Find a Local Cycling Group1 of 18
Cycling is social by nature, and if you're new to an area (or new to the sport), finding a local cycling group is a great way to meet new people and improve on the bike. Most bike shops host Saturday and Sunday group rides—just make sure you choose the ride with the appropriate average speed and distance.
Learn Basic Bike Maintenance2 of 18
A good mechanic is worth their weight in gold, but not all minor fixes warrant a trip to your LBS. Are your brakes rubbing? Do you need more bar tape? Save money and learn how to fix small problems yourself.
Drop the Ego3 of 18
Just because your helmet matches your shoes, your socks sit just below your calf and your bike costs more than a compact sedan doesn't mean you should ride around with an inflated ego. Wave at the guy on the hybrid bike across the street, and smile and say hello if you overtake a slower cyclist on the bike path. Remember, we all share a common interest.
Ride Without Strava4 of 18
Strava is a great training tool and a fun way to virtually compete with friends, but sometimes we can get caught up in personal bests and KOMs rather than the joy of cycling. Plan one ride a month where you take out your old steel frame road bike—sans Strava—and enjoy disconnecting on the open road for a few hours.
Commute to Work5 of 18
While not appropriate for everyone, commuting to work is a great way to save money and stay in shape. Once you get in the habit of leaving the car at home, you'll feel healthier and the 20 minutes of activity will become your favorite part of the day.
Get Better at Climbing6 of 18
Unless you're rail thin, pedaling uphill is one of the toughest aspects of the sport. Unfortunately, there's no secret sauce to getting better in the mountains—you just have to spend more time doing it. Set a weekly elevation goal and slowly increase it as the year goes on.
Improve Your Bike Handling7 of 18
Improving your bike handling skills will pay dividends out on the road. Work on deliberately holding your line on descents, reaching for your bottle while pedaling and looking behind you without swerving. Not only will these skills keep you safe, you'll be more confident (and respected) when riding in a group.
Hit the Dirt8 of 18
If you're exclusively a road cyclist or commuter, borrow a friend's bike and head for the hills. Mountain biking is a great way to work on cadence and bike handling, and a change of scenery can help renew your passion for cycling. But really, it's just plain fun.
Set a Realistic Yearly Mileage Goal9 of 18
Unless you're a professional cyclist or have a lot of free time, setting a 10,000-mile cycling goal isn't realistic. It's important to set attainable goals, so figure out how many miles you are capable of riding each week to see what your yearly goal should be.
Introduce a Friend to Cycling10 of 18
Cycling is a tough (and dangerous) sport to get into without the proper guidance. Take a friend or family member who has expressed interest in cycling under your wing and show them the ropes. Don't overwhelm them right off the bat with too many miles or clipless pedals—let them progress at their own speed, and soon enough you'll have a new riding partner.
Lose Weight11 of 18
Cycling is a great way to stay fit and have fun. If you're looking to drop weight and get healthy, getting on your bike more often is a good place to start.
Improve Your Power12 of 18
In cycling, speed equals power. Instead of treating every ride like you're part of the Tour de France, focus your workouts around intervals and weight training, and incorporate plenty of easy rides to recover in between efforts.
Train Smart13 of 18
Do you have a specific race you want to finish or a time goal for a big event? Start training specifically for your goals and focus your training around that event. That means no more junk miles. Every ride should serve a purpose.
Try a Coach14 of 18
A coach can take your training to the next level. He or she can help you to develop a solid training plan, provide motivation when you need it and get you past injuries that occur during the year. If you've never used a cycling coach, the New Year is a perfect time to give one a try.
Don't Let Bad Weather Stop You15 of 18
Weather is an excuse a lot of cyclists use to skip training or to stop riding during the winter months. The truth is, riding in cold weather and the rain isn't as terrible as you think. If you wear the right clothes and make a few modifications to your bike, riding in foul weather can be just as fun as it is during the summer months.
Sign Up for a Century16 of 18
Nothing will help your motivation more than signing up for a century a few months in advance. Once you've committed to paying the registration fees, you'll be less likely to skip training rides, which will help you accomplish your goals on race day.
Clean Your Bike After Every Ride17 of 18
It's easy to get lazy once you pull into the driveway. Instead of letting the dirt and grime from the road destroy your bike, clean it right after every ride. It'll make your components last longer and keep your bike running smoothly.