What are my New Year’s resolutions?
This question is actually pretty helpful, as I haven’t totally considered cycling related resolutions for 2019. If it isn’t obvious, none of the above are actual goals of mine… I need a real challenge! I’m far from perfect – so there’s certainly an abundance of areas in which I can improve. Now I can think aloud and publish my personal findings.
Every year I like to set goals for myself. I think this is an important practice for anyone, and I know that it is especially useful for cyclists. Goal setting is a crucial step in improvement. Whether you’re aiming to cut a minute off of your commute or start riding to work once a week, improve your functional threshold power or win a race, goal setting is an important start.
My suggestions for goal setting are to set many. Have short-term and long-term goals. Make sure that you challenge yourself and also be mindful that if you are a very goal driven person, then the goals you set are an essential part of your life. If you accomplish your biggest goal and no longer know what to focus on afterward, this can present you with a new kind of challenge. As an athlete, I have always set goals, but when I missed out on my biggest and longest standing goal, I found myself lost and directionless for months afterward – I had no idea where to go from there. Basically, I think you should always have goals, and always have something on the go that you are working toward.
My resolutions for this year are sort of personal cycling lifestyle goals. A vague short-term outcome goal would be to win a race. While I’m not aiming for a Grand Tour win (this year), it would actually be nice to win one of Victoria’s local races. The VCL’s are super small local races in the summer and I’ve never won one. I’d also like to win a stage of a race in the Pacific Northwest. Not sure which.
Another resolution is to keep a level head for an entire cycling season. I will continue to work on managing my mental health as I ride. My long-term performance goal for this year with regard to my mental health is essentially to stay healthy. I need to be my own best teammate. While I know there will be times of struggle, I need not let it take away from the enjoyment the bike brings me and my confidence in myself as an athlete.
I also intend to maintain my individuality as a cyclist. I do not plan to conform to others negative expectations of me. This is a process goal that will help with my healthy mindset goal above.
I hope to find many, many new roads this year. Lots of gravel climbs, and maybe even some in a new country or two. I’ve wanted to try bike-packing for years, so I reckon this year should be the one!
Well, there you have it. Some thinking and brainstorming out loud. Now that my goals are in writing and you’ve seen them, you best hold me to them!
Oliver Evans 20-year-old cyclist from Winnipeg, currently living in Victoria. In 2019, he will race with Trek Red Truck Racing.