5 Real New Year’s Resolutions for mountain bikers

It’s that time of year when we start looking at the calendar for the next 12 months and begin plotting goal events, training blocks and holidays. We thought it a good idea to ground our plans in some ‘real’ resolutions for 2022. Think of these as a framework on which to build and make 2022 the best riding year you’ve ever had.

5 Real New Year's Resolutions for mountain bikers
Basic bush mechanic skills come in handy. | Credit SRAM

Learn a new mechanical skill | There is so much to be said for up-skilling in all aspects of riding, but perhaps the one most neglected is bush mechanics. While we’re by no means suggesting taking money out of the hands of the trusty wrenchman at your LBS, we’re simply saying that learning a new mechanical skill will only ever stand you in good stead. Can you fix a broken chain? Plug a tyre? How about tweaking the gears?  

5 Real New Year's Resolutions for mountain bikers
Working on your skills should be a priority. | Credit: Gary Perkin / Alisha Myers

Take a skills class | Every rider can benefit from a skills class. Period. Whether you are just starting out on the fat tyres or have been riding for years working at improving your skills should always be a priority. It is also not reserved for gravity riders or aspiring XCO racing snakes. Amateur riding a stage race or marathon? Improving your skills will not only make you ‘faster’ but also safeguard you from potentially-avoidable spills. Our clinics are run by Myles Kelsey who has a wealth of mountain bike racing experience. Myles will customize your clinic to your current skill level whilst guiding you through each element, obstacle and challenge. 

5 Real New Year's Resolutions for mountain bikers
Dan Dobinson sliding through the Hogsback Enduro.

Enter an Enduro | Do you even enduro bro? No really. It’s a vibe, go check it out, whether you are the most salted stage racer or just getting into mountain biking. The discipline (subculture almost) offers the perfect blend between full gravity-sucking downhill tracks and XCO racing. There is (some) competition but it is core to the trail riding roots of old. We’re big fans. 

5 Real New Year's Resolutions for mountain bikers
Chris Wolhuter rides tempo for the lead group at the 3-day Dirty South Gravel race. | Credit: Bert Pauw

Then, try another discipline | Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. In mountain biking that translates to new experiences and improved skills – have we said that enough? Dabbling in a new discipline will be a great way to get more out of riding in 2022. Try a road race, do a gravel tour, suit up and go to a shuttle day. The point is to get out of your comfort zone, so, short of trying a new discipline, push yourself further in what you feel comfortable. Ride 100kms, do three days in a row. You can thank us later.

5 Real New Year's Resolutions for mountain bikers
Jarryd Haley in the middle of the Karoo. | Credit: Gary Barnard

Do a bike packing Trip | If there is one thing that is going to push you way out of your comfort zone, it is a bikepacking trip. You don’t need to go full hardcore self-supported either. Start with a small backpack and overnight essentials and plan a ride to a catered, comfortable overnight accommodation stop (with cold beers). Ride home via a different (and challenging) route the next day. Then, take it up a level for your next trip, invest in the pannier bags and plan a legit self-sufficient camping trip into a wilderness area such as the Cederberg.

What is on your list? …

| WORDS: Jazz Kuschke |