In fact, according our recent reader poll, by far the biggest percentage of readers are aiming simply to stay fit and health in 2015 – some 36% of you. Other top goals include increasing your cruising speed (9%), completing a multi-day tour and improving your climbing ability (8% each), and improving endurance or some other aspect of riding (7%).
I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did when I received them. — John Marsh
I am planning a self-supported tour on Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier — San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida. Starting in early March, it should take about 65 days. I would like to build strength for hill climbing (loaded and over 60 years old). A friend noted that I am not likely to get much stronger than I was riding the Pacific Coast last fall, which included lots of hills.
Also, more riding just for fun. Staying fit enough to ride hard on the road bike. Will aim for probably about 5,000 miles for the year.
Hi John, I wrote last year about my goal to complete my 17th cross-country ride, L.A. to Boston. That was accomplished. This year, same goal: 18th cross-country L.A. to Boston. The route is the same, but, with various weather conditions, etc., the route can seem much different from year to year.
My training has been refined over the years with the help of all the RBR publications. From all that information, I take what I feel will work best for me and work it into my yearly training. I recently turned 65. The training seems a little more difficult each year. But, I’m always looking at new RBR eArticles, etc., to find one more helpful hint. Keep up the great work. I look forward to my RBR Newsletter every week.
Like every year, 2,500 logged miles. Add another 500 or so miles on short “local” rides and this 66-year-old will be happy. It’s the MPH that has fallen like a stone since turning 60.
For several years my cycling goal has been to ride 4,000 miles. I work full time on the night shift, so there are no commuting miles for me. I ride as often as I can on my days off and some evenings. I had two years where injuries (from cycling) held me back. In 2014 I came so close, 3,957. Will just have to push a little harder this year.
My 2015 riding goals are to complete safely and enjoy five week-long rides:
the Driftless area west of Madison, Wisconsin, in May; the Mickelson Trail and area rides in South Dakota in June; the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in July; the Adventure Cycling Adirondacks Loop in August; and TRIRI in southern Indiana in September. Should be a great year!
My first goal is to complete the Gran Canaria Training Camp this February (7 days). In June/July, I will achieve my second goal, which is the Trans-Dolomites Challenge (7 days). This one is the final part of the challenge series that I set out to accomplish 2 years ago (Trans-Alps Challenge and Trans-Pyrenees Challenge are completed). As usual, I will participate in several organized centuries through the year and will expect to ride about 11,000 miles by the end of this season.
Lose a ton of weight. I’ve started already, and ride at least 6,000 miles a year. I have been retired for almost two years and turning 64 in January, so I want to set some cycling/personal goals now that I have no excuses. I’m fortunate to work part-time at a bike shop, so I get to talk about cycling all the time. I raced in the ’70s and ’80s and really didn’t take time off the bike through the years, but it’s time to get a lot more serious about my cycling and health. My two-year goal is a TransAmerica ride in 2016. Thanks for everything.
I will be turning 60 this year. I started riding 15 years ago. I am what you would call a heavy but fit rider. I live in New England, I am 6 feet 220 pounds and I average about 3,000 miles a year. When I tell people that I ride that much they always give me that question-mark look: “How can someone ride that much and still be heavy?” My goal this year is to ride 4,000 miles and to finally look like a cyclist. I will do this by eating right and being determined.
I am 65 and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in December 2012. There is no cure but I am in partial remission thanks to a transplant and current chemo regimen. My goal is to do a bike ride from Greeley, Colorado, to my home town area ofPennsburg, Pennsylvania, (2,000 miles) starting in May as a fundraiser for the cancer: Relay for Life.
Mine is Elite PAC — coast to coast in just 18 days. I did PACTour’s Northern Route back in 2004 (3,400 miles in 26 days) when I was 55. Now, at 66, I thought I’d find a new way to get my kicks. It’ll be a stretch, but I’m writing a book on personal energy management and it’s a great way to eat my own cookin’. Good luck to you all in 2015! Ride safe out there!
I’m 53 and have been road riding since the early 2000s. I’ve learned a lot about riding techniques from RBR and from more seasoned riders. I’m not terribly goal-driven. That said, I do want to continue improving my riding performance (e.g., get more fit, lose weight, increase power). To push me in that direction, I (and a few riding friends) have signed up to ride the Sea Otter Classic (94 miles) in April.
Road riding is my favorite mode of exercise and helps me keep fit. My rides provide me with time to relax, help me relieve stress, and allow me to connect with friends/fellow riders.
Cycling has meant so much to me as I’ve worked hard to lose weight and become more active. By cycling regularly outdoors when the weather permits (I live in Michigan), using an exercise bike in the winter, and creating a healthy eating plan, I have lost 180 pounds in the last year and a half. I biked on the local rails-to-trails in the summer of 2013 (a little over 1,700 miles, beginning at 381 pounds), and then combined that with participating in many organized bike rides in the summer of 2014.
I am anticipating an active cycling year in 2015, in part because I am going to undergo skin removal surgery in February or early March, which will help me lose the remaining 21 pounds. In the Spring of 2014, I bought a 2014 Colnago AC-R, and now alternate riding that with my 2006 Specialized Sequoia Elite road bike. As you can imagine, cycling has meant (and will continue to mean) having a lifestyle of being mobile and making wonderful memories.
A little of my history: Began cycling in 1985 at the age of 47. Three years later I had a heart attack and a triple coronary bypass. In March of 1989 I was back on the bike and continue to cycle. I believe cycling is what has kept me alive, along with lifestyle changes. So my goal for 2015, at the age of 77, is to ride 2,000 miles. Probably will not accomplish the goal, but I’m certainly going to try.
This winter I am taking my first Computrainer classes and learning about WATTS. They are kicking my butt! My main goal for 2015 – first 1/2 Ironman (at age 49).
My goal for cycling in 2015 is to stop the bleeding. I’ll be 73 in a few weeks and I’ve gone from a fairly fast recreational rider (23 mph TT) at 60 to someone who struggles to climb with any pace and can’t ride the fast group rides that I did at 60.
I’ve mapped out some hilly loops for training (not easy to do in west-central Ohio) and have asked some faster friends to ride them with me. I rode 5,000 miles last year and my watts vs. HR numbers haven’t declined since last January, so I want to do more long rides of 40-50 miles and cut out the shorter recovery rides. I would like to do a fast group ride on Wednesday and then a longer ride on Saturday of 75-100 miles so instead of riding 5-6 days/week, I’ll cut back to 4 harder days with good rest days in between. I’m not sure how well this will work, at best I’ll probably just hold serve. My max HR is down from 185 to 165, so I have to learn how to pace myself better on hills (hence the hilly loops). I have arthritis in both knees and though I can walk alright, cycling is really the only way that I can keep a good aerobic base. Wish me luck!
Like Michael M [for who’s big ride Coach John Hughes is providing coaching tips], I will be 60 this year and, also like Michael M, my 2015 is focused on a multi-day ride in September. In my case, the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (www.rideacrossbritain.com): 9 days, 969 miles, 50,000 feet of climbing, going from the southwest tip of England (Land’s End) to the northeast tip of Scotland (John O’Groats).
I realize this is different, but my goal is to stop messing around with my bike fit/position. (I changed it 135 times last year . . . just short of the record of 138 the previous year.) And, yes, I’ve had 4 fittings done . . . don’t even get me started on that! Sort of related to that one, is to find a comfortable saddle. (Tried 50 – 60, so far.)
Chris & Rosy Borkman
We have plans for September 2015 to celebrate our 60th birthdays and our 30-year wedding anniversary climbing Monte Grappa, the Giro d’Italia 2014 individual time trial route. The 18.6-km route from Semonzo has an altitude gain of 1,530 m and an average gradient of 8.3%. There are nine other similar climbs up Monte Grappa (one with a max gradient of 27%).
I’m 68 and well past grandiose goals. I usually ride between 7,500 – 9,500 miles per year. This year it is a similar goal. Specifically, though, it is to ride steadily about 25 times per month for about 30 miles each, which yields about 750 per month and 9,000 for the year. Barring illness, this can be done without s Herculean effort, and I am philosophically opposed to Herculean efforts.
As I live in Massachusetts, the real barrier is winter weather. January, February and December must cooperate. I have a fixed-gear mountain bike with studded tires and I used to ride on snow and ice. However, my gradual, creeping maturity has caused me to realize that while I am comfortable with my being able to control the bike, I am not comfortable with the ability of motorists to control their vehicles on snow and ice. So as a practical matter, I do not ride when the roads are snowy and icy.
Therefore, if I can get 500 miles in each of January and February and 700 in December, then I need to average 811 in each of the other nine months, which can be done with a couple of 40- to 50-milers each month thrown into the mix, but it usually means playing catch-up through at least October so I can look forward and see that 9,000 can reasonably be done.
For 2015, I’ve also decided that “less is more” will be my mantra. Because I like to keep my rides under four hours these days and my speed has diminished with my increasing age, my intent is to get this 9,000 mile mark with no century rides, no metric century rides, and no thousand-mile months. So, like the tortoise, slow and steady will have to do it for me.
I am 50 years old, from Parker, Colorado, and I’m going to ride the Trans Am this summer with an organization called Bike the US for MS. It is 3,795 miles from York Town, Virginia, to San Francisco.
I was diagnosed with MS in September 2004. Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.
This will be my 2nd cross-country bike ride. I rode the Northern Tier route in 2013, from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Seattle. That ride was 4,295 miles. Bike the US for MS organizes cross-country bike trips that raise awareness for multiple sclerosis research and volunteer help for patients. Proceeds from 2015 will support research and treatment and fund home modification projects across the United States.
I am honored to be a part of these rides. When I was first diagnosed, I had no idea how this disease would affect and change my life. I ride these rides to inspire others that have been diagnosed with the disease.
Mike Faibisch, Har Adar, Israel
[About 13 years ago, I received a preliminary diagnosis of] multiple sclerosis.
Needless to say, I was shattered. Recently separated, I had just planned a vacation the following summer to watch the Tour de France and celebrate a new stage in my life. However, over the next winter and spring I had more tests and more medical episodes: I lost feeling on one side of my face for nearly two weeks, and then I wound up hospitalized in early April with a debilitating loss of strength in my legs, tingling in my arms, ringing in my ears, loss of balance and an inability to walk without assistance. I had another MRI while in the hospital, which was done while I was relapsing, and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I indeed had MS.
I also had good fortune: I had a goal. I wanted very badly to go to France to watch the Tour, up close, which was a mere three months away. While still in the hospital, I got myself referred to a physiotherapist specializing in neurological rehab and started physiotherapy the very week following my release from the hospital.
By the time I left the hospital I had already lost considerable weight from my peak of about 290 lbs. I started rehab and made it clear to my physiotherapist that I WAS going to go to France in three months, NO MATTER WHAT, and that merely having MS was not going to stop me.
Well, I was diligent like never before in doing the physio. I made it to France. I had to revise my riding plans, since I simply did not have the level of fitness required for the VP tour which I joined. But I did succeed in climbing all the mountains to watch all of the cycling heros of that era. I was invariably last up the hill, but I loved every moment and made lots of friends on the road!
Each of the following years had their own cycling goals. The goals kept me going, gave me something to strive for, and in my case, I believe, gave me a reason to stay healthy. Initially, I focused on one-day events and found myself back in Europe nearly every summer during the following years to ride in an Etape du Tour or other cyclo-sportive events.
In 2010 I decided to celebrate being 5 years “relapse-free,” and set for myself a goal to ride my first RAID, the RAID Alpine, which is a multi-day randonee style tour requiring riding over a challenging course and stamping a “carnet” at predetermined control towns. I discovered a new style of riding challenge that was more to my liking than races or one-day cyclo-sportives (although I still occasionally do both as intermediate goals).
Since 2010, my annual goal has been to do a different RAID each summer — Pyrenees, Corsica and Dolomites. After completing the full set of RAIDS, my goal in 2014 was a similar style event in the UK — the LEJOG in which we rode the entire length of England and Scotland, from Lands End to John O’Groats, in 9 days.
Somewhere along the way, I began dreaming about riding the U.S. from coast to coast. For 2015, after being free of MS relapses now for over 10 years, gradually increasing my cycling abilities to ride long and challenging touring events, and receiving an updated classification for my MS as being “benign,” that dream has turned into a more concrete goal.
Hence my goal for 2015 is to ride the Fast-USA coast-to-coast trip from Costa Mesa, California, to Amesbury, Massachusetts, in 33 days, this coming spring.
It has been, well, for lack of a better term, one heck of an intriguing ride over the last twelve and a half years. Being diagnosed with MS offered an opportunity to set goals that I had previously never even dreamed of, and has provided a reason — if one is needed — to engage my passion. Being diagnosed with an illness that threatened my quality of life, and then seriously taking up cycling in response, have truly changed my life in more ways than one.
I really couldn’t think of a better way for me to celebrate health, freedom from MS relapses and having lost over 100 pounds in the past 10 years, than to ride my bike from coast to coast. In fact, as I like to say, I have never been healthier since I got sick.
John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.