It’s the time of year for the remains of leftovers and New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re a cyclist, you should be making some cycling New Year Resolutions too! It’s cold and the weather is far from inspiring; but we’re here to make at least one easy for you to make.
This year is the year you take your riding to the next level!
1. You can get competitive in many ways
Competitive cycling takes many forms, and there absolutely will be something to suit you.
If racing in a group doesn’t appeal to you, why not try out hill climbing competitions or a time trial? Both these events will let you pitch your best efforts against others ‘on paper’ without racing in a large group.
2. You’ll see the benefits
Training to race will make an incredible difference to your body.
Once you start (and stick to!) a structured training plan, you’ll be amazed how quickly your physique will change. Consider taking some ‘before’ and ‘during’ photos so you can see the changes regular riding has made.
3. It’ll give you a kick up the bum to make lifestyle changes
If you start racing, you’re going to need to make commitments to your lifestyle.
You’ll need to train regularly and you’ll need to monitor what you’re eating. Monitoring your food intake doesn’t mean you’re never going to eat anything delicious ever again, just concentrate on a healthy, balanced diet. The ladies of Fusion RT helped us write this piece on eating for cycling performance.
Exercising and eating healthily will be MUCH easier if you’ve got a target to meet.
4. You’ll meet new people and make new friends
You’ll be going to cycling events, there are going to be tonnes of cyclists with at least one shared interest with you.
Struggling to convert friends or to find other riders at a similar level? Competing in an event will see you surrounded by like-minded people, go and make friends!
5. It’ll make you happy
Endorphins are released by exercise, which will give you a buzz and make you feel wonderful. In addition, making, reaching and exceeding targets will help keep your mind focused; and as a result you’ll be pretty chuffed with what you can achieve.
6. Now is a good a time as ever
More and more women are coming to competitive cycling, so there are more events and competitions than ever before!
7. Free Stuff!
If you’re lucky (and talented) enough to be picked up by a cycling team, you’ll (hopefully) find that you’ll have product sponsorships.
Race jerseys, restaurant vouchers to cold, hard cash are all prizes offered to podium winners. We know because we’ve offered prizes to many local events!
If the competitions in your area lack proper prizes then why not knock on some local business’ doors and make a case? Getting in front of local athletes could be a marketing tool they’re missing out on.
8. Take it as seriously as you want to
You can go with the ambition of joining a women’s team (see what tips Fusion RT team manager Terry has here) or simply enter smaller local competitions to give your riding a competitive edge. Even just signing up and using Strava and its segments is a good start.
However seriously you take it initially, opening yourself to competing with other people will see you improve your riding no end!