Trying something new and different on the bike doesn’t always have to involve huge goals that are nearly impossible to achieve. In fact, sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest impact and provide the most memorable experiences.
From taking a cycling vacation to trying a new discipline, here are five simple things all cyclists should try in 2019.
RIDE FARTHER THAN EVER
Distance is one simple goal that challenges you to push yourself on the bike. However far you’ve ridden in the past, make it a point to set a new benchmark by upping your one-day total for distance on the bike.
This not only gives you a great sense of accomplishment, but it also forces you to systematically work toward achieving a feat that might seem beyond your reach. Remember you don’t need to crush your old number. Even one mile farther than your previous record does the trick.
GET SOMEONE ELSE INTO CYCLING
One of the most rewarding aspects cycling is sharing your love of the sport with others. Instead of concentrating all of your goals for 2019 on yourself, make it a point to get someone else to give cycling a try.
This could mean donating bikes to underprivileged children, teaching a kid to ride a bike or getting that out-of-shape family member or friend to go on a few rides with you. Passing on your knowledge of the sport to others and watching someone else fall in love with cycling the same way you did will be a joyful experience.
ATTEND A PRO CYCLING EVENT
As the sport continues to grow, more professional cycling races are popping up. While heading overseas to watch one of the historic cycling races like the Tour de France or Paris Roubaix is already on your bucket list, there are a lot of great races in the U.S. you should support. The Tour of Utah, Colorado Classic and the Tour of California are three big events worth planning a trip for and are destinations where you can get a lot of great cycling in while you’re away from home.
Professional cycling races can also be a lot of fun are a great way to learn about the sport. Seeing firsthand just how fast professionals ride toward the finish line and the tactics played out on the road provides a different perspective and helps motivate you in your own training. The experience is also unique in that fans can often get right up next to team buses to interact with the stars of the sport, which can be a good way to get your younger ones interested in cycling.
TRY A NEW DISCIPLINE
If you’re a road cyclist, chances are you do a majority of your cycling on the same few routes with the same training partners. Giving a new cycling discipline a try can be a great way to develop new skills, meet new people and expand your knowledge. Whether it’s track cycling, mountain biking, gravel or cyclocross, you’ll be surprised by how exciting and fun other disciplines can be. Trying another discipline has the added benefit of making you a better, more well-rounded cyclist.
TAKE A CYCLING VACATION
Ideally, we’d all have enough money to travel to the French Alps or the Dolomites in Italy for a dream cycling vacation that would be an experience of a lifetime. If you can afford it, linking up with a travel company and making this a reality is worth it.
For the rest of us, heading to a different town or state known for good cycling routes can be a welcome change of pace and scenery. If you’ve got friends or family members who like to ride, pick an area close by and plan to stay for a few days. Bringing others along cuts the expenses and gives you riding partners. Riding routes in a different area can also be refreshing and help recharge your cycling when you get back to your home roads.