Happy New Year!
I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. It seems that it is more difficult (and ultimately unrealistic) for me to set and keep them as I grow older. Can anyone else relate? Here is something that I try to do rather than make a resolution: do ONE thing different. Over the years, my one “different thing” occasionally turns into something great and moves into a healthy habit. For example, take mid-March, April, and May 2020. I started riding the trainer in mid-March during the shelter-in-place order due to COVID-19 pandemic, instead of outside. I then ended up riding a total of 37 days INSIDE on the trainer. The first few days seemed normal. But then my stubborn pride kept me inside on the trainer to see just how many days I could go. Looking back, it was hard, but I am glad that I stuck with it.
Want to try something new in 2021? Recently, on the GCN Show (Global Cycling Network) the hosts laid out 6 Cycling Challenges You Should Try in 2021.
Here They Are:
1. Ride Further Than Ever Before. This could either be a one-time ride, or a yearly goal. How far has your furthest one-day ride been? Make it longer? How many miles did you ride in 2020? Consider setting a goal that seems nearly out of reach. You just might surprise yourself.
2. Your Own Personal Hour Record. Find a flat section of road and see how many miles you can log in one hour. Ride throughout the year, training to become faster. Then, as the GCN hosts say, “smash it” in your next attempt to break your own personal hour record again later in the season.
3. Do A “Belgie” Ride. The “Belgium” ride does not involve going to Belgium, but it is in the spirt of rides that take place in Belgium. This involves a bit of work but plan a road-bike ride that takes you across some “paver” or cobbled roads. Check out the original section of brick road on the old Route 66 just north of Athens. Or find some bricked roads in downtown Springfield or in old neighborhoods. Put your road bike to the test on bumpy roads. It is amazing how resilient your road bike can be.
4. Do a Race. Pin a number on your kit and pedal as fast as you can. There is something exciting about being timed and seeing how fast you can go. This, of course, if we can get back to organized events. One of the semi-local ones is the Tour de Donut in Staunton. You can either ride as fast as you can, or make the stops along the way, eating donuts to subtract seconds off your overall time. Thrilling and filling at the same time!
5. Campout Ride. Some call it bikepacking. Load up your gear in special bags or a trailer and hit the road. A destination where camping is allowed is the destination. Several close spots to Springfield could be Lincoln’s New Salem, Lake Sangchris, or Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park.
6. Go for a Group Ride. This heavily relies on the pandemic allowing us to get back to group riding. But, if you cannot find an SBC led ride in the short future, grab a few of your close friends and log some miles. This has been a long winter of self-isolation.
So, what is the one thing you are going to try in 2021? Who knows? Maybe this “new thing” might just become a healthy habit.
Be safe. Be well.
Wave to me if we meet on the road or trail.
President, Springfield Bicycle Club