My cycling aims/resolutions for 2016

Having suggested 3 achievable cycling related New Years resolutions, I thought it only fair to open up and share my own. My goals are not really fitness related, though many of them will have that as an added benefit. My main driving force is to expand my horizons and to spend more time on the bike, because it makes me happy.

Without further ado, here are the main things I wish to achieve on 2 wheels in 2016, in no particular order.

Go touring

I got my lovely touring bike 6 months ago. It has served me well as a commuting bike in London, but it is time to set it free and actually do what it was made for, and what I brought it for. I desperately want to go explore the world by bike so 2016 is the year I will start doing it, even if I start small.

View of Colorado

I want to cycle round places like this

I have a tendency to obsess over gear and planning and so I have thought a lot about touring, but not actually committed to it. I let planning something get the better of me to the point where I psych myself out. Therefore, I just need to get on with it and do a short, easy weekend tour to break the ice.

Riding on country roads actually scares me quite a lot and I have never done it. The thought of traffic speeding by me at 60 miles per hour is not an unreasonable thing to be scared of really, but it should not stop me from embracing something that I know I really need – the ability to escape the city and normal life for a few days.

Enter at least one event

Cyclocross event

I have decided that  I need some accountability and way points in my cycling. I will get some of that with touring, but I also need some less time consuming goals. There are tons of events out there that look fun and are easily accessible from London, or in London.

I am not a traditional road cyclist really, nor do I aspire to be one (or own the bike for it). Therefore, I am going to try to go for events that give me something a little different from my normal London cycling experiences. I am not sure I am going to go full cyclo-cross as in the image, but some countryside and off road will be involved.

Master clip-less pedals

This may seem like a silly aim to many of you, but being physically attached to my bike actually really scares me. However, if I wish to tour then life will be more efficient if I conquer my fear. To this end, my only cycling related gifts this festive period were some new pedals and shoes. I went for trekking ones which have a flat side and a clip in side so I can still ride to a cafe in regular shoes.

Shimano pedals

I am sure I will fall at some point, every one seems to, but ideally it won’t be in to the canal and won’t hurt too much.

Be better at maintenance

Over the past year I have expanded my bike maintenance skills. However, there is a limit to my knowhow and I find it more restrictive than I would like.

Bike parts named

I can do most basic maintenance tasks, but I am lacking some of the bigger ones needed in a yearly service. I also need to know more about general bike mechanics so I am able to fix things when out on the road for several days. The end goal of touring is to be able to go into the wilderness, but to do this I need to be able to fix pretty much everything on my bike.

Finally…..

In the past I have set very ambitious goals and failed to keep up with them. Usually they were not bike related so it was harder to motivate myself. Starting something new is surprisingly hard so this year I am sticking to what I know best: Cycling.

With the goals stated above I am simply aiming to develop things I am already doing, but take them a bit more seriously. As cycling is inherently a physical activity, they also handily count as fitness goals and resolutions. Hopefully, putting it out for all you fine people to read will make me even more accountable and likely to do them. I will keep you updated of course!

Have you set yourself some goals for this year and are they based off of previous interests and intents? Or are you someone who can set completely completely new goals and succeed?

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10 Responses to My cycling aims/resolutions for 2016

  1. MJ Ray 07/01/2016 at 11:03 am #

    “being physically attached to my bike actually really scares me. However, if I wish to tour then life will be more efficient if I conquer my fear.”

    Sorry, but clipless pedals are slightly more EFFECTIVE and slightly LESS efficient, although it seems pretty minimal. Also, when touring, it means you have to either pack your off-the-bike shoes (bulky) or walk on your cleats (wearing), so even some habitual clipless wearers switch back to flats for that.

    And as you may remember, I think good rubber grip pedals are far far better than the slippy shiny plastic teeth on the flat side of those Shimano XTs.

    But I plan to do my first multi-day tour this year too. My worries are whether I’m going to pick the right bike (road bike or dutch bike?) or pack the right things/amount (I’ve everything up to triple panniers, but I’m sure that’s too much for 30-50 miles/day).

    If you want to try some nicer country roads in company, hop on a train from KX to Norfolk and come join a http://www.KLWNBUG.co.uk ride (but not in Jan 2016 – too many engineering complications)

    • nilling 08/01/2016 at 12:19 pm #

      Choose SPD system and get cycling shoes that have recessed cleats – simples!!

  2. Spencer 07/01/2016 at 10:10 pm #

    First day I commuted to work in clipless pedals. Almost came unstuck at a crossing when I couldn’t unclip and ended hanging from the stop light to avoid falling over.

    Eventually made it into work, came to a stop at the building’s security desk (we have underground parking) and unclipped. Problem being I unclipped on the right hand side but managed to lean to my left whilst doing it, cue falling over in front of various CCTV and a bemused security guard!

    Now days I find clipping/unclipping natural and don’t even have to think about it.

  3. Neil 08/01/2016 at 10:24 am #

    Enjoy your cycle touring and safe riding.

    For me there is nothing better !

  4. Keith Smith 08/01/2016 at 11:00 am #

    Hi Andreas, Some really good cycling aims/resolutions here and many I can relate too also. I’m hoping to do the Ride London 100, I had a place on the first one but my brother decided to get married the same day so I had to cancel. Love that pic of the bike made up of the names of the components, I saw it hanging on the wall in the little green café at the Olympic park and wanted to get a copy. Happy cycling on 2016.

  5. Dave 09/01/2016 at 8:10 am #

    Hi EMILY

    Thanks for the interesting points on bike and kit options. I commute (mostly) with my Brompton and tour/camp (mostly) with my recumbent. Having bought all the kit I need for both leaves me with my bikes at N (not N+1)

    Using clipless pedals on both really works for me with the “trekking type” on my Brompton for when ordinary shoes are called for

  6. Rob S 09/01/2016 at 9:51 pm #

    Do go touring: it’s so rewarding. I’ve not been since becoming a dad, but have lots of plans for the near future, including doing Land’s End to John O’Groats for the second time! The beauty of touring is that it can be a weekend or a year or more. You can choose your tour to fit your lifestyle and interests.

  7. Glyn Hanmer 12/01/2016 at 5:17 pm #

    Where is the bike component image from? It’s great!

  8. Simon Bird 13/01/2016 at 5:32 pm #

    You are welcome to join Reading CTC on any of our rides on the countryside around Reading where the traffic really doesn’t have a chance to get to anywhere near 60mph! And get to chat to some real touring cyclists. Just a train ride away from Paddington.

  9. LucyBP 13/01/2016 at 5:34 pm #

    Re: Touring and traffic, with a little bit of planning it is possible to stay on quiet country lanes virtually all the time, if you decide that that is your priority (it is for me). The key is – plan any entry/exit of a major city very carefully and consider hopping on the train to get out of London, avoid all A roads unless in Scotland, and ideally carry a GPS so that you can take unsigned lanes and you can always look for alternative routes on the go if a road you are on turns out to be too busy for your liking. And plan not to be in popular areas at popular times, e.g. don’t expect the lake district to be quiet on a bank holiday weekend in the summer.

    I really recommend Scotland as a great place for relatively easy touring – lots of quiet roads, beautiful scenery, and easy camping because wild camping is legal. Outer Hebrides or West Coast are great options. Further away, the Camino de Santiago in Spain is also great first tour because you can stay in the pilgrim’s hostels every night for quite cheap so you don’t have to carry camping and cooking equipment.

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