Happy New Year! Now's the time when we collectively think about the ups and downs of the year just past and resolve to change some things going forward. Have you been thinking about your health goals, or more specifically, bike goals? If so, we have some ideas for you, and how to accomplish them.
First, some background. After relocating to Brooklyn in late 2015, I looked forward to meeting other women who love to bike, as some of my best friendships in Chicago came from the bike community. I had learned about WE Bike NYC (which stands for Women's Empowerment through Biking) through the media and couldn't wait to join a ride.
Photo from WE Bike NYC
Now a little over a year later, I've been on many rides, made some friends, and volunteer with the group. One of my tasks is preparing the monthly newsletter, which includes upcoming events and an article about something bike related. For the January 2017 article, I thought writing about New Year's resolutions was appropriate, and surveyed the NYC women bike community about what they were planning for their bike-related goals for this year.
I found the results of the survey so inspiring that I couldn't help but share them with the Po Campo community as well. Enjoy! And leave your bike goals below in the comments.
Commuting By Bike More Regularly
How often did you bike to work last year? Using your bike to commute to work is a great way to get regular exercise, have more control over the time it takes to get from A to B, and a great way to get to know the city. So, set a goal for 2017 that increases that amount you ride, whether that's once per work or four days per week. Resolve to ride when the temperature is above Xº or ever day that's dry or even on days that are a little wet.
I started Po Campo because I loved to bike to work but needed a better bike bag to carry my things, so it's no surprise that we have a lot of tips on bike commuting on our blog. Here are some of my favorites:
Learn Some Basic Bike Maintenance Skills
Hopefully you're blessed like I am and have a lot of great bike shops in your town. Regardless, it's good to know how to do some basic maintenance and repairs on your own. One particularly helpful skill is how to fix a flat, because not only is it inevitably, it's easy to do.
Image Credit: Andrew Shurtleff, The Daily Progress
Many bike shops host fix-a-flat and bike maintenance workshops throughout the year -- check the website or Facebook page of your nearby stores to see if they have anything coming up, or ask if they'd give you a private lesson.
Alternatively, head over to YouTube to at least familiarize yourself with the process. Here's a video from Liv Cycling:
Bike Packing, Touring, and Adventure Cycling
If you're longing for the freedom of the open road and/or want to spend more time outdoors, bikepacking and touring might be the perfect thing for you to try this year.
We wrote about bikepacking in our "Beginner's Guide to Bike Camping and Bike Glamping" blog post last summer, but we have a few more resources for you here.
- Bikepacking.com is your go-to resource for how-to's, route recommendations and gear reviews
- Blackburn's Out There Ranger Program highlights iconic cycling routes sure to inspire you
- BikeOvernights.org helps you dip your toe into bikepacking by encouraging you to go overnight before going cross-country.
Completing a Century Ride
Training for and accomplish a Century Ride (a 100 mile bike ride, usually timed) is an excellent fitness goal for 2017! At Po Campo, we generally focus on transportation and recreational cycling, but I know from firsthand experience how gratifying completing a Century can be. Back in 2001, I celebrated finishing college by training for a Century around Lake Tahoe with Team in Training, and the whole experience was so memorable – and character building. After the ride, which I did in 7 hours and 3 minutes, I was in such great shape, and so enthralled with biking, that I delayed getting a "real job" and went on a six week bike tour around Germany instead.
It's best to start training now for your Century, even if it isn't until spring or even fall. An indoor trainer, a device that converts your bicycle into a stationary bike, is helpful for training through winter. There are a lot of varieties of trainers on the market today; if the options seem overwhelming, read the "How to Choose an Indoor Bike Trainer" article in Bicycling Magazine for some clarity. Don't have space or budget for a trainer? Taking regular spin classes is an alternative.
Once you have your trainer, find a training plan that suits your needs. This 8-week Training Plan for Riding a Century from Bicycling Magazine came recommended from people who've done it.
What are your bike goals?
We hope that this list inspires you to set some bike goals for yourself in 2017! What are you planning? Please leave your goals in the comments below to inspire others.