Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some Hopeful Non-Resolutions

I don't know about you, but New Year's resolutions never seem to work for me - my resolve melting away with winter's first snowman. So doing away with the futile ardor of determination, I instead put forth some hopes for this brand-new year:

In 2011 I hope to...
. learn to mount and dismount a bicycle "properly",
. complete my first "century" (100 mile) ride,
. go on my first multi-day trip by bike,
. cycle in Ireland (where I am likely to be in March),
. finally stage some bicycle photoshoots in our studio,
. finish and give away (yes, give away!) my "roadbike for ladies",
. do a good job on my Bella Ciao project,
. have a chance to work on other interesting projects, and
. continue Lovely Bicycle on a close-to daily basis - rain or shine!

Of course, that's only the bicycle stuff, and there are many personal hopes as well. But somehow the bike stuff is easier to focus on - maybe because it is so specific, and at the same time, relatively detached from the stresses of "real life". It is funny that several readers have told me now, that they get the impression I am an organised person from reading the blog. In reality, my world is almost comically disorganised and chaotic. So perhaps Lovely Bicycle is my "wishful thinking" manifestation of how I'd like things to be. Is it time to get my life in order and really focus, as I am able to focus here? Maybe. Or at least something worth considering. What about you and your hopes - or, dare I say, resolutions - for 2011?

22 comments:

  1. I found setting a mileage goal for 2010 was a great motivator. I wanted to average 10 miles a day, so rounded up up to 4000 miles as an overall goal for the year. Having that as a target was a gentle nudge as the months rolled by, stimulating me to try new commuting routes, explore new roads, figure out way to squeeze longer rides into weeks and weekends, and weatherize my bikes against bad weather. Great positive feedback loop eventually set in, with more riding leading to better fitness, and better fitness making it possible to plan more interesting rides and destinations. My last ride of 2010 brought me to 4020 miles on December 31, a New Year's goal that became a true pleasure instead of a chore!

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  2. I hope I get the road bike! Don't get me wrong, I love my Giant city bike. I love my mixte that is in pieces since I can't get parts for her, but I hope to have a road bike and join the local cycling club at some point.

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  3. I don't make New Years resolutions. If it's something important enough that I need to change it, then why wait for a holiday to start it? Anyway, my HOPES for the new year are to leave the morning job which is boring and zaps my brain of all creativity in favor of some craftier self employment. Or working for my husband, which is more likely. I would also like to try and keep the house cleaner. That's really about it!

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  4. Sounds very ambitious!

    I more or less met my "resolutions" for 2010, but I try to keep them modest, so they're more attainable. This year:

    - less wrenching (not because I don't enjoy it, but I have less free time this year, and I don't want to ride less because of it)
    - Do more trail/dirt road riding
    - Complete the D2R2 this summer
    - Do more family riding, put a lot of miles on the tandem

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  5. That snowman is so cute! Makes me think of Linus' brother, Rerun.

    My tendency for New Years resolution is to avoid specifics and just keep them as foci for various interests. Like, 2003 was the year that I would pay attention to classical music. 2010 was the year that I would study Spanish. Make it things that I genuinely want to do, rather than a chore. Setting goals just gives me incentive to slack off once the goal is completed.

    2011 is the year that I would teach myself to bake bread; and learn to stop fearing dough.

    Though, now that I think about it, I used to also set specific cycling events as goals. 2005 was my first unsupported multi-day tour. 2007 was PBP. 2008 was my first D2R2. 2009 was a 1000k and attaining the R-5000. For 2011, some friends are talking about doing RAGBRAI, but we've been talking about doing that ride for, like, forever. We'll see ...

    Have fun in Ireland! If you'd like, I have a copy of the Lonely Planet Cycling guide for Great Britain that's available for loan.

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  6. 2011 resolve: renounce attachment.

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  7. Interesting that you say "the bike stuff is easier to focus on". I totally agree. 2010 was a good year for me on the bike. I rode a little over 3k miles, my goal was 2.5k. I feel that I'm starting to get back to where I need to be fitness-wise. my longest ride was 68 miles. Business was terrible for 2010, so the bike helped take away some of the pain.

    For 2011 I haven't made any goals yet. I would like to set a goal of 5k miles. I believe that is doable but will require longer rides. My plan is to ride several 200k rides that I have mapped out.

    Happy New Year to you.

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  8. V. I don't think there is a "right" way to mount or dismount a bike unless you are a racer. Whatever works. Your list of resolutions challenges me.

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  9. I hope to make over my new old bike and start riding again. It's been so long and I'm so out of shape. I've even had a fantasy of finding a job close enough to home that I can bicycle to work, instead of the 150 mile commute I'm making now.

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  10. My hope for the New Year is simple. I wish to live another year in the company of my wonderful wife. To ride as often as I can. To enjoy life as best I'm able. To be as kind to others as possible. To sleep well at night.

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  11. my resolution for me, i hope to GET my wife on a bicycle..she had a horrible crash when she was younger, then somehow we were talking about bikes one day and i stupidly told her about my biking accident which landed me in the hospital where i woke up in a cat scan machine....needless to say that made biking worse for her. i have a bike and we even have the little trailer for our girls to ride in as i go....but as for my wife? she watches, and i know she wants to ride but is afraid of crashing again.....

    anyway this year my goal is to get her on a bike at least starting out just on our street then hopefully more.............

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  12. Bryan - after getting knocked off my bike by a bus I completely lost my confidence. As I had previously loved cycling I was determined that I wouldn't be forced to give up something I loved. My answer was to sign up for cycle training with a qualified cycle trainer. Working with them was brilliant because I could be completely honest about my feelings (something I wanted to spare my nearest and dearest) and they were able to use all their teaching experience to build up my confidence. I am not the carefree cyclist that I used to be but I am back on my bike and confident that I am riding in a way that maximises my safety.

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  13. You're kidding right? Disorganized and chaotic? You should do a post about that. Thanks Veloria, for a great year of writing about our particular diversion, the joy of bicycling.

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  14. cris - Will you be doing the PBP this summer? I wish I were a strong enough cyclist to attempt it!

    I don't feel that my century and multi-day trips are challenging, because I almost did them last summer - just got unlucky by getting sick at the end of the season when it was time for the grand finale. This year I will start earlier and build up to it sooner, and hopefully it will work out!

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  15. I do hope that we will see a few more posts on the co-habitant during 2011. I expect his repertoire of "look" extends well beyond John Reed and the Great Gatsby. Happy New Year to you both!

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  16. The Co-Habitant started a new job last month, and his work schedule is now completely different from mine, so our daylight time together is fairly limited. But rest assured, he is looking good : )) Happy New Year to you as well.

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  17. V -- I am glad to have done PBP and I heartily recommend that other avid cyclists ride the Paris-Brest at least once in their lives. Doing it a second time ... well it depends on the person. A part of me wants to go back. Another part wants to spend vacation doing something new.

    My tentative plans at the moment are to do a full series again this year and perhaps send in an application just for the hell of it. I did not do any long brevets in 2010, so I'll be low on the priority list (if one did a 400k or 600 last year they get priority). If I don't get in, then that's fine. If my application gets accepted, well ... that's the hard part.

    Good luck with the distance goals! Also, as I may have mentioned in past randonneuring discussions -- 'strength' is a relative thing in distance cycling. I think that if you have not yet done a century, there's still some learning that you have to do, but once you've gotten over that 'hump', the jump in physical conditioning required for brevets isn't very steep. Once you get into 300k+ territory, it's more of a mental endurance game than anything else.

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  18. Well, my first goal is to lose weight. Next is to finish the books I've been writing forever, and to find potential publishers for them or, at least, a representative for me.

    As for cycling: I've ridden as many as 15,000 miles in a year. I'm not likely to do that, and neither finances nor my conditioning (not to mention the fact that I haven't done the qualifying rides) will permit me to do PBP.

    Maybe my goal for this year to ride whenever I can, even if it's only for half an hour. I long had the mentality that rides of less than three hours or thirty miles (a metric half-century) was not worth doing. Perhaps it's no surprise that I used to turn my nose up at the idea of taking a leisurely ride around the park or with a girlfriend or anyone else who wasn't a "hard core" cyclist.

    So, perhaps, getting myself out to ride any time it's feasible is as much about leaving my youthful arrogance behind me as it is about cycling.

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  19. I don't have any "real" resolutions this year, other than bike tour more. Like maybe for several months. Maybe across the country.

    Oh yeah, be better about posting to my blog!

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  20. Cycling related: Before the sun sets on the last day of 2011 I WILL have learned to build a wheel!

    Other: Do a 300 km. soaring flight so I can finally get my F.A.I. Gold Badge.

    Yet another: Avoid descending into insanity studying computer science (surely the most difficult of these resolutions).

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  21. resolved: turn in MSS to publisher by end of March so that I can start building up mixte with my husband. I'm not allowing myself to start until my book is turned in. Also my husband will not work on it with me until my editor has my book :)

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  22. Cris said: "I think that if you have not yet done a century, there's still some learning that you have to do, but once you've gotten over that 'hump', the jump in physical conditioning required for brevets isn't very steep. Once you get into 300k+ territory, it's more of a mental endurance game than anything else."

    I too am aiming at longer and longer distances, with the goal of doing the London-Edinburgh-London audax in 2013. Riders I know with lots of experience say much the same as Cris: beyond 300km, it's about experience, not fitness. For example, knowing what foods work for you and when to eat them, how often you need water and/or electrolytes, how far you can cycle before you really do need some sleep, getting accustomed to night riding, sorting out all the clothing issues....!

    Like you, I have all this experience yet to gain. Looking forward to it! In the meantime, still working on the fitness - did my first century last July but it felt like a fluke!

    Looking forward to reading your musings on your experiences too.

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