It is the time of the year for goal setting! And we want to make sure that you follow through. We have five tips to help you make cycling a sustainable habit in your life.
#1 Pick a micro resolution
Our Community Engagement Coordinator, Mikayla, recently asked her little cousin what his New Year Resolution was for 2023. It is *drumroll please* to avoid wearing socks to bed! We like his spirit of simplicity and think he’s onto something.
The new year can create pressure to pick a lofty goal, but most people abandon their resolutions by February! So, pick something that is realistic and achievable for you, as you are now. And, think about it: if you hit your goal early, you can scale up to a new one. Plus, you’ll have proven that you can follow through on your commitment.
Here are a couple micro cycling resolutions to get you started:
- Get on your bike once a week. Miles ridden or length of time don’t matter; just make it out of the house.
- Improve on one aspect of your cycling. For example, maybe you struggle with climbing up that hill. Select a mini part of your cycling practice and build your skills there.
#2 Figure out your niche in the cycling world
If you are new to cycling, it can feel like an intimidating hobby. Do you have to wear spandex to be a “cyclist”? Do you have to know how to adjust your derailleur? Do you have to know what a derailleur is?
The truth is that there are many types of cyclists. If you have a bike (electric or traditional) and you enjoy riding, then congratulations: you are a cyclist!
Take some time to see what kind of cycling is attractive to you and then pursue that. Cruising on local trails, commuting to work, riding for fitness, transporting your kids and cargo, and mountain biking are all different types of cycling. Know your vibe and enjoy it. We can all help the cycling community by staying in our own lane (literally!) and encouraging our fellow cyclists while they are in theirs!
#3 Decrease your barriers to getting started
Before you kick off a New Year goal, ask yourself what your barriers will be. You know your excuses better than anyone else, so plan with them in mind instead of waiting for them to pop up.
Setting a goal to ride is great. But what will you do when you’re tired? Or when another opportunity comes up, when your schedule gets cut short, and the weather changes? Do you need to do prep work before you ride, like stretch, pack, or fuel up?
No matter what resolution you opt for, be proactive by answering those tough questions before they arise. Don’t be too rigid and catch your hang-ups early. Getting to your bike has to be easy!
#4 Grow in community
Goals are more fun (and more successful) when you have a support system! Take a mechanics class to learn skills and meet people who are also interested in cycling. Look for local rides or cycling groups in your area, as well. Facebook is a great resource for finding a group in your community. Hitting the trails with other people will make you a better cyclist, allow you to share tips and skills, open up new opportunities, and give you inspiration.
Even if you are pursuing your cycling goals independently, you can access the digital community. Reading articles from Bicycling Magazine (PS you can check these out for free from your local library) or watching YouTube content from Global Cycling Network are two great places to start exploring the wealth of knowledge the cycling world has to offer.
GoodTurn Cycles is rolling out an event calendar with mini classes, full series classes, group rides, and other events in the new year. Subscribe to our newsletter below to stay in the loop! Our friends at ILLA have opportunities for women to connect with others in the outdoor world.
#5 Celebrate milestones
Positive reinforcement will help you sustain your resolutions for longer. If you do the work, celebrate it!
Set a milestone and a reward allotted for it. Cycling accessories like helmets, bags, or bottles are great purchases to work up towards. But you can also reward yourself with an experience, like a ride to your favorite coffee shop. Remember that celebrations don’t have to have a monetary cost; make your rewards motivating to you!
By the way, we count getting on your bike to be a milestone worthy of celebration on its own. That’s one less car out there!