It's always good to have a great big lofty goal to aim for, even if your resolution ends up being abandoned by mid-January. If you could accomplish anything in 2020, what would it be? We put that question to each member of Pinkbike's editorial crew:
Daniel SappCommit to Off the Bike Strength Training
It's easy for me to get out and go on a ride day in and day out. While riding consistently no doubt adds a lot to fitness, it's clear that work done off the bike helps a lot too. Last month, I challenged a number of friends to join me in 100 pushups a day, in whatever sequence works for them, for the entire month of December... I needed some accountability.
Everyone in the challenge has been amazed with how much this simple thing, that takes no more than ten minutes, has improved not only our riding but posture and overall strength. Going into the new year, I want to keep this up by adding more workouts to it and focusing on getting even stronger which makes riding bikes, way more fun.
I used to ride like a sack of shit, in between crashes. I was the guy at the back of our group wishing I could keep up with Beech and Dave at the front. Since moving to Switzerland in 2011 my riding got pushed from all aspects. The terrain demanded it, friends were lightning fast and rarely asked questions before taking risks and I felt as an engineer you need to ride, and ride well to validate the work you’re doing.
Improvement ensued, and although it will never stop, I am a much better rider for making that move over to the land of cheese and chocolate.
But doubt can cloud confidence. And a few times I’ve had to have some words with myself for not doing something, or not riding as well as I somehow know I can. While it shouldn’t be something that perpetually plays on your mind, it’s something that I want to work on for 2020. Believing in myself and allowing myself to get better, to get faster and extract even more fun out of this sport. Not the most tangible of New Year’s resolutions, but the mental aspect of this sport is huge, and unclouding that self-doubt is a key to unlocking a big door for my own improvement. That and steezy dangling one hand and one footers.
Mike KazimerDo More Stretching
I don't like New Year's resolutions. Maybe it's because so many of them seem destined to fail (a fact that's backed up by statistics), or maybe it's that I just don't want another task added to my seemingly endless to-do list. Either way, I'm not really a fan.
Still, there is something I could try to do more of in 2020: stretching. My body works well as long as I'm on a bike, but once I stop turning those pedals I'm about as flexible as a 2x4. I've tried to add a stretching routine into my repertoire before without much success; maybe 2020 will be the year that it sticks, although I might have to actually go to a yoga class for that to happen. We'll see.
RCClimb the Waterfall at South Mountain
There's a boulder problem on the National Trail above Phoenix, Arizona that is a bit of a commitment to descend, but the real trick is riding it the other way. I've ridden South Mountain many times and while I've been very close, I've never mastered the waterfall. This Spring, I'm going to visit my friends at Pivot Cycles, (the factory is a short ride from the trailhead) and armed with better legs and a positive, winning attitude, session that 25 yards of disappointment until I can no-dab it to the top. Wish me luck.
Ed SprattLearn Some New Skills
I definitely feel like my riding has stagnated in the past year due to a combination of not riding enough and not pushing myself when I do get out. For 2020, I want to try and improve my riding whether it is getting a little fitter or trying that trail I have always looked at but never thought I had the skills to ride. The top of my list is improving my technique on jump trails so some coaching wouldn't go amiss.
James SmurthwaiteRide a Century
I'm writing this on the winter solstice and feeling the winter weight starting to pile on so I'm setting myself up for a challenge in 2020. 100 miles on the road is a pretty lofty goal even for committed road cyclists, but I want to be able to say I can do it off road by the end of next year, in fact, I want to be able to say it halfway through next year. Resolutions work best when you have a goal in mind so I'm already preparing for the summer solstice, Sunday 21 June, when I will ride a 100 mile off-road route. Targeting the longest day of the year should give me plenty of time to slog through the miles (and factor in some coffee stops along the way too) plus there's even the slim chance it might be sunny in England then!
Sarah MooreTake a Wilderness First Aid Course
I have done first aid courses in the past, but without practicing those skills every day as a First Responder, the details get hazy about what you're supposed to do in various scenarios. I mean, I'm very happy I haven't had to respond to more accidents than I have, but like anything, it's hard to keep your skills sharp when you don't use them. This year, I'd like to commit to taking a Wilderness First Aid course to improve my knowledge and make sure that I'm in an ideal position to respond in an emergency. Hopefully, these are skills and knowledge I don't ever need to use, but it doesn't mean I shouldn't have them in the first place.
Mike LevyDo More Stupid Rides
Next year marks something like two and a half decades of me pedaling bicycles around in the forest while either laughing, crying, hyperventilating, or doing an embarrassing combination of all three. Actually, when I think about it, some of my fondest memories have come from exactly those kind of days, the ones that saw me rolling out of the bush looking like an extra from The Walking Dead, completely empty, and close to biting someone if I can't get to the nearest 7-Eleven soon enough.
Yeah, I need to do way more of those next year. I don't know why, but my favorite rides have always begun with a faint voice in the back of my head saying things like, ''Dude, you probably can't climb this mountain five times in a single day.
'' Or maybe, ''It's not an all-day epic if the ride doesn't last literally all day.
'' So for 2020, I'm gonna listen to that voice more often.
I know, I know, heresy. Surely my only exercise should be bicycles, right? But running is wonderful in how simple it is, just you, the ground and the rhythm of your strides. It feels even better in the pouring rain. The thing about running is that you can do it anywhere with nothing more than a pair of shoes. For a traveling photographer like myself, that means you only need to pack your trainers and you can keep working on your fitness, wherever in the world you are. My problem this year has been the pain of getting started again - it hurts like hell for a few days after, which means time off the bike, so I have been putting it off and putting it off... To the point where a quick 3km run this week meant a bloody taste in my throat and several days of hobbling around the house. So next year, it's time to commit to pounding the dirt more often.
Also, once the robots take over
, I don't need to be able to outrun them, just you
Brian ParkBe a fan
It's super easy for us in the media world to get caught up with the day-to-day. Being on the pulse of the MTB world is a responsibility we take seriously, but it can definitely get in the way of our fandom. Hell, I'm embarrassed to say I didn't watch every WCDH race before jumping into the results post to make sure everything went well. So for 2020, with a great team in place, my goal is to take the time to be a fan. To watch edits from a fan standpoint instead of a "should we post this? okay what should the headline be?" standpoint. To nerd out on race tech. To be a fan.
A few other things:
• Dial my tool kit. Instagram has me envious of nicely organized kits, so I'll dork out on that for a bit.
• Do a custom build for the first time in years. Spreadsheet and everything.
• Get my arm working, again. It's been 4 months since I broke my humerus
, and if all goes well I'll get the nod for MTB in January. Still some work to do though.
What is your resolution for 2020?