By John Marsh, Editor & Publisher
A couple issues ago, I noted that traditionally in January, we would be asking readers to share their cycling goals for the year. But I wanted to do something a bit different this time around. So I asked you instead to send us a rundown of how you did re: accomplishing the goals you set for yourself in 2015.
- What were the main goals that you accomplished last year?
- What were the key factors that helped you accomplish your goals?
- Did you have any sort of special motivation driving you to achieve your goals last year?
- If you did not accomplish some goals, what were the factors that kept you from achieving those goals?
A number of readers responded with various insights into these and other aspects of their motivation, riding, and goals. From dropping 60 pounds to take on a mega-mountain challenge to recovering from a double total-knee replacement to ride around Lake Tahoe to breaking the club’s annual mileage record of over 13,000 miles. Take a look at what some of your fellow roadies did last year, what helped them accomplish their goals, and why they fell short on occasion.
Doug Wobbema wrote:
My annual goal is 10,000 miles. This past year is the second time I’ve exceed 10,000 miles (by 5 miles!) in the past 4 years. Usually, the main factors in helping me accomplish my goal is to go south for a week or two in March – which kickstarts my riding back home in Minnesota for the spring and summer. It also gives me a quick 500 miles to jumpstart my mileage. 90 percent of my mileage to that point is on the trainer. I use biking videos to keep me riding indoors (usually the Sufferfest videos). I then try to ride at least 1,000 miles a month from May through September.
The main thing that helps me achieve my goals is that I just love to ride. Great weather made it much easier to meet my riding mileage goal. Most rides in the summer are 40-50 miles a day, six days a week, on average. I was hoping for a better weight and didn’t make that goal. Great food kept me from reaching my weight loss goal! (I was only going for about 10-15 lbs and stayed the same).
Paul Kossa wrote:
One of my goals was to finally get my bike fit figured out. As of this writing, I changed fits 115 times this year – including a FIFTH pro fitting, which didn’t work – with another try tomorrow, as the fit on today’s ride felt horrible. Obviously failed miserably on that one! (But my record is 138 changes in a year, so perhaps I’ve turned the corner?) But, I MAY have accomplished my other goal of finding a (relatively) comfortable saddle, a Terry Butterfly. (Even though I’m a guy, apparently “men’s” saddles are too narrow for me. Tried a couple leather ones, which were wide enough, but lacked the padding I need.)
Brian N. Hvid wrote:
Hi John. At the end of 2014 I reached a new yearly record of 5,500 miles. I decided to almost double that for 2015 and set a goal of 10,000 miles. I had no specific reason, it just would be really cool to reach such a high goal and I really didn’t know if I could do it. It was pretty tough going in the early months due to our lousy weather in Atlanta, but already in March I was able to log 1,500 miles in 1 month, and by end June I was at 7,000 miles, so I felt quite good about myself and took some time off in July.
That was a mistake. I got lazy and lost some of my motivation and didn’t really get it back till mid-Sept. I didn’t totally stop riding, just slowed down a lot. Anyway, got back from a trip to Europe in mid-Sept with renewed motivation and finally hit the 10k goal on Oct 12.
Now what? First new goal was 12.5k, but then I checked our club website and saw that the 2014 record was 13,394.5 miles. I then checked with our webmaster to see if that was the overall club record and he confirmed that it was. My new target is therefore 13,395 miles, and I’m right now 250 miles away from exceeding the target. I’m hoping I can reach 14k by Dec 31, but it’s going to be tight.
I’m already thinking about next year’s (2016) target, but I have not decided. I have mainly been motivated by data this year, but I have also participated in 20 century charity rides in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, including completing 3 State 3 Mountain, Cheaha Ultra and 6 Gap, all for the first time. I work full time, so training is every day, almost, after work and long rides on Saturday and Sunday. Weekly goals have fluctuated between 200 and 300 miles, all depending on my motivation level. All my rides are outside, no indoor riding for me. Road only.
Jose Simoe wrote:
I had loosely set two goals for 2015: ride 3,000 miles and complete the Hilly Hundred again without walking any stretch. I accomplished both but there were some challenges. On the first one it did not help that I crashed early in the season. Painful reminder that even experienced riders make silly mistakes in pacelines. What helped accomplish it was a change of jobs that made my commute longer! It also helped that November weather in Indiana was so mild. On the Hilly I also accomplished my goal although they stretched it this year to 108 miles! So, all I have to do now is face that dread cold outside and keep riding!
John Mullineaux wrote:
John, my goal for 2015 was 6,000 miles. My actual was 5,812. I had a calf injury in late summer, probably from ramping up my miles too quickly. Compounding that, I refused to stop riding to allow it to heal so I have been dealing with a 2 steps forward, 1 back recovery process for the last 6 months. Hopefully, there will be some really awful weather here in the Northeast and I will be forced to take a couple weeks off. My goal for 2016 is 6,600 miles, 100 miles for each year of my life.
David Stihler wrote:
Hi John, I had very focused goals for 2015 as I had a total knee replacement of both knees – the left knee on 01/28/2015 and right knee on 04/01/2015. I listened and did everything the doctor wanted me to do (I listened and obeyed) and was very careful not to be Mr. Macho. My goal was to rehab at home on a trainer/mountain bike, then be back road riding by July 1, 2015. The first goal was to ride to the top of Glenwood from Scotts Valley, then attempt every goat in Santa Cruz County to see how I compared to 2014 – with the ultimate goal ofriding a metric in late July and ultimately ride the Big Blue around Tahoe in September. My main focus was the goal, while being very careful on my new body. There was such a balance for me as ligaments needed to heal properly, yet be used.
I tend to be very goal-driven but not macho. I’ve been very athletic all my life so am tuned into my body and don’t care if someone passes me on a hill as long as I feel good about what I’m doing. I did meet all my goals after riding up every darn climb in Santa Cruz. When I attempted my first metric up in Fall River Mills near Burney, California, I only got 40 miles as I did not have the stamina. But by Sept. 13 going around Lake Tahoe that all changed and I felt so elated.
I didn’t ride up Alba or Jamison Creek in Santa Cruz, as they always kicked my butt anyway. But this year I will ride once again up Mt. Hamilton and plan on doing the Christmas Ride for 2016.
Scott Greenawalt wrote:
In 2015, I lost 60 pounds and completed the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. I “threw my hat over the wall,” so to speak, and signed up for the ride in February. My main motivation was dreading the thought of hauling my 235 pounds up several 10,000-foot and two 12,000-foot mountain passes.
I signed up with Weight Watchers (the program worked well for me) and by the time the ride started in June, I weighed 175 pounds. I completed the ride each day (including the epically BAD gravel road up to Kebler pass…but that’s another story) faster than I thought I would. I had a great time, made new friends, and accomplished something that would not have been possible several years ago.
Pattric Rawlins wrote:
I met my goal in 2015 and had a lot of fun doing it! I rode over 2K miles. My disappointment was that my work and family schedule ended up decreasing my ride time in the summer when I expected to peak on weekly miles. One thing that kept me going was using Strava to pre-map my rides and then hitting the road with the map in my head and experiencing the route. I also enjoyed breaking my PRs on Strava segments and watching my improvement. This is not a Strava commercial… other riding apps can do the same stuff.
John Coyle wrote:
My goal for 2015 was to ride 7,000 miles, and I met that goal by riding more than 7,100. I faithfully record my rides in a log and have been doing so for years. I’m able to compare months and years, and I find that very helpful and motivating. I had been doing around 6,500 over the past 4 years and used that information to set the 7,000 goal. I enjoy going over my past logs for information on rides I’ve done and to remind me of places I’ve gone and, especially, long rides accomplished.
Bob Swanson wrote:
My 2015 goal was to get at least 4,000 pedaled miles. I finished the year with 4,400. Due to two pulmonary embolisms, my doctors suggest I not go out alone, so I’m relegated to a lot of trainer miles. My goal is to make 400,000 miles before I cash in, and at 77 years I have 387,000, so I might make it.
Have a good year.
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