Setting goals - share yours!

Having some structure for my training has really helped my fitness.
And now as we step into 2019 I wanted to share my initial goals so that you can all help to keep me on track :grin:
In 2018 I managed over 4,000 miles so for 2019 I’m upping the goal to 6,000
Due to a couple of health issues the majority of my 4,000 miles were indoors so I want to change that in 2019 - I’ve found a nice cycling group in my local area and am going to push myself to get out and cycle much more… this will be the biggest challenge for me as someone who struggles with their mental health I find it much easier to lock myself away in my pain cave BUT I know there are so many benefits I will gain from cycling with a group so that’s what I will strive to do.
Goal no 3 is to stop being intimidated by hills! As my fitness has improved I’m slowly developing a technique for tackling those inclines - I know I’m not going to be a mountain goat but I will no longer be the person who will detour 10 miles to avoid the big climbs :rofl:
So that’s my initial set of goals - there will be some 100mile sportives scattered throughout the year to spice things up a little.
How about others? What do you aim to achieve this year?


You had a fantastic year, Michelle! These are excellent goals. Finding a good group can make a big difference on how you experience cycling outdoors. As for those mountains, look how far you’ve come already! 2019 will only get better!


This is fabulous @Michelle! It’s going to be a great year!

I am going to make an effort to get out and do more group rides too. There are a couple shops nearby that offer women-only rides, social and faster paced, that I always think would be fun to try. I find excuses to not go though because I don’t know anyone. I’m not going to let myself make any excuses this year.

I will be trying out randonneuring this year. I was going to last year but crit racing and all the other events I wanted to do got in the way. Even though I had fun doing crits, they really aren’t my thing. I like being able to look at the scenery when I ride. There will be a number of gravel rides and I am doing the Powderhorn 24 race again.

Plus, I am hoping there will be more fun rides with my husband. He is going to get an e-bike in the spring and the electric assist will go a long way to make up for MS-related difficulties he has when cycling. It’s the first time I have seen him truly excited about cycling in a long time. He is a destination motivated kind of guy so I expect we will be hitting up lots of vegan ice cream shops and bakeries. I’m going to have to find other acceptable destinations or my waistline is going to suffer :grin:


very cool to see these goals. I have 2 big goals this year:

  1. Develop a more efficient pedal stroke. This involves pulling more around the pedal stroke. I’m starting to develop this while standing. But it takes a lot of practice and focus to do it all the time. I’m pretty sure that with better pedaling efficiency I can get 15 watt for free.
  2. GET AERO and more flexible. Being so tall, I have a huge aerodynamic disadvantage. I’m sure that I can pick up 1 - 2 MPH for FREE if I just stayed more aero all the time. I’ve asked @Coach_Theia to give me a yoga routine that I can do daily.

Plus, I want to have fun, no crashes, and put lots of people in the hurt locker by dropping bombs that people don’t expect.


My goal is just to get healthy, fit and be able to enjoy riding again. 2018 was rough. I’ve struggled with a back injury plus crazy work stress for most of the last year. When I can’t ride as much as I like my eating, drinking and sleeping habits go to crap. So my goal is get to a level of fitness and good habits that I can maintain. The back is starting to feel better thanks to PRP, a lot of PT and yoga. So now it’s just about trying to find how much I can do without pushing the injury. If I can get to a place where I can do a century or maybe an MTB race or two I’ll call that gravy. The last few weeks of Endurance Lab have been a great start.


Thank you for the topic @Michelle. Like you, last year was my first year of structured training. I almost doubled the amount of miles from the year before and my fitness is only getting better and better.
I almost hit 5000 miles and am upping my goal to over 6000 miles. I do a fair amount of mountain biking, so I don’t want to get too mile oriented or not ride outside because I know I can do more miles on the trainer.
For 2019-

  1. I am joining an outdoor women’s racing team. It will be my first year racing road so it will be outside of my comfort zone. I’m not getting younger so I figure no use pushing it off another year.
  2. I am repeating Rasputista (Vermont gravel race in April) and hoping to skim some time off my results.
  3. I am doing a 7 day Bike Maine riding event (350+ miles in 7 days) with some of the women I have met over the past year. This will be my first bikepacking event.
  4. My overall cycling goal is to ride events in as many places as possible- gravel, road, or mountain. I am trying to get to Minnesota in May to ride with Stefanie and others I have met from Zwift.
  5. Finally- to have a five ice cream stop bike ride in one day

2018 was a good year for me. I rode nearly 2000 miles which was the most I had ever ridden in one year. I also rode in a 3 day 250 mile ride and many other supported 50+ mile rides.

In 2019 I would like to ride 4000 miles. If I can stay more consistent it shouldn’t be too hard to do. One thing that threw me off this year was my extended work trips. I would go on a work trip and take a few weeks off. I would also like to join a cycling club close by so I don’t have to ride alone all the time. The most important thing for me this next year is to have more fun while riding bike.


Hi @greg.gould . Coming back from injuries is always tough. Don’t be afraid to ask the coaches for help if your injury starts acting up. The coaches are helpful moving workouts or helping you decide which workouts to drop when work gets in the way. I’ve been doing the training for a year and have seen great results. Welcome!


My goals include my first race with swimming in the ocean and also a first to not be wetsuit legal. Not wearing a wetsuit is a little scary. I want to do a trail run race with dust, the forest smells, and taking in all the excitement and ambience that goes with a trail run race. Cycling is shorter events in 2019 and building a base for longer events in 2020. A goal every year is to improve my climbing on the bike and improve my nutrition off and on the bike.

In the back of my mind are several 1st to eventually experience. I would like to try out a supported gravel race/event. And some day, I would like to experience a 5-7 day supported ride.

A goal is to lead 6 rides for Cascade Bicycle Club. I usually help with the Wed night ride. i would like to find opportunities to lead mid-week and mid-day when there is less traffic and less people on the ride.


Gravel is so much fun @goldendogy! I hope you do give it try sometime :smiley: Good luck with the ocean swim!


@goldendogy. I like your goals for this year. Like Stefanie- I love gravel events. They have quickly become my favorite type of event.
This year will have my first 7 day bike packing experience.
I look forward to hearing about your adventures.
Happy 2019!


I am really sorry to hear about those losses, Andrea. I can’t say I can completely understand your grief—I’ve experienced those losses more than I care to remember, but it wasn’t my body; it was so much harder for my wife. Time to heal I suppose. Take care of yourself. Your courage will surely help you heal.


Tomorrow I plan to head out on my first club ride of the year :grin: it’ll (hopefully) be a gentle 50 miles with a mid-ride coffee stop in Windsor which might give the opportunity for some pics of the castle :+1: My only concern is that today I decided to try something new - I took part in a Touch rugby session :rugby_football:… it was great fun but now my legs and lower back are paying the price, I hadn’t realised the difference in muscle usage but am sure my flutes and hamstrings will benefit from all the running backwards :grin:


For the 2nd week in a row I’ve joined my local club ride and am giving myself kudos for this. However, I’m also now mentally beating myself up as I had to abort the ride - I stepped up to the intermediate group and just found the pace too much; last weeks group ride at 14mph which was too slow for me but this weeks group were pushing 18/19mph and that was too fast… beating myself up for quitting



Please consider the following:

  1. Is group riding a new experience for you? It takes time to learn to draft, conserve energy, and the overall dynamics of group riding. Similarly, if this is a new group to you- you will need to learn the dynamics, styles and behaviours of the riders.

  2. Group rides are fun, but very often turn into a hammer fest. Even if it doesn’t turn into that, there are always those in the group who are stronger and like to show off, do their thing, dictate the pace… go off the front and pull hard… which leads me to my next point

  3. Just because you are riding with a group, it does not mean that the group or pace is right for you. This is regardless of speed or strength of the riders. I am referring to how the group behaves in general- there could be a lot of surges going on, and that can make you tired fast.

  4. Testosterone effect. It is common for men to start rides at a hard pace 99% of the time. It’s not that they are mean or anything, just seems really common. Sit in the middle to the back of the pack for the first 20-30 minutes of the ride.

  5. Group rides are for fun and not for training. The only training you get from group rides is handling skills and pack riding skills.

With all that in mind, don’t see riding in the faster group as a testament to your strength. It is more about skills than strength. Take shorter pulls like @anon30517170 said, or say you will skip on the rotation- people usually don’t mind that.

You will get the hang of it with time.

Confession: I don’t like group riding, because I don’t like other people setting up the pace for me (unless it’s a women-only ride, in which case it is much more compatible). And that’s OK (@dfriestedt gives me grief for it, but my coach doesn’t)… I have to force myself to do them from time to time just to get the skills of riding in a pack.


@Michelle I feel your pain. If it helps in any way, everyone goes through what you described. You should feel good about stepping up to the next level. That takes a lot of courage and just taking the step is a win in my book.

Here are some “tips” for faster rides:

  1. Riding at the back of the group is HARD. You get whipsawed the most.
  2. You can politely ask someone to help you stay with the group. Stronger rider could see this as an opportunity to help someone new and they can get a good workout doing it. I’ve done this in the past. I basically absorb the surges for the people behind me and even out the ride for them.
  3. Learn the course in advance. You need to know in advance where is gets tough (or uphill) so you can prepare.
  4. Never get on the front. If you accidentally find yourself there, rotate off gently spending no time on the front.
  5. Don’t ride in front of the strongest rider. When they hit the front and you rotate off, the pace can pick up a lot making it difficult to get back onto the group.
  6. Make sure you are properly hydrated and carbs are toped up.

I can’t tell you how many times I dropped myself and just got dropped before I got strong enough to hang with strong groups. It takes lots of practice. Keep with it!!!


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The discussion about group rides and listening to the Coaches Corner relived some of my group rides.

I tried a few times to ride with a brisk pace (16-18 mph on flats) group and decided the group was too aggressive for me. I backed down to moderate pace (14-16 mph on the flats). Moderate pace has about 50/50 women and men. Brisk is more men.

In 2013 I started leading group rides. Even though I took a ride instructors course, my real learning was leading rides, asking the riders for feedback, and evaluating the rides. The club rules have a leader stay at the front. The group does not rotate.

In 2017, I was leading a 25 mile moderate pace (14-16 mph on the flats) training ride where the majority of riders decided to pass me. Then, the sweep passed me as well. I was humiliated. So, I picked up the pace to brisk pace. I had a rider go down when he slid on gravel in a corner. A slower rider at the end of the ride complained I was going over pace. I learned a lot on that ride. I also accepted the fact I don’t enjoy volunteer leading 15-30 riders after a stressful work day in rush hour traffic on routes I do not know perfectly.

In 2018, I switched to lead or sweep steady (12-14 mph) training rides. I had better control of the group. Depending on the route, I gave the riders an option to sprint home the last few miles. Because I was not working hard, the training ride switched to become a social ride. And that was ok. I found I preferred doing the hard training rides/workouts indoors or outside on low traffic roads by myself.


Howdy all! My goals are to stay with our local group longer. Luckily my hubby and I are about equally paced and we ride IRL together. Also, we have cycling travel rides planned for Oregon and Tuscany, Italy and my goal is to finish at least the short option (oh, those hills :wink:) on the rides. Also, my husband wants to try to do the 100 mile ride at the Hotter’ Hell 100 (Wichita Falls, TX in August). I made it (somehow didn’t collapse) one year and he is looking to complete it. However, it will be very weather dependent (temp and wind). All the best to all y’all! - joan


Can I come with you to Tuscany @Joan? I am small and could probably fit in a large suitcase :grin:


@Joan. Omg!! My husband was just taking about the Texas 100 mile ride also- too funny!!