Just in case you don’t already have 10,000 New Year’s Resolutions, here are 10 more.
1. Learn a totally pointless trick.
Mountain biking is not only about going fast down sweet single track. It’s also about showing off. So spend a little time learning how to do one dumb thing really, really well.
2. Stop putting your bike away dirty.
I do this all the time but I really wish I didn’t. You’re probably just like me. Let’s say goodbye to dried mud and rusty chains in 2018.
3. Do at least one day of trail work.
Help build a trail, or clear out an existing trail after a storm. It will give you a solid appreciation for the work that goes into the trails you love to ride.
4. Finally figure out what all the knobs on your suspension do.
I mean, SRSLY BIKE INDUSTRY WHY SO MANY BUTTONS.
5. Tackle the feature that has been bothering you for years.
We all have one of these. Make 2018 the year you turn that scary rock garden into “just a little pile of rocks,” or the year your nightmare drop becomes “oh, THAT little thing pssssh.”
6. Laugh when you crash.
Unless you seriously hurt yourself. Then, it’s okay to cry. But most mountain biking crashes are just embarrassing. So, try to remember to laugh at yourself. We all fall over at 0mph sometimes. It’s cool. In fact, it’s better than cool, it’s freaking hilarious.
7. Spend more time on a pump track.
Pump tracks are the bomb dot com. They improve your skills. They make you STRONG. Do enough laps in a row and you’ll get an aerobic workout, too. Plus, pump tracks are just plain fun. There is literally no downside to this resolution.
8. Get a new rider stoked on mountain biking.
Take a total beginner out for a ride. Be encouraging and patient and remind them all the time that THIS SHIT IS HARD AND NONE OF US GOT IT ON THE FIRST TIME OR EVEN THE 100 BILLIONTH. Most of all, get them stoked on bikes and trails and being outside playing bikes on trails. Build our community, one person at a time.
9. Go for a ride with your local NICA team or youth riding program.
I promise you, you will learn something, even if it’s just another reminder of how “look where you want to go, NOT at the cactus” is the most important life advice ever.
10. Start putting your phone on silent when you ride.
And leave it your pack. Or better yet, leave it at home entirely. But if you want it for emergency purposes (not a bad idea), make sure it’s not going to interrupt you a billion times with totally non-emergent bleeps and bloops. Mountain biking (and maybe just life in general) is better when you’re thinking about what you’re doing, and not about how many likes your latest Instagram post is getting.