Goals - Pinkbike Poll

Dec 4, 2015
by Paul Aston  
As the offseason is getting well and truly underway, it's time to start thinking about goals for next year and beyond. Never being organised, or committed enough to properly map them out and stick to them, they tend to be vague ideas that float around in the nether regions of my mind – choosing to disappear for months on end and are still unformed around about the time a potential accomplishment would be useful.

As a rule, my goals start with “riding more”, “self-improvement” and “learning”. This is often followed by a cascading torrent of improbable volume. Something like this:

Paul s amazing goal map.
Steps 1, 2 and 3 of my thought process. When I'm working on Step 6 in my mind, I normally head to the pub to drink beer, eat junk food watch the footie on the TV and discuss the finer points of the day's tabloid headliner.

The psychologists out there would tell me I need to “focus” on certain things I want to achieve, put a “structure” in place, “break them down into smaller, easy to handle chunks" to try and help “work my way towards them” etc. But how do I have time to do that when there are so many siren temptations?

Which brings me to the point. If there is one bike-related goal you want to achieve in 2016, what would it be?




172 Comments

  • 282 2
 I want too comment on pinkbike more betterer. I shall practice extensionly.
  • 17 10
 Only the punniest comments get upvoted
  • 22 0
 Looks like your work is already paying off
  • 6 0
 Except this time there's no raceface gear on the line, damnit!
  • 9 0
 ha ha for a minute there i thought i was reading the instructions on my Chinese light!
  • 104 2
 Not spend a dollar on a bike related item I don't NEED, replace wasted online-shopping-time with riding. Or homework lol.
  • 107 3
 but shiny bike parts make me hard
  • 2 0
 That should be on the list.
  • 11 0
 @mayo-22 HA, I too like to give myself goals I will never achieve Razz
  • 1 0
 Nonsense, you need it all!
  • 81 1
 If there was one bike skill that I don't possess that I wish I had it would be to be able to effortlessly manual without end.
  • 25 0
 after countless times scrubbing my nuts on my rear tire I have come to the conclusion I can't hold a manual.
  • 7 1
 that was one of my goals i made at the very beginning of the year, it was hard and required a lot of falling, I think I figured it out though, best of luck man!
  • 5 0
 The way I learned it is to practice all the way when cycling towards your destination. For example when riding towards your trails or when theres a boring flat part. Now i can manual as long as I want without even touching my brake lever. Once you find your balance point and start to get the feeling of keeping it there, it suddenly becomes very easy.
  • 4 0
 best way is to set a distance goal. parking lot lines are great. @Mattin is right too. once you can manual for more than like 30 feet, you can manual for miles.
  • 1 0
 I just learned how to manual this year, and my method was buying a cheap dj bike that looks like shit to ride to work/class/etc... and just practice on the ride to and from everyday. I'd say within a year Ive dialed manuals, so I hope that can help you out!
  • 54 1
 Ride more. Everything else will come from that. You'll get better, you'll probably end up doing a few new disciplines, you'll probably catch the bug to race, you'll break more stuff, and learn to fix it, you'll bring friends along... before ya know it, you'll have every box ticked!
  • 5 2
 Set a real measurable goal. Something like riding 100 times next year, climbing 100,000 feet or riding 1,000 trail miles is much more likely to lead to improvement as you can compare numbers year over year (and therefore validate that you actually rode more). Sorry to be all preachy but I'm in HR and we are about to go into review season.
  • 3 0
 I tried to get the 100 MTB rides in this year, currently at 69 (lol). Definitely way above 100 if you count road rides, but I'm still pretty stoked on how my year went.
  • 5 0
 That's only 1.92307692 times a week.
  • 1 0
 Riding more solves it all! Life is so easy as a biker haha
  • 44 2
 Learn to be a less considerate lover
  • 7 0
 exactly. and therefore you'll have more time to ride
  • 3 0
 Guilt can quickly ruin a good ride day
  • 2 0
 or make u ride faster. channel emotions into speed
  • 32 1
 Deadlift 500 pounds and win every race I enter. Simple enough.
  • 72 0
 Nice try Gee
  • 7 1
 Well played @deepo1
  • 1 0
 ++
  • 21 0
 Get a girlfriend that bikes.
  • 3 0
 oh yeah, can't recommend that enough! Alternative: Get your girlfriend to biking. Did and done.
  • 25 0
 For me it's more like: get a girlfriend.
  • 10 2
 The goal usually starts of with: Get a spouse that bikes. Which becomes: Get a spouse. Which ends up as: Get the spouse to allow you to go a bike ride between going to work, cleaning the house, changing diapers, cooking food, taking care of the garden, doing laundry, renovating the living room, having couple dinner with people you don't like and quality time with your significant other. I.e. Just sell your bike.
  • 7 1
 Love my wife but if she started to ride that would be the worst thing ever
  • 8 5
 Worst idea ever, leave her at home doing the house work, go riding with the boys instead.....
  • 1 1
 Well said @wavetrance. ++++++++
  • 5 1
 Are you sure you'd really want your girlfriend to be there everytime you go riding with the guys?
  • 9 1
 @wavetrance Yeah, that will work...until she realizes its actually 2015 and not 1856.
  • 1 0
 @DirtyHal Don't listen to them. They have lame wives. You can find a girl who knows how to hang out with the guys and wants to bike with you. I did.
  • 17 0
 Be better to other trail users. I've been trying lately and having good success so I want to continue. So many of our local trails have become multi use, or always were, so I have stopping and talking to walkers, joggers, etc. Have met nice people we have helped each other understand the other's motivations for using the trail and generally more respect for the other user group has developed. Plus, sometimes it's cute girls in lulu's, which never sucks.
  • 4 2
 Lulu's?
  • 20 0
 Yoga pants. My bad. Kind of similar to the kleenex vs. Tissue argument. Lulu lemon was the reference, bum cupping was the visual.
  • 2 0
 First yoga pants I saw today I thought lulu!
  • 2 0
 This is huge! I work as a coach and I tell my Kidos that when they pass someone on trail they have to be going slow enough to ask someone how their day is and listen to the response. It makes peoples days!
  • 2 0
 It does! I understand why people would be shocked and kind of spooked if bikes were always just flying by. That said, when I stop and talk to people they are genuinely intrigued by riding bikes in ways they don't understand, and get excited about it. Niceness wins!
  • 3 0
 Around here the multi trail walkers, joggers move to the side of the trail, the bikes slow down, keep moving, say THANK YOU and blast away. Works like champ. We are there for similar reasons, but they don't expect more than a thank you, sometimes, 'have a great day'.
  • 17 0
 build more trails
  • 11 0
 Ride new trails , get out of the normal riding and do some traveling to ride more often
  • 2 0
 Yep. Travel should definitely be on that list!
  • 12 1
 1. Crush my enemies. 2. See them driven before me. 3. Hear the lamentations of their women. 4. Learn how to manual.
  • 9 1
 Introducing others to bikes is the main goal of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). I am a coach, so that is definitely my goal... GET MORE KIDS ON BIKES!!!
  • 3 0
 I just finished my last year racing NICA, and I can't agree with your goal more.
  • 2 0
 A new dirt jump park just opened in my home town, and I really want to start teaching classes at it. I have been talking with the people from the city parks and rec about it. Would some sort certification, be it NICA or IMBA, help me with that?
  • 2 0
 @Tannerstolt ...NICA has strict guidelines on when instruction can take place (in season only) and what type of stuff they want their coaches teaching (no jumps). These rules have to be in place for liability reasons because the league provides insurance for all of its coaches and registered riders. Because of this, I would look into getting some other type of coaching certification. BUT, pump tracks are an awesome place for everyone to learn!
  • 7 0
 I'm surprised people didn't pick start another discipline. If you have the money, it's a fantastic way to improve skills and breathe life into your biking life. I recently started trials and its improved my trail riding so much
  • 7 0
 jeez, manualing has been on my 'to learn' list for a while now... have been able to mono anywhere since I was kid, but it does become harder to find time/energy to focus on learning new stuff. My first MTB was a jump bike 12 years ago and it took me a good 18 months of consistent practice to be able to hop on the back wheel for like 30 or 40 hops with a bit of directional control. So I know I can learn. Must just practice!
  • 1 0
 What's the difference between mono and manual ? Which is it when your rolling on the rear tire with hands on the grips and feet on the pedals ?
  • 1 0
 a manual is when you are just rolling and on the balance point of the back wheel, generally down hill. A mono is pedaling on the back wheel and coming up to and just before the balance point, generally up hill.
  • 1 0
 Thanks. So how much different is a standing cat walk compared to a mono ? Or are they the same and I'm just a little out of the loop on such lingo ?
  • 11 1
 HAVE FUN!!
  • 3 0
 This is really what it's all about. You have fun and getting better/faster/more fit all comes naturally after that.
  • 9 0
 Other: Heal and stay (relatively) injury free.
  • 5 0
 Skills. I'm not surprised this is leading the charge. Of course riding more helps, but than can just reinforce wrong technique. I'm very interested in specific drills and workouts focused on how to corner faster, etc. And from a variety of real professionals (not necessarily riders) who know what they are talking about and why the tips work.
  • 5 0
 I clicked ¨other¨ but it falls in line with learning to coach others.

My second and last year doing high school racing with NICA in MN ended just about 2 months ago, but I'm planning on hanging out with everyone still on the team next summer to ride with them at practices and such because they're all my mates in some way so it's fun, and so I can have practice for the state series at the same time which I plan on doing in full.

But, more importantly, I want to be able to encourage everyone during the races and give people pointers on stuff where they might need it, whether it be riding skills or just other random questions. It'll be easier to do since I won't be racing myself.

In the end, through all those coaching-kinda things, I wanna keep things fun and to have everyone stay stoked that they're riding and have people to ride with. Smile
  • 5 0
 Exactly how I feel. Unfortunately, NICA in GA is so focused on growth that the racing this year was generally boring, race courses became terrible, and a lot of people were injured. Also, NICA says they put a premium on camaraderie, but I've never even ridden with or spoken to most of my competitors. Those I have spoken to have become fast friends, but the relationships are somewhat thin due to our simple lack of time together. What I have noticed though is everyone is talking strategy, course conditions, ideas, etc, with anyone who is interested. We have taken it into our own hands to form friendships and the racing mindset is less important to many of us now. As a consequence of the bad timing and scheduling, I will most likely not race NICA next year but I have already joined the course setup and design crew, as well as given thorough feedback to help the league next year.

This next year, I would like to give back as much as possible to the biking communities any way I can. I try to be a good trail steward, talking to anyone who wants to, giving them advice and support out on the trails, as well as introducing new riders the right way (not destroying trails) and helping them progress on any aspect of riding they would like. I've also joined our local chapter and build team and almost always make it out to help build, repair, and refurbish our trails. It's absolutely incredible how much work fifteen guys can do in five or six hours with the help of only one excavator or mini excavator.

Through my involvement with the mountain bike community, I have found my passion as well as made great friends and these two things grow in importance to me everyday. For this I am very thankful and I have set myself a goal of doing whatever I can to facilitate the growth and improvement of the bicycling communities this coming year and many to follow.

P.S, becoming an absolute ripper certainly is not a bad side effect of my involvement Smile
  • 2 0
 Props for you, sir!
  • 3 0
 NICA is all XC where we live, not what most teenage boys want to do! ! !
  • 1 0
 @Artikay13 No need to thank me, I just ask that everyone tries to help out and communicate this necessity to others Smile

@MX298 That's a shame dude :/ The courses we have are amazing when set up correctly. Try talking to the directors of your state's NICA league and ask them not to forget that the courses need to challenge the fitness and skill of the faster riders, but keep in mind that we need to ensure that NICA stays fun and attracts new riders. Best of luck!
  • 6 1
 My goal is to regain my confidence after twos years of not riding. I came close to selecting "improve your riding skills" but I know I have the skills (been there done that kinda deal) its just jumps I would have/used to do now intimidate me. All the riders I have recently met on the trails think I'm no good but if only they met me before, I'd have their mouths shut. A few need to realize just flat out hucking and holding on for the ride stiff as a board isn't "skill" anymore. This ain't 2001. Also the fact two of my old friends have injured their backs to the point of never riding again holds me back too. I'd rather ride my whole life than go big once and screw up. I guess, in other words, I let others get to me and I need to ride for me and only me, no one else.
  • 4 1
 Maybe don't concentrate too much on what you want to be able to do on the bike and more of just getting out there having fun and feeling safe. Most of us are not pro's anyways and mtb is a great hobby to keep us active. Dont let negative feelings get in the way of that.

Everyone has met that one person who thinks s/he is an absolute ripper and like to put down on others. Just laugh it off. There are thousands of riders who are better but dont have that shitty attitude so there is no reason for that person to put down on others...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn75V6HNS6o
  • 7 3
 Ride more is a generic weak answer. Of course you want to ride more. Who that rides doesn't want to ride more. That's like asking a drunk what his goals for next year are... excuse me drunk... what are your goals... well... I think I'd like to drink more... WTF. As for me since I put other... work on my cardio.
  • 2 0
 Really depends on your personal situation if it is a good or bad question. Thereby I think it is a good question.
  • 3 0
 I guess it's a bit vague. I chose "ride more" because my main focus will be on riding whenever I have the chance without any specific goals such as improving skills etc. I just wanna make sure I get to ride often and I don't avoid riding when it's rainy or cold. I spent some time trying to improve my skills so at this point it's just about riding a lot and enjoying it.
  • 4 0
 I am a 14 year old girl and next year my goal is to continue being State Champion for Downhill and Enduro whilst competing in BMX. I am going to eat better and ride harder and faster. I will also be getting fit and strong as i want to win U17 National Championships either next year or year after Smile I hope i can do it
  • 6 0
 Same as it is every year, more hookers and blow. May also try to develop a new "standard".
  • 3 0
 I shall improve my Joey standing - buy new gear that will still be in mint condition 5 years from now, show up at the trailhead and take 45 minutes just to sit in my vehicle and listen to music before walking a few bits and then driving back home and posting on Pinkbike how much a great ride I just had, and of course, post pictures of bunnies and kitties because we all love bunnies and kitties! LOL - just kidding - I want my tires to get more dirty.
  • 3 0
 My goal is to ride better and be more all round rider.I wonder what would Brandon Semenuk answer...I couldnt figure out anything.

Ride more-he cant ride more
Enter a competition -which one? Only DH world cup left
Improve your riding skills-haha
Buy a new bike-no need to buy
Learn to coach others-he teaches the coaches so..?
Introduce others to bikes-he´s an inspiration for every second person who knows what bicycle is.
Ride another discipline-maybe he should bring some style to XC ..eh...or rather not.
  • 3 0
 If he doesn't improve his skills, he'll starts losing contests to people who do. That part never changes. There's always something new to learn. At that level it's not just learn something new, it's think of something new, then learn it.
  • 6 0
 Try and use my bike to its full potential :-)
  • 5 1
 I'm on the other end of the spectrum: try not to break my bike! I feel like I'm always pushing the limits of my bike, leading me to spend money repairing it. So my goal is to ride better and not case road gaps and break my bike.
  • 2 0
 If you ask me I think my bike and my knees have seen their 'full potential' a few too many times
  • 3 1
 Just checked calendar and I've ridden 76 days during 2015. That will be 78 by Monday. Not bad for someone who works Monday to Friday, splits his spare time between the mountain and the sea and has to travel every other weekend to see his gf. I got introduced to night riding this summer and that helped to save the weekdays. My goal is to finally get a capable AM HT instead of beating up my trusty old XC one trying to keep up with guys on 160mm rigs.
  • 2 0
 Definitely refresh my riding skills. They've been getting rusty and leading to bad habits over the last year leading to me refusing to ride stuff I'd normally wouldn't even think about and just ride. Doesn't help that I've been ill for the last 6 months but that's no excuse as I've still been able to ride.
  • 4 0
 My goals for 2016 is to race a full season of Oregon Enduro with no injuries.
  • 2 0
 good luck!
  • 3 0
 My goal for 2016 is to have as much fun as possible and get back to the Alps. Went for the first time this year and it was amazing.
  • 5 0
 I just want to be faster than my wife and impress my kids ????.
  • 3 0
 My goal is to make it to Collegiate Nationals for DH. I'll be riding a shit ton this summer to try and make it to that level.
  • 2 0
 My primary goal is to improve my fitness, but Collegiate Nationals DH is right up there. I went for XC this year and it was a blast. I'm thinking maybe I could do decently in omnium.
  • 3 1
 actually finish a clean race run. all of 2015 I did not have a clean run. oh, and figure out how to fit going to school, going to work, doing homework, doing my girlfriend, and ride all in my schedule.
  • 1 0
 Build a trail system that makes you ride more improving your riding skills. This means your bike needs more maintenance forcing you to improve your workshop skills. You totally ruined your bike trying to fix it. Now buy a new bike. Take a friend with you to the shop introducing them into biking. Now coach them improving knowledge of cycling. You both know now know the only cycling discipline where you can do all this is mountain biking. Joy to all in 2016
  • 1 0
 Need more options for choosing 2016 bike - related goals. Anyhow , I'm recovering from most captain insano wipeout ever on labor day weekend . So my goals will be rebuild my wrist and focus on consistency for xc and dh .
  • 1 0
 I want to do 3 times the amount of climbing next year to be better prepare for some endurance races. Work on my overall speed and quickness in the single track on my hardtail 29er. Complain less about anything on my bike and take more of the blame myself. Work on my overall strength and stamina and burst speed. Learn to suffer more then I think is possible. Do a 200+ km fondo.
  • 2 0
 Two hip surgeries this year with the last one being on last Thursday. Almost 2 years of a downward spiral of struggling to ride. Going to grow my fitness and skills in 2016 instead of bone-spurs in my hips.
  • 4 0
 speak more betterer.... love it
  • 3 0
 Take pictures and document as many famous spots on Fromme as I can before they are all completely gone.
  • 1 0
 Are they disappearing?
  • 1 0
 The old ones are yea. I mean I'm talking about Circus, Jerry Rig, what's left of Air supply. Some of the old ladders on some of the higher up trails. Some really neat constructions that are now unsafe and being taken out or decaying into ruin themselves. That sort of stuff. Also things like the Ravine Gap, the Digger Rock.
  • 2 0
 I dont want to ride more, I want my rides to be more exciting and more adventures. As always I would like to travel more with my bike.
  • 3 0
 I'm grateful for any spare moment - if I catch one, you can bet your azz i'm riding my bike on dirt.
  • 1 0
 I already ride 5/6 days a week, skills slowly improving. So I think it's time to replace my 10 year old 32 lbs 3 ring 26 inch hardtail for a new lighter, slack, single ring hardtail.
  • 4 0
 grow bigger balls n send it
  • 2 0
 Other:
Finishing to build the new jump track i start this fall and ride it more to improve it to riding more to build a new gap to riding more to... Till die!
  • 2 0
 I want to make mountain biking grow in my country, build more trails, and bring people over to enjoy the sweet riding that is Ecuador!
  • 1 1
 Step one, avoid carbon, Step two ride a metal bike with metal components .Step 3 wind up carbon fanboys on pinkbike as they always bite! Step four dont even bother to look at their replies hence there is 37 pending replies on my dash!!
  • 3 0
 Dwayne Johnson. That's it.
  • 3 0
 How do i select all of them..
  • 1 0
 Exactly what I was thinking
  • 3 0
 Go more places with my bike
  • 3 0
 Build more trails and get more people in my town into mtn riding
  • 1 0
 Beautiful, just beautiful!
  • 1 0
 Can't believe had to scroll down this far to find "Build more Trails"
  • 3 0
 Just to go another year man.........
  • 2 0
 I ride a lot, and feel like it goes hand in hand with improving skills - what I really need is a new bike!
  • 3 0
 I just want to man up and hit the jumps that I'm scared of.
  • 3 0
 Go on a bike packing trip
  • 2 0
 My goal this past year was to ride in as many different places as possible and it was awesome! This year the same thing.
  • 1 0
 Riding a lot - check
Skills - chck
Competition - check
New bike - check
Only thing for 2016 is to get myself to ride a loot less due to a big crash Frown
  • 2 0
 No comments in the Negative yet?????? Lame! getting too peaceful around here!
  • 1 0
 Ride less, train more. Eat better and focus. Sounds odd but sometimes a slight step back is a good thing. Come spring I want to be much faster. I aim to achieve that.
  • 3 0
 road bike more
  • 3 0
 manuals
  • 2 0
 Contact Ryan Leech, his recent lessons work for me rather well and I thought I was an anti talent.
  • 3 0
 Anti-talent is a great term! Describes me to a tee!
  • 3 0
 I'm gonna win Rampage.
  • 3 0
 Avoid injury!
  • 1 0
 help solidify our local trails into a trail network with loop connectors all on singletrack.
  • 2 0
 I'll be building like always
  • 3 1
 Less enduro and 27.5, please.
  • 1 0
 My goal is to ride alot more then i did this year, that's not going to be too hard since i ditched my gf lately..
  • 1 0
 I want to improve my skills on the bike. I will achieve this by... spending more time on the bike :0
  • 3 0
 Be more enduro
  • 1 0
 My 2016 goal is to buy a Ducati and a mountain bike, AND the mountain bike should be the cheaper one
  • 1 0
 Ride my bike more than I read about others biking..use the gear I have more than I research the gear I want.
  • 2 0
 Finish a whole six pack before the ride is over.
  • 1 0
 Train for next years Marji Gesick 100. Might be the coolest or dumbest thing I've ever signed up for but for a good cause.
  • 2 0
 no "get faster"?
  • 2 0
 That automatically comes with 'ride everywhere'
  • 1 0
 i would like to ride not just more but faster as well
  • 1 0
 other:live with the smile everyday!
  • 17 15
 Read the Bible
  • 10 8
 Amen Brother!
  • 16 10
 It's good man, a really good story, great drama, and action. It even has some good lessons to teach. Sadly it also suggests some awful things. Oh, and like many other incredible books that tell an epic tale...it's a great piece of fiction.
  • 1 0
 I wish to come back on my bikes.
  • 2 0
 It's good to repay a favour.
  • 2 1
 A new sponsor would be a nice way to start the year
  • 1 0
 Move out west where the mountains are. Which boils down to "Ride more"
  • 1 0
 Ride outside North America
  • 1 0
 Megavalanche at some point. SGC at the end of July though!!
  • 2 0
 build more trails!!!
  • 1 0
 Off season. ... off to Spain to ride Sunday more like it.
  • 2 1
 Do a Bellingham Triple Crown. Galbraith, Blanchard and Larrabee.
  • 1 0
 Take my bike abroad and stay there for a couple of months
  • 1 0
 Cut enough trail to link at least 10 KM ride.
  • 1 0
 Well since I've ordered a Capra, I guess "New Bike".
  • 1 0
 Ride more with my wife and kids.
  • 1 0
 Spend Less Time, Tolling On PB
  • 1 0
 don't get injured so much
  • 1 0
 Finish a certain race before the 9 hour cutoff...
  • 1 0
 Sell My 2015 Intense Tracer.....Any takers?
  • 2 1
 paul aston has NO kid !
  • 1 0
 Win some races.
  • 1 1
 Other > Stop commenting on clickbait pinkbike articles
  • 1 0
 Jumping!
  • 1 0
 learn to walk
  • 1 0
 Win more races
  • 1 0
 Race 6 rounds
  • 1 0
 FBGM
  • 1 0
 Dig more
  • 1 0
 Shoot more video
  • 1 0
 Boost, obviously.
  • 1 0
 Whips.

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