It’s that time of year again. Time to look back and reflect on the past year’s events. If you set goals at the beginning of the year and fell short of meeting them, you might also use this time to set more realistic goals for the upcoming year. And if you achieved all of your goals, well, I applaud you and sincerely hope to follow in your footsteps one day!
Regardless of whether you succeeded or fell flat in meeting your previous resolutions, it’s time to brainstorm what you want to work towards this next year. Do you want to master a specific skill? Take your mountain bike on vacation with you? Stay fit during times you aren’t able to ride your bike?
Setting mountain bike-specific goals will help you become a better mountain biker. Last year I set five goals for myself. I’d like to take a minute to reflect on my previous resolutions, make some changes where needed, and create some brand new ones for the upcoming year.
Who was it that once said, “I set mountain bike-specific resolutions that I feel certain I can attain throughout the year”? Oh, right, that was me. So, how’d I do? Let’s see.
Master a challenging section of trail – I wanted to become proficient in riding over larger blow downs. And I may have even mentioned practicing in my own front yard with the abundance of cut trees we have around us. Well, an entire year has come and gone and I am not anymore proficient in this area than before. While I attempted to ride over logs I encountered on the trail, I made no attempt to practice this skill once I was home. Oops. There’s always next year.
Show my local trails some love - I mentioned that I participate in trail work “far too infrequently” for my taste. However, a downright hectic year of travel found me at home with time to spare far less than I’d hoped. And on those days, I reached for two wheels over tools. I’m upset I wasn’t able to follow through with this resolution and I plan on improving my ways in the upcoming year. In the meantime, I’ve renewed my International Mountain Bicycling Association Membership—and you should do the same.
Keep strong in the off-season – I live in a part of the world where there is snow on the ground five months out of the year. That means it’s pretty darn cold during these months. Cold weather and a cozy house means it’s awfully hard to get me outside during the darkest days of the year. Sure, fat-tire rides happen on weekends, but I wanted to take part in something that would keep me strong come spring. I invested in a workout DVD set that got my heart pumping indoors. I kept it up right until longer days meant mid-week rides were no longer a thing of the past. This year I plan on keeping fit with a mix of yoga, my indoor fitness program and weekend Pugsley rides until the snow melts.
Take part in a race or event – I wanted to participate in a few mountain bike races, and even penciled three local events in my calendar before the year began. I raced those events and am glad I did, because I realized something about myself as a mountain biker. I don’t like racing. I hope I’m not letting anyone down by admitting this, but it’s true. I obsess about racing far more than your average mountain biker. I lose sleep, I can’t eat, I feel sick. And when it’s all over, I’m so happy to be off the course, I hardly care that I’ve come in second (or third, or fourth) place. New resolution: Ride because I love it.
Be more confident on my bike – This is something I worked hard on. I tried new obstacles and took different lines, I rode first or mid-pack on plenty of rides and joined the faster weekly group ride on many occasions. I hope to maintain this confidence throughout the upcoming year.