As I enter week 2 of my training program, I’ve started thinking about some of my cycling goals and looking back at what I’ve accomplished to date. Two years ago, when I first jumped on my new hybrid and went for my first bike ride in years, I turned back without even going a full mile, discouraged by my lack of fitness and fear of riding on the road. That same year, I reached a number of milestones: My first long group ride, then my first century, then my first multi-day event (a total of 270 miles over three days).
Last year was a total bust. I wasn’t motivated and didn’t ride nearly enough. I blamed the weather and outside demands on my time, but the fact was I just didn’t try hard enough to fit my riding in. I did my 270 mile charity ride again but struggled mightily. I promised myself that 2013 would be different, which is why I started taking my training more seriously and started this blog.
My endurance riding Holy Grail – my number one goal – is to ride the 18th Paris-Brest-Paris in 2015. PBP is a 1,200 km ride from Paris to the western harbor town of Brest and back which is held every four years. It has an amazingly rich history and is one of the greatest accomplishments a long-distance cyclist can hope to achieve. Ever since I first read about PBP I knew instantly this was something I needed to do in my lifetime.
Three years away seems like a long time, but I know that I’ll need all of it to properly train for this event. This year I am hoping to get some more distance milestones in. I’ve joined RUSA and will ride my first brevets this year. I’ll start with the 200 km brevet and work my way up from there. I also know I need to work on my speed and bike handling skills, so that is where racing comes in. Actually, my first racing goal is to work myself up to “A” level club rides — I figure when I can hang with those guys on a group ride, I’ll be ready to try my first race.
To reach these goals (and find myself in Paris in 2015) I am going to have to put in a ton of work, but I am looking forward to the challenge ahead. I think these goals are difficult but possible, which are the best kind when you are trying to push yourself to new heights. What goals are you setting for yourself this season?