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6 Tips for Your Best Cycling

How to reach & surpass your cycling goals for 2016

1. Schedule time now into your weekly routine.

Perhaps you are you going for your first organized cycling event, your first 50 mile bike ride, your first century or a new personal challenge in miles, speed or climbing.  Whatever your goal is, assess your current fitness, the fitness you’ll need to reach your 2016 goals and the time it takes to train and prepare for those goals.  We all need to find the right balance for time commitments and busy lives so a great first step is to see how much training time you can put on your weekly calendar now and up until the goal that you have in mind.

It may be 30 min a few days a week, or perhaps you plan to ride a few hours during the week and put in longer rides on weekends.  Schedule the time on your calendar, get started and stay consistent!

2. Set a goal that is challenging, but doable

We all enjoy the satisfaction of reaching a goal, and it’s important to set those goals up for success with enough time to train.  If you’ve completed longer distances like 50 miles or 100 miles in the past couple months, then the goal of a new longer or faster ride is easily attainable in a shorter time frame with the proper training.  If you haven’t been riding or running for a few months or longer then a great plan is to start 2016 with goals to complete shorter distances (5 miles, 15 miles, 25 miles) and work your way up with a consistent riding/training schedule. Adding 10% a week to your overall mileage is a great guideline to help determine how long you should train to reach your goal.

Make sure you have or can create enough training time to reach your new goals.  Talk about your plans with your friends and reach out to one of the many incredible cycling coaches in California to hone in on a great set of cycling goals for 2016.

3. Join a support group

Enlist other riders for support to help you keep your resolutions, and you can help encourage them too!  A resolution buddy is a great way to help you stick with your goal.  You can find great encouragement from your riding friends, a coach, your local bike shop, a cycling club or your health club.  You may also connect with new friends using the many great apps like Strava, Record, Runkeeper (many cyclists & triathletes too) and RidewithGPS, to name a few. Check out our list of 21 SoCal group rides to get started.

4. Give yourself interim goals

Whether you’ve got a challenging goal in mind that is 15 miles,  or 50 miles, or a century, or even a double century then there will be plenty of room to give yourself interim goals to help keep yourself on track.  If a 50 mile ride is on your list for the year, see how you do in a 10 or 20 mile ride in the spring, get a 30-50 miler on your calendar mid year, and keep yourself on track for the end of the year.   There are organized rides for just about every distance you can imagine so if you have a distance goal for the end of the year, it’s easy to find 3 or 4 interim goals during the year to help you stay on target.

Check out Gran Fondo Guide, the Western States Ride Calendar and the Tour of California organized bike ride lists.

5. Track your Progress

It’s easy to find tracking tools now, and tracking your progress is a very effective way to help you stick with your resolutions and riding plan for the new year. Technology is ever-advancing and there are a whole host of mobile phone apps available to track your progress, many for free.

Phone apps to try: Strava, Record (mapmyride), Runkeeper, RideWithGps and Garmin Connect.

You can also use a bike computer or bike computer with GPS.  Check out Bike Radar’s review for 2016.

6. Have fun with SoCal’s many beautiful riding locations

Southern California has some of the best cycling locations in the world, so check out some of the great rides outside your local area.  We regularly revise our list of popular and scenic rides in SoCal, and you can check them out here>>.

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