 Tips: Set up for Bicycling Success in the New Year


Whether or not you're into the idea of making New Year's resolutions, the start of a new year is a good time to think about what you can do to get more enjoyment from the upcoming bicycling season. Here are five tips to help you stay motivated!

1. Look back on last year

What worked for you for biking last year? What didn't work? Did you participate in a ride or event that you enjoyed, or it wasn't what you hoped? Did you make any changes to your training, equipment, or diet? If so, how did they work out? By making a checklist of all of the pluses and minuses from your experience last year, you can better sort out what you want to try this year, what you want to do again, and what's not worth trying to tweak to make it work better.

2. Set goals for this year

Setting goals help you improve in most every aspect of your life, and cycling is no exception. Do you want to ride your bike to work or school more often? Keep up with your friends while climbing hills? Or maybe you want to move up from the short route to the long route on your favorite event ride? Either way, make your goals attainable and measurable. Even if you don't achieve your goals, don't beat yourself up; you can make note of your progress and still have something to celebrate!


3. Set up a plan

If your goals involve increasing your fitness and performance, you can work with a professional coach  or personal trainer to set up a structured training plan. Make a calendar with the events and rides that you want to do, so that you know what to expect and when. Plus, many of the popular events fill up early! If you're participating in a fundraising ride, set up your fundraising efforts early. Don't forget about travel arrangements that you might need to make related to bike events, such as hotels, flights, and get your bike's annual tune-up or checked over for any other service you might need well in advance.

4. Change things up to avoid getting in a rut

There's nothing wrong with doing the same rides and events year after year; it's a great way to maintain a sense of tradition and give yourself something to look forward to. But whatever your age, trying something new and going a bit outside your comfort zone keeps your outlook fresh and helps to work new areas of both your mind and body. For example, if you've usually stuck to bike paths in the past, try riding on the roads. If you're worried about riding in car traffic, there's more safety in numbers, so sign up for a local on-road group ride, such as the Bike Cleveland Fundo. Or try mountain biking -- off-road riding is not just for young adrenaline junkies! There are plenty of beginner-friendly trails such as the Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation. You can even rent a mountain bike from the Century Cycles store in Medina! Try taking an multi-day bicycle touring trip; it's easy to start with a Sub 24-Hour Overnight. Look for new bike paths, trails, and routes in the Century Cycles Where to Ride guide.


5. Be a part of the community

In addition to bike rides with your friends, stopping by your local bike shop to chat and get advice is a great way to stay in the know about the latest events and bike industry trends. Join a local cycling club to find group rides and other ways to volunteer and give back to the cycling community. You can find a list of bike clubs in Northeast Ohio on Century Cycles' Cleveland/Akron Bicycling Resources page. There are tons of online discussion groups on Facebook where you can ask for advice and make new friends, such a Paved Bike Trails of Ohio.

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