Cycling Goals for 2014

The author at Capital Punishment 2013

The author at Capital Punishment 2013

I’ve got a few specific riding goals, and several less specific goals, for 2014. Some are on the bike, a couple are off the bike, but they should all be attainable in some way. I thought it might be nice to get them down ‘on paper’ as December kicks in and the whole lot gets lost in the party season. There are the goals, and then under the goals there are some sub-targets which should help meet the main goal. I’ve decided to set a few of them down below the fold 

Full participation in the Shimano MTB GP Series

The four-hour lap race format has been great fun this year, but I managed to miss one round of the series. To make up for this, I slotted in two rounds of the Chocolate Foot SRAM Singletrack Mind 7-hour series, which was great. Unfortunately next year some rounds of the two series clash, so I have to choose. I weighed up the options and will be targeting the Shimano series, mostly because the venues are more accessible for me. I’m still undecided on whether I’ll be racing the four or seven hour option. Seven hours is quite psychologically demanding, I find, but it’ll suit one of my other goals for the year.

Next year, whichever length I choose, the full season of  races should be attainable, and I should be able to improve on this year’s positions significantly. I won’t be challenging for podiums, since there’s no 30-39 age group for me and I’m thus in  the Elite class, and up against professional and semi-professional riders. But the year after…

A solo 12 hour early in the year, leading to a first solo 24 hour later in the year

Ultimately I’d like to try 24 hour solo racing, as that seems to be the pinnacle of what a weekend endurance rider can be doing in MTB in Australia. Stage races would be nice, but I don’t have unlimited time off or the ability to spend more than a couple of days away from home on a regular basis. So 24 hour it shall be. And this means rolling out at the  Rocky Trail 12 hour mid-year as prep, before hitting one of the big 24 hour races around October/November. The goal? Get to the finish in one piece, mostly. But top half of the field would be nice.

Choosing the right race will be crucial. I don’t really enjoy Mount Annan so much, so the JetBlack 24 hour is out. The Mont is a fantastic course, but it’s teams only – which might make it a good prep event, but not the one for the goal. The Scott 24 is late in the year and at one of my favourite venues, so it might be the ideal sweet-spot for a first 24 hour. Watch this space.

Return visits – and improved results – at Capital Punishment, the Kanangra Classic and the Highland Fling

When I started racing again I figured XCMs would be my primary race format, but I ended up only doing three in 2013 – Capital Punishment, the Convict 100 and the Highland Fling. I’d been targeting an age group podium at Kanangra, but the race was unfortunately cancelled. The target at the rest was a top ten percent finish. Unfortunately, each race had its own specific disaster – a crash at the Convict, major cramping at Cap Punishment and a suspension failure at the Fling. In 2014, the goals remain largely unchanged, though I should be a more capable rider all round and I have a much better chance of attaining them. The addition of the Maverick Series, of course, might add a race or two to this list.

Three Peaks Challenge

I’m already signed up for this, and it’ll be my first taste of the Road Sportive, and it’s a hell of a first stab.

At 235km, the distance is definitely non-trivia, and the climbs – Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek – just add to the demanding nature of the ride, so one of the subtargets for January and February will be to put in some road rides of 200+km, and do more hill work – I suspect I’ll get to be very familiar with Bumble Hill in January and February. And possibly these climbs.

Sub 80kg race weight 

I weighed in this morning at 86.6kg, and I’ve been in that ballpark for quite a while now. I’d like to drop down to 80kg or less while retaining similar power levels. To get there, it’ll take some changes of diet, and a change in training.   Up until now, my changes in diet and lifestyle have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and I think this might still be key to success. Keep changing things gradually. More kilometres, less beer. More structure in my training, less belly pork on my plate.

A structured training programme will help with all of my goals, so I may also consider forking over some cash for personalised coaching. Crucially, I’d like to achieve race weight and solid form before the racing season opens for real in February and March, so it’s almost a sub-target. But it might be the most significant of the lot.

Learn to build wheels properly

I’ve rebuilt dented wheels and done my own wheel tensioning and truing for years, but I’ve never built from scratch, and I’m self-taught. I think it might be time to do a mechanics course and actually learn the skills properly. It’s about time I did a course and started building my own wheels. If that mean I also gain some other mechanical skills, all the better.

Keep working on the little things

I’ve burned a lot of cycles in trying to fix bad habits and build good technique. I’ve been working on my cornering particularly, and making small tweaks to things like riding position, race day prep, nutrition, technical MTB skills, equipment choices, ride planning, pacing strategy and more. I figure if I keep focusing on these while keeping in mind the major goals, I’ll have both large-scale and small-scale targets to aim at. And that should get me where I want to be.


And that’s really about it. I’ve got a bit under a month until January rolls in, so some other things may make the list, and some goals may change, but come January, I’ll be on the rivet, working hard to make sure the goals are met. Roll on 2014.

What goals do readers have? How do you intend to achieve them? Come on, I know there are at least a couple of you out there…

One Thought on “Cycling Goals for 2014

  1. 1. Actually get consistency in my riding. This one month on, 2 months off (or one week on one month off) crap has to end. It’s why I haven’t really seen any results in myself in this last year (other than the distances I can ride).
    2. Take part in more event rides. Not really interested in races, especially at this stage of my fitness, but I did enjoy the Woodford Classic & Spring Cycle. I much prefer road riding though. Signed up for Bobbin Head Classic in March, and eagerly awaiting signups for Ride 2 Riverstone in May. Dunno what else is out there that suits what I’m after, though.
    3. Get riding to work. The main reason for inconsistent rides is stuff to do of the evenings leaving me not enough time to ride & shower & dinner etc as well, so I forego the ride. If I can get myself fit enough to ride to work, that will no longer be an issue and the consistency will just happen as par for the course.
    4. Improve enough that I feel I deserve a reward of n+1. Money is currently saved and being held aside, I just don’t feel I deserve it yet mostly due to my inconsistency.

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