In school it seemed like I couldn't go for a month without being asked to complete some kind of worksheet about goal-setting. I always hated it. What are your goals for this course? What are your goals for this semester? Are you happy being you? What kind of person would you like to be? My impulse was to fill in the blanks with answers like, "In 100 years we'll all be dead."
These days I like to pretend I'm not quite so fatalistic, and in many ways setting goals has been helpful for me as an adult. I tend to make poor decisions in the moment. If I didn't set goals, I'd be at the mercy of my impulses.
For instance, while I do own a car, I've set a goal to not drive it unless I'm driving to a trailhead. If it weren't for that goal, I'd drive everywhere because I'm lazy and because it's cold outside. However, because I've set that goal I almost always ride my bike around town, and am happier and likely healthier for it.
Part of the reason I remain resistant to cycling goals is that most everyday riders don't have them. Riders who enjoy racing seriously have them, and because I am not fast and never will be I am outside of the cycling subculture most congruent with goal setting. Know what, though? I'm going to set one anyway, and you should think about setting one yourself.
Yawp! is therefore going to offer a goal completion program. All you have to do to sign up is fill in the brief form below. Share your riding goal for 2017. Your goal could be to ride 10,000 miles. It could be to bikepack for a week, or to race the Iditarod. It could be to commute by bike 250 days this year, or 200, or even 12. Maybe you want to learn how to wheelie for 100 yards.
Anyway, at the end of the year, we'll have a prize for anyone who's reached their goal. You might not like setting goals, but I'll bet you like prizes.
You may be thinking that trying to ride 10,000 miles in a year is just silly. It is silly. It's a meaningless number (no matter how many miles you ride in a year almost no one will be impressed). However, if you're like me you spend a good portion of your free time seeing things on teevee that don't really need seeing and fretting about dumb things that don't deserve your attention. Maybe setting goals will remind us to go outside and enjoy ourselves instead of queueing up yet another compilation video of cats falling into fish tanks. While I think riding 10,000 miles is a pretty fine goal, it won't be mine. I have no idea how many miles I ride in a year because I've previously taken an ethical stance against buying a bike computer (I went so far as to buy a tiny abacus that I zip-tied to my handlebars in order to make fun of bike computers, but it rattled so obnoxiously that even I, with my appetite for all things obnoxious, tired of it). I've changed my stance, and this year I'll be using Blackriver to track all of my stats. Not because stats matter or because I care, but simply out of curiosity. (Blackriver isn't competitive, like other popular cycling apps, and it focuses on the dissemination of quality rides, which is why I like it).
Here are some of our goals (thanks for asking):
Levi: Finish the Land Run 100 and then conditionally, maybe, the Dirty Kanza.
Scott: Commute by bike 200 days this year. Bikecamp for a weekend.
Brian: Gain over 500,000 feet of elevation (and also get faster than Cullen).
Some Fine Print
Challenge yourself. If commuting 12 days this year will not be a challenge, set a different goal.
Buying a new bike, getting your touring rig all situated, or finally getting your brakes dialed are all good goals, but they don't count toward this program. Your goal must have to do with riding.
Set as many goals as you like; only one prize per participant.
Ideally, we'll have a party at the end of the year and distribute prizes at that time. However, if you want to get in on this and don't live nearby, we'll ship your prize to you if you're willing to cover the shipping.
You have until January 31st to submit your goal.
To sign up, just fill out the form below. If you want to share your goal publicly, you can additionally make a comment in the comments section below.