How do you measure success on the bike?

What metrics matter most to you?

In last week’s Over to You column, we asked readers how much they ride. For some of us, miles are the measure of a successful year on the bike, but this isn't the case for everyone

The reasons we ride and the sense of affirmation we get from cycling can be as varied as the sport itself. And there are many possible ways to measure the success.

Some riders may rely on quantifiable measurements, such as mileage, hours, FTP, watts per kilo, or placings in races. While for others, success might be less about numbers and more about certain goals, such as learning to bunny-hop, track-stand, or clear a section of trail that they’ve fumbled through in the past.

I consider myself to be a relatively well-rounded cyclist. I think about success and progression differently, depending on what bike I’m riding.

For gravel and cyclocross racing, I measure success based on my finishes. 

When it comes to mountain biking, I think of success as a measure of technical improvement — cleaning technical climbs and becoming better at cornering, descending and other skills. 

I don’t race on the road, so I tend to track hours and miles as measurements of progress.

When I look back at a year of cycling as a whole, I consider it a success if I’ve made new friends and helped other riders to enjoy the sport.

So over to you. How do you measure success on the bike? Let us know in the comments below.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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