Cycling Your Way Into the Year
a firm decision to do or not to do something.
synonyms: intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, aspiration, design, purpose, object, plan
As you read this article, we are already into the second month of 2019. So, how are those resolutions working out? Year after year, as the New Year approaches, we make the traditional resolutions with the main focus relating to health, fitness and breaking bad habits. And consistently, in a short time, our best intentions have fallen by the wayside.
Studies have shown it takes three months of consistently doing something new for it to become a habit. This is why fitness centers everywhere are filled with new faces in January and back to the usual clients by late February.
the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
synonyms: aim, objective, object, grail, holy grail, end, target, design, desire, desired result, intention, intent, plan, purpose, idea, point, object of the exercise
A better, more successful approach to self-improvement or acquiring a new skill is to set goals. By creating a plan – a road map of sorts – for achieving a desired outcome, you will certainly ensure a greater chance of success. Setting goals and developing a plan to achieve them should be no different when it comes to fitness as it is to anything else, be it a career, financial planning, or your everyday life.
Often, when someone asks me how many miles we ride on Nona Cycle’s Sunday Signature Ride (on average, 30 miles), the response is, “I could never do that!” – a completely self-defeating statement. When I first began cycling outdoors on a hybrid bike I purchased, the thought of riding more than a few miles seemed impossible to me. I recall riding 12 or so miles on an urban trail at a 10 mph pace and feeling as if it were the hardest thing I’d ever done – and I’ve been a consistent spin class and weight lifting devotee for years. I was content to ride the urban trails at this pace until several months later, when in a moment of what seemed to be at the time insanity, I committed to a 100-mile road ride in Tucson, Ariz. Suddenly, I had four months to acquire, learn to ride, and train on a road bike in order to achieve this goal. My desire to succeed combined with, admittedly, my ego ensured that I would not give up! Indeed, I completed that ride, lived to tell about it, and four years later, what seemed like an impossible accomplishment has become a lifestyle and source of great enjoyment.
In December 2017, I joined Nona Cycle, and, with the support of this outstanding group of riders, I’ve exceeded my own cycling expectations, made many new friends, and have come to love this sport. There are days when a ride is nothing more than a lot of hard work balanced by days when the ride is gloriously wonderful, but the sense of accomplishment is always the same. I continue to set goals to ride faster, go farther, tackle climbs and other challenges that ensure I remain committed to what I was determined to accomplish back when I first set off on my then new road bike: incorporate this into my fitness routine, become a good rider, meet like-minded people, and improve with each ride. It’s no exaggeration to say cycling has saved me. As someone who is on the downside of middle age yet considers herself fit and active, cycling is not only a skill that gives me a great sense of personal satisfaction but also alleviates stress and improves my mental attitude.
The width of the two tires connecting a cyclist in motion to the Earth is approximately two inches. It never ceases to amaze me when I’m in the pace line, zipping along at 20 or so miles an hour, inches from the rear tire of the rider ahead of me, that I’m actually doing this. Had someone told me just a couple of years ago that I’d be spending my Sunday mornings in this manner as opposed to enjoying coffee and a leisurely breakfast, my response would have been the same as what I hear from people I come across post-ride: “I could never do that.” Never say never, as they say. Never is a word rooted in fear. Fear of not accomplishing one’s goals, of giving up, of not even trying. It’s a new year and new opportunities await – how wonderful will it be to look back a year from now and realize you set a goal, accomplished something you did not think possible, and then set another even greater goal for 2020?
While goals are all important, motivation always factors into how successful we are at achieving what we set out to do. In all honesty, I’m not particularly motivated to ride a metric or entire century (63 and 100 miles, respectively) just for the sake of riding. My motivation is to ride these distances as a way to raise funds and support charitable causes. My first three century rides were in support of the Rotary Foundation’s goal to eradicate polio, an easy choice as I am employed by this organization. Nona Cycle has three main organizations we support as a team: American Diabetes Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and JHOP.
For all of you who are now motivated to set your cycling goals in motion, Nona Cycle is looking for riders to join us for the March 31 Tour de Cure, supporting the American Diabetes Association. Last year, our team broke records with 52 riders registered to our team and more than $42,000 raised in support of a cure for diabetes. There are distances for everyone from new riders to advanced cyclists. Find us on Facebook and come join us!
Do you like to cycle or want to learn how? Join the Nona Cycle group for weekly rides: nonahood.to/nonacycle.