The turn of the year gives riders the opportunity to reflect on the 12 months past and look ahead at what’s to come in 2020 — us included.
We’re a varied bunch here at BikeRadar — with roadies and mountain bikers, gravel riders and bikepackers, cross-country racers and downhill slayers — but all share a passion for riding and enjoying life on two wheels, regardless of the discipline.
What’s in store for us this year? Here are the BikeRadar team’s cycling resolutions for 2020. Got your own goal for the year to come? Let us know in the comments.
Jack Luke – 2020 will be the year of contemplative chamois time
Before I moved to the south west to start my role at the good ship BikeRadar, most of my riding time was spent alone. Moving here brought many exciting new things into my life, including the chance to ride with a host of like-minded bike weirdos.
While I’ll rarely turn down the chance to ride with chums these days, a Christmas break spent riding solo back home in Highland Perthshire has reminded me of how pleasant reclusive repeats, isolated intervals and antisocial audaxing can be.
For 2020, I will temper time spent with pals with a healthy measure of contemplative unaccompanied chamois time.
Tom Marvin – Bad weather? Bring it on
Tom dreams of dry, dusty trails, but bad weather isn’t going to stop him getting out on the bike. Dylan Dunkerton
My new year’s resolution is to not shy away from riding in all weather.
It can be easy to forfeit a ride when the weather’s bad, especially when there are plenty more opportunities just around the corner, but riding in mucky conditions sharpens the skills and helps maintain fitness through the murkier months of the year.
While on the face of it wet and cold rides aren’t as appealing as hitting buff, dry dusty trails, nine times out of ten, riding in the slop is just as fun, so long as you look at it with the right attitude.
Even if you really hate the wet, it certainly makes those perfect-condition rides feel even more special — especially if you’re in the physical condition to make the absolute most out of them.
Matthew Loveridge – I’m going multi-modal
I want to go multi-modal, which is a pretentious way of saying that I like the idea of doing some decent-length rides that end up at a station from where I can get a train home.
I’ve always found there’s something unfulfilling about riding endless loops from home, with every outing ending up right where it started. An A to B journey is inherently more satisfying, because it gives you a destination to aim for.
I did a great ride many years go from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed via the Lammermuirs, propelled by a howling tailwind. Something along those lines would be ideal.
Mildred Locke – No goals, one big challenge
Mildred has signed up for the 600km Second City Divide in September. Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media Co
Following my discovery last year about the benefit of slowing down and enjoying the ride, this year my cycling goal is to not have a particular goal at all. Instead I’ll ride simply because I want to.
Having said that, I couldn’t start the year without signing up for something crazy and out of my league, so in September I’ll be taking on the Second City Divide, an unsupported bikepacking ride from Glasgow to Manchester. Apparently I’m determined to have a 600k under my belt, despite previous failed attempts.
I suppose I should do some training after all…
Max Wilman – 2020 will be a wheelie good year…
Balance skills are essential when it comes to navigating a variety of trail conditions — after all, being fluid on a mountain bike is key to maintaining trail flow and speed.
And while some MTB skills, like trackstands and manuals, will help you become a better rider, wheelies are, in reality, pretty useless. But they do look cool.
Unfortunately, it’s one of the skills I lack. Therefore, my new year’s resolution is to practice wheelies — even if that means looking like a yob on my rides into work.
Joe Norledge – Swapping marathons for Olympic XC races
Having raced XC marathons for the last few years; now my resolution is to do more Olympic cross-country races again.
I’m also 34 this year, so while my fitness might be declining a little, I’m hoping the years of experience and huge bank of suffering during training will help make up for areas where I’m lacking.
I also can’t wait to feel the thrill of a cross-country race again. Sitting on that start line with the starter’s pistol about to fire; I haven’t found many more nerve-wracking experiences within cycling.
Oli Woodman – Getting back on track
This year I’m looking to restore my legs, which have sadly withered through inactivity. Lots of unexpected events meant 2019 was probably my worst cycling year to date. Still, I’m looking forward to getting back into consistent mileage — be it on or off-road, indoors or outdoors.
I’ll also be making a conscious effort to eat a little better, for the environment’s sake as well as mine. Less red meat, not so many sweet things and swapping beers for spirits.
Here’s to sunny evening rides, frequent café stops and perhaps some electrical assistance for 2020!
Alex Evans – I pledge to become the ultimate planker in 2020
Former downhill racer Alex wants to improve his off-bike strength in 2020.
A few years ago, I used to spend every moment of my free time — when I wasn’t riding, working or doing anything else bike-related — at the gym trying to get lean and strong, supplementing my base fitness and strength from riding on and off-road.
That all came to an abrupt halt at the end of 2018 while testing bikes. A particularly nasty crash resulted in a stage four separation of the right AC joint in my shoulder that had already suffered a stage three separation a few years previously.
Despite my best intentions to get it back to full strength, I never rediscovered my plank-loving, gym-going rhythm of old and have quite obviously suffered with a loss of strength — my body now looking more like a T-Rex than a sturdy mountain biker should.
In 2020, that’s all due to change, and I promise to get back to my old ways of going to the gym and sneaking in a cheeky plank whenever possible.
Simon Bromley – Rediscovering type two fun
For 2020, I want to rediscover the world of time-trialing. While time-trials are not everyone’s idea of fun, I’ve always enjoyed the mixture of fitness and technology (and my partner is threatening to sell my TT bike if I don’t start using it again).
It’s not really a new year’s resolution, as I’ve been working on this goal since late October (I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, as anyone who follows me on Strava will know), but it’s already providing a rich vein of motivation to get me out on the bike.
Felix Smith – I’m going off-road
2019 was all about gravel for Felix, but he’s turning his attention to mountain biking this year. The Rift Gravel Race
My new year’s resolution is to do more mountain biking.
It wasn’t long ago when all my rides were off-road but, once I went for my first long cycle tour on the road, I realised how fun it can be. Since then, I feel like I’ve lost my inner mountain biker and am keen to re-find some of the mediocre skills I once possessed.
It will also be ideal training for future gravel races that I want to challenge myself with in 2020. When I raced The Rift in Iceland in 2019, I found it really tough not just in my legs, but on my body, too.
With that in mind, my new year’s resolution is not only going to be fun, but it will also hopefully help me out when the going gets rough on the gravel.
George Scott – More skills? Sign me up
Like Felix, I’m planning to spend more time off-road in 2020.
I’m a road rider at heart, having spent the vast majority of my cycling life (and career as a bike journalist) on skinny tyres, but that’s beginning to change. I bought a Mason Bokeh gravel bike before Christmas and my long-term test bike for BikeRadar this year is a Canyon Spectral AL 5.0 trail bike.
I’ll happily admit my technical skills aren’t up to scratch – let’s be honest, I’m rubbish – so my resolution is to sign-up to a mountain bike skills course.
Simple, but I’m hoping it will pay off in the long run.