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Cycle Into 2017: Kickstart your Best Year on the Bike

All the advice you need and a competition for added motivation

January is here, and it’s the perfect time to step back and take a look at your cycling life. Ask yourself: what do you want to get out of bike riding, and what do you need to do to get there?

Though the idea of making New Years Resolutions can seem cliché, the dawn of a brand new annual cycle really is a smart time to re-evaluate, re-focus and revitalise. Especially for cyclists, who quite often struggle with motivation in the colder months but have ambitions for the summer.

Now we’re in January, those summer goals are close enough that you can taste them, but far enough away that if you get serious and start planning now you’ve got plenty of time to prepare.

To help you out, we’ve created an index of some of the most useful advice articles on TWC to help you reach your goals.

COMPETITION – WIN with #TWC2017Goals

social-media-icons

To help motivate you, we’re launching a social media competition. We want you to share your cycling goals, plans and resolutions, along with a picture of what you’re doing to help get you there. We’ve got four bundles of cycling goodies to give away to the winners, including nutrition, books and cleaning products.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • We want you to tell us what you’re doing to help get you closer to your cycling goals this January, with a picture to prove you’re doing it
  • Send pictures via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook tagging us and using #TWC2017Goals
  • Winners will be chosen on January 10, 17 and 24. We’ll message the winner by replying to their picture and we do need them to reply within 24 hours to collect their prize, or we might have to choose someone else.

So – what are the common goals and how can we help? There’s a LOT of content on the site, and we don’t want to bombard you, so we’ve tried to pick out only the most relevant and useful pieces. 

Start cycling

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Not yet a cyclist, but would like to be one? Welcome! We wholeheartedly recommend you join the club. Cycling is a great way to get fit, without putting excess stress on your joints like higher impact sports such as running. If you commute by bike, you could save money and time as well as helping the environment out.

These articles might suit you…

Commute more regularly (every day?!)

commuter gazelle bike

Effective goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-related. So if you want to make commuting a way of life, decide on the number of days you will ride to work each week. Many people opt to use Monday and Friday to commute by car or public transport, dropping off or taking home clothing, towels or other items. If your journey is long, look at ways of making the distance achievable so you stick with it (like driving half way or investing in a folding bike to combine with a train journey).

These might help… 

Get fit through cycling or lose weight

spinning

At TWC we know there are many reasons people ride: freedom, exploration and for competition to name a few. We’d never let fitness or weight loss eclipse those motivations. However, we also won’t ever hide away from the fact that sometimes people just want to get fit. If you know that your heart isn’t as healthy as it could be, that your lungs aren’t as efficient as they used to be or that your waistline measures a few extra inches then cycling can help.

These will help you out…

Plan to race, ride a new distance or complete a certain event

diary

If you want to race, become more competitive, ride a new distance or complete a specific event then you’re going to need a goal. That goal needs to be specific (eg ride 25 miles in XX time, complete 100 ride by September) and you need to draw up a plan to get you there.

Eat like an athlete

lose weight while fuelling your ride Salmon filet with spices on a wooden carving board. Macro shot.

What you put into your body has a dramatic effect on what you get out of it. You need to start your rides with enough fuel in the tank, keep nibbling throughout long rides and make sure you give your body what it needs afterwards.

Check out…

Get strong

strength training

‘Core training’ is a bit of a buzz word in cycling but it is super important. Strong legs will push more power into the pedals, so obviously you want and need those to ride well. A strong core provides a base for those powerful pins to push from. Your ‘core’ (stomach, back, glutes, shoulders) supports your body on the bike too, so if it’s weak you may find you suffer fatigue or injury when weaker muscles are forced to take over.

Have a look at these…

Improve technique

Women don't want to be long and low?

When it comes to technique, practice makes perfect. However, reading up on some of the essential skills ahead of that practice will help so it’s well worth checking out the theory.

Take a look at…

Try something new

Bike Touring Hub feature

Maybe you’ve been riding a road, hybrid, mountain or ‘other’ bike all your life – and now it’s time for a change? Trying something different is a great way to boost motivation and you’ll learn new skills and techniques along the way that will help across the cycling spectrum.

Here are some ideas…

We hope that gives you a few ideas to get you started. Remember to ensure that your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Assignable/Achievable, Realistic and Time-related. So this January, pick a goal you know will make a differance to your life whilst still being attainable, and work out a path to get you there. We hope we can help!

Don’t forget to share your goals and pictures with the tag #TWC2017Goals for the chance to win one of four cycling goody bundles. 

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