Need a quick pick-me-up for the new year? Follow these five tips to get you going again!
1.) Plan a cycling holiday
As we are in the thick of winter and you may have piled on some few extra Christmas pounds, the dark morning and nights can play havoc with your motivation. Plan some sun away with your bike, don’t put your riding on hold till the weather gets better and don’t make excuses. Instead of taking a summer holiday this year, take a winter holiday in the sun!
Majorca, is the most popular destination amongst cyclists – not only will this get you away from the bad weather for a while, it will get you super fit whilst enjoying some of the best scenery in the world, socialising with fellow cycling friends and eating all your favourite foods – as you will be burning them all off in the days riding. Many more cyclist are now choosing to go away after the New Year to get them all important winter miles in for either a racing season or a summer full of sportives. There are many clubs and organised holidays now to cater for all abilities and ages so get yourself out there!
2.) Set goals
Depending on what your goals are, plan them. This will keep you motivated as you will need to stick to the riding even whilst it’s cold. They don’t have to be big goals; they need to be goals that are realistic, ones that challenge you but ones you can reach, or at least have a good go at trying to reach them. Remember, you want to finish the challenge and possibly even do well. If you are new to cycling or want to up the level – plan a charity ride or sportive. This is a great way to keep you motivated. Most sportives are tiered now so you can choose to do approximately 30 miles, 60 miles or 100 plus miles – after all you won’t be able to complete it unless you are training for it over the winter.
If you want to get into racing, enter a local race, one that won’t over face you or scare you off. Make sure you are going out with the local club ride so you are used to riding in a bunch. Try and find a good chain gang to help you learn to ride on a wheel and doing some hard turns. On Race day remember you don’t have to try to break any records in your first one, just get stuck in and enjoy it.
If you are a pro at this whole racing thing, set yourself some of your own goals, whether it be to finish more races, improve your sprint or climbing hills, write them down and work on improving them. It’s surprising what you can achieve when you set some realistic goals.
3.) Introduce a friend
Encourage a friend to get into cycling, it’s great for keeping fit, socialising, seeing the beautiful countryside and having an excuse to stop at a café for a coffee and chin wag. Offer to lend them a bike or borrow one to see if they like it first. This way they haven’t got to spend a fortune on a new bike and kit before they have even tried it, plus it’s much better to share your biking adventures with a friend.
4.) Learn to maintain your bike
Learn how to fix something on your bike, whether it’s learning how to fix a simple puncture, fixing a broken chain or changing your cables. Learn one or two things, this will help you understand how your bike works and get you out of any road side messes. Plus learning one or two simple things could save you a fortune at the local bike shop!
5.) Try a different discipline
This can help hugely with the handling of your bike, by riding on different terrain or learning new skills can also help to keep the spark alive when you don’t fancy your normal ride one day: you could take a mountain bike out or try some off road, you could even try a track taster session or a bit of free-riding. This can give you a whole new experience, after all, you can never have too many bikes!
We hope this has given you the motivation to get out there, get fit and have fun!
Happy New Year!