New Year’s Resolutions can feel a little bit generic or cliche. But they don’t have to be!
Before setting specific resolutions this year, pause for a moment to ask yourself: What is your perfect day (on the bike)? That question is how inGamba began, and it’s been our guiding vision for every trip we’ve run. But it’s also important to ask yourself at the start of the new year. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the resolutions and goals we ’should’ be setting, like improving your Functional Threshold Power (FTP)*, dropping five pounds, or riding X number of hours per month. But what if you focused on what makes you feel the best on the bike this year?
Make your 2024 cycling resolutions based on pure enjoyment of the ride. And that looks like improving your FTP so that climbs feel less daunting. But it can also mean doing more of your rides (virtual or IRL) with friends rather than solo. It might mean planning to explore new places and new roads. Decide your perfect day on the bike, then work backward from that to set resolutions that will truly light you up.
*which is defined as the highest average power you can sustain for approximately an hour, measured in watts. To measure your FTP, you need a bike with a power meter or a smart trainer with an integrated power meter.
Here, we’re sharing a few of the cycling resolutions that we love for 2024:
Riding more frequently
Winter months can make this resolution hard, so finding a way to ride indoors for those in snowy areas is critical. Thankfully, virtual training platforms like Zwift have made riding the trainer easier and more satisfying. You can meet up with friends on Watopia (and even hop on a shared Discord channel or a FaceTime call to chat while you each ride in your respective garages or basements). You can even get a virtual taste of a bike tour by hopping into inGamba’s Zwift group rides*. (Sadly, there isn’t a beautiful meal or glass of wine waiting for you at the end of our virtual rides like on our tours!) Haven’t gotten started on Zwift? We have an article to help you get riding on the platform right here.
*Did you know you can get a custom inGamba kit for Zwift? Just enter “goingamba” after hitting Ctrl+P. Plus, you can score an inGamba Pinarello frame! Here’s how.
Improved fitness on the bike
If your perfect day on the bike includes quickly climbing mountains, you’ll want to focus on boosting your fitness. This reframe of fitness helps you stop thinking about getting on the trainer and doing your intervals as a chore and start thinking about it as a way to help you better enjoy the ride. Our best tip? Set up your indoor trainer area—AKA your pain cave—with motivation surrounding you. Set your computer’s background to a classic mountain pass or a climb like the one from Panzano to Florence on our Chianti Classico trip, or even print out a few climbing photos so anytime you want to give up on a VO2max interval, you remember why you’re working so hard.
More time riding with friends
Virtual rides with friends are great, but nothing beats in real-life riding*. It can be hard to schedule time to ride with your favorite people, especially if you’re busy with work and family commitments that often take top priority over training. Setting a weekly or monthly ride date in real life or virtually is a great start—but what if you also start planning towards a bike trip together in a destination you’re both dying to visit? Having an inGamba bike trip on your calendar for several months from now will motivate you to keep riding through the winter doldrums and give you and your best riding buddies an experience you’ll never forget. Bonus points if you also make a couple of bets on who can get to the top of the biggest climb during the trip!
*We have a Strava Club! Join us here: inGamba Strava Club
If stress reduction overall is your resolution for 2024, the bike can help. Exercise reduces stress hormones and has been linked to increased emotional resilience—meaning you bounce back from stressful situations faster. Even a 30-minute ride around Zwift Island on the trainer can make a big difference to your overall stress levels… so imagine what a week-long bike trip in a gorgeous area can do! Regarding reducing stress, we like the two-pronged approach of setting a daily or weekly goal of exercising regularly and putting a bike tour on your calendar for later in the year. Hence, you have something to look forward to. Research has even found that the anticipation of a vacation can release the feel-good hormone dopamine in your brain, meaning that your benefits from booking a bike tour start months before you’re actually on the bike!