Enduro and gravel racing. A glimpse at my 2023?
It’s a new year, and with so many months of riding ahead of us, think of all the things we can accomplish! This could be your chance to finally try something new, push yourself out of your comfort zone, or just make a healthy change in your life.
Writing out resolutions or goals and sharing them with others is one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable and stay motivated (that’s why I’m making this post). Right now, many riders are thinking about what they want to accomplish on the bike, or how they want to change or improve as cyclists. Hopefully, we all succeed!
If you have any bike-related resolutions of goals for 2023, we’d love to hear them too! Hop in the comments and let us know what your ambitions are for the coming year.
I hit the wall last year. I would like to finish with more speed and dignity this year.
My goals for 2023 center on race performance. Last year, I limped across the finish line at both Unbound Gravel and SBT GRVL. Though I was happy with my results, I can’t help but wonder if I can do better. Additionally, after a few years away, I want to return to enduro MTB racing to test my deteriorating skills against the latest generation of ripping fast youngsters. So here are my three big 2023 goals:
- Finish Unbound Gravel (200 mi) in less than 12 hours.
- Finish SBT GRVL (140 mi) in less than 8 hours.
- Finish mid-pack (and uninjured) at a local enduro race.
These are ambitious goals (for me), and they make me nervous because I might fail. But there it is, written down. I can see it. You can see it. Now everyone knows. Whenever I don’t feel like riding, remembering this post will get me off the couch.
To support my goals, I’ve made a few bike-related resolutions too:
- Do hip openers after every training ride.
- Eat regularly during every training ride.
- Clean and tune all my bikes every month.
These resolutions are basic and easy-to-do, but the impact will be huge. My hips have gotten absurdly tight after years of desk work so they cramp during races. I struggle to stay fueled and often have an upset stomach because I forget to train my gut. Finally, I tend to lose way too much time futzing with avoidable mechanicals mid-race. Not this year! I will be a limber eating machine with a dialed-in bike. That’s my recipe for success.
I didn’t want to be the only one putting myself out there, so I asked the riders at TPC about their 2023 goals and resolutions. Here’s what some of our riders are planning to do on their bikes in the new year:
“Just get back into riding after nearly three years of Long COVID!” - Dan Hanafin, Creative Director
“I want to get back in the saddle and ride 1000 miles this year!” - Kevin Hemberger, VP of Operations
“I rode 650 miles in 2022. I would like to double that and ride 1300+ miles in 2023.” - Ethan Trehus, Line Technician
“I want to enter more races — some BMEs this summer and then maybe some of the Trestle DH series.” - Owen Halseth, SEO Strategist
“My goal this year is to bicycle commute to work at least 2 days a week this summer.” - Tim Paddock, Line Technician
“My cycling related goals for the upcoming year include racing my first (and maybe second) gravel event along with going on my first bikepacking trip. I have been eyeing up the FoCo Fondo for my first gravel race and if that one is successful I'd love to do the Rad Dirt Fest later in the summer. I'm interested in the ~100 mile course for both events which would be the longest ride/race I've ever done. I don't have a route for a bikepacking trip picked yet but I'll probably seek some insight from co-workers on a good local overnight route. I’m stoked to dive in on some new adventures this year and I better get to riding!" - Mikayla Weatherford, Customer Associate
“In 2023, I'll be racing 4 ultra-distance bikepacking races throughout the year. My goal is to consistently show up and give each race my best effort while remaining healthy. The races are: East Texas Showdown (400 miles), Unbound Gravel XL (350 miles), Colorado Trail Race (545 miles), and the Arkansas High Country (1,015 miles)." - Jalen Bazile, Customer Associate
“My first goal this year is a 10K run in April, which will be my longest run to date. Second goal is doing the Triple Bypass in July, with the added challenge of doing it on a non-compact crankset. My easiest gear will be 39x28t. I'll be doing a couple centuries, and plenty of climbs to get ready for that one. Including Idaho Springs up to Mt. Blue Sky on the same drivetrain.” - George Parton, Purchasing Manager
“Heading back to Unbound Gravel for hopefully my 5th and final finish. I WANT THAT DANG 1000 MILE GRAIL! I will be doing it on the trusty singlespeed rig again. I am also doing Expedition Ozark — a 5-day expedition race through Arkansas. This will be more than just bikes. It will be orienteering, trekking, paddle, ropes, etc. I’ve been working on a massive bike packing route in Missouri on the Ozark Trail. Most of the trail is ridable, but there are a lot of parts bikes are not allowed to route around and it’s a re-supply nightmare. I’ll hopefully be knocking out a huge chunk of it this year!” - Sheldon Thompson, Merchandising Associate
“I want to race Firecracker 50 again, this time in the Elite category since I podiumed in Sport last year. I also want to race the Bailey Hundo at Buff Creek. Regarding bikes, here at TPC, the usual cadence is to sell a bike and buy a "new", higher end one each year. However, my current bikes do exactly what I want. So instead, 2023 is about upgrades, including my first set (sets plural?) of carbon wheels and SRAM AXS on at least one bike.” - Carl Sechrist, Master Technician
“My goal is to have no goal. To not worry about training plans, events, being dropped, or walking up a technical mountain bike climb. I want to refocus my energy on enjoying the ride with a flask and some friends, exploring more roads and trails.” - Phil Thomas, Customer Experience Representative
Our riders have put their goals on the board, so I'll be checking up and rooting for them throughout the year. Some are lofty (Jalen, dude…) but plenty are more down-to-earth. Big or small, every goal matters, and working toward something is the key to improvement, and often, happiness. Now it’s your turn. Let us know what your 2023 resolutions and goals are!