Happy New Year to all the wonderful female cyclists who read my blog regularly, this post is all about committing to some 2022 cycling New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are often criticised for being a waste of time because they are hard to achieve, but I’m a keen supporter of goal setting and to me, it’s just an annual way to test your self-discipline.
One of my 2021 New Year’s resolutions was to ride more than 6,000 km in total which I achieved, with a total of 6,140 km, so for 2022, I’m aiming for 7,000 km. Some of you might think I should make that number a bit larger but I also want it to be realistic, not unachievable. Here are a few suggestions for setting your own 2022 cycling New Year’s resolutions:
Ride new places
In 2021, we spent more than 100 days in lockdown due to the COVID pandemic. During that time we could only ride with our local government area or within a 10 km radius of home which was reduced to 5 km during the lockdown. What this restriction did was force me and my select riding companions to find new places to ride close to home. At times we were bored by the same roads, but overall we were very grateful that we could still ride our bikes. In 2022 I plan to find some new routes to ride. Some of this will be with the wonderful LACC Women.
We all need to try new places regularly. It keeps your mind active and you get to see new scenery and locations as a bonus. It even works when you are away on holiday, and is a great way to see a new place up close.
Try something new
As well as finding new places to ride my road bike, I’m also committing to try a new style of riding with my gravel bike. I’ve only ever ridden my gravel bike on the road but one of my friends has invited me to do a bike-packing trip in a few weeks where we’ll be riding on dirt the whole way. I’ve already ordered the new mixed-terrain tyres and will switch to mountain bike pedals.
I admit I’m a little nervous about the new mode of riding but I’m also quite excited. So why not try something new in 2022 like mountain biking, track riding, or gravel like me.
Pay it forward
I love the concept of paying it forward by helping someone else even if that person will never be able to reciprocate. I constantly encourage women to take up road cycling and help guide them along with advice in the form of blog posts, but also one-on-one advice. In 2022 you should try helping a new rider find her feet.
Make a new friend
I have been so fortunate in my 13 years of road riding to constantly meet new people. Many of those new people have become great friends. So, I challenge every female road rider to make at least one new friend in 2022 through cycling. You could even have a go at converting some of your existing non-cycling friends to riding. I guarantee they’ll thank you for it.
Join a club
There’s no better way to find an instant cycling community than joining a cycling club. There are lots of clubs that cater to different sorts of riders – some focus on racing, but many of them are also great at organising social rides and other events. I’m the women’s coordinator of my cycling club LACC and we’ve grown our female numbers in the last few years. If you’re looking for a cycling club with a strong female contingent, and you live near Sydney’s inner west, then look us up.
Enter a race
This might be completely out of your comfort zone but it’s a great way to develop as a cyclist. Most cycling clubs run races regularly, and in many cases cater for beginners.
Complete your longest ride ever
My longest ride ever so far is the iconic Around the Bay which is a loop of Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne. I rode 210 km in a day which was long and hard, but very satisfying. It will be difficult to top that one for me but it’s a great goal to set yourself. In fact, I’m thinking of signing up for Around the Bay in October 2022.
Learn about your bike
You really should learn about basic maintenance for your bike and not rely on others. Lots of bike shops and other organisations run regular introductory courses so make sure you keep an eye on opportunities in your area and sign up in 2022. At a minimum, all riders should be able to change a flat tyre, and clean and lubricate their own precious stead.
Set 12 goals in 12 months
A great way to break down your cycling goals for 2022 is to set a smaller goal for each month. If your ultimate goal is to complete a long ride later in the year, set individual goals for each month leading up to it. Your goal for January could be to sign-up for an event later in the year and make sure you choose something that’s a challenge rather than completely within your current ability and comfort zone.