Hope and its close cousin self-delusion are abundant at this time of year as we promise to be better, brighter versions of ourselves in the coming year.
This approaching January 1, as we enter 2018, is a propitious time for the island’s cyclists to take stock and set goals for their future.
Here are some suggestions for New Year’s cycling resolutions for the continuing happy revolution of wheels and pedals in 2018.
First and foremost, is for national and local governments to continue developing and funding a well-planned program of cycling infrastructure, particularly a network of cycle-ways separated from other traffic.
I had the pleasure of cycling in New Zealand earlier in 2017 and both main islands have a huge network of separated cycle paths and trails criss-crossing the country, which make it an absolute delight to experience New Zealand’s abundant natural bounty on two wheels and in complete safety. Thailand and Phuket need the same!
For we Lycra Louts in Phuket our resolutions should be highly specific, reasonably attainable and fun, or quite frankly, they aren’t going to last even until the end of January. “Lose weight and cycle more” just doesn’t cut it! That’s far too vague to have any real meaning.
Here are five simple resolutions to help increase your cycling enjoyment.
1 – Cycle on at least three occasions and for a total of 75-plus kilometres each week. Keep a written record of your rides’ duration and distance and post it on social media, so that all your friends and family know you are making this commitment.
2 – Cycle with a group of other enthusiasts, some of whom are better and stronger cyclists than you. Research shows that athletic performance improves through association with, and imitation of, those who are better than ourselves. In addition, cycling in a group is motivating, fun, and you get to share coffee and gossip after your ride.
3 – Cycle before breakfast at least twice each week. This is safer, cooler and gets you out of bed and on the road with just a piece of fruit in your stomach. You go to bed earlier the night before and soon you’ll find you want to be outside enjoying Phuket’s gorgeous sunrise and experiencing the best part of the day.
4 – Set a specific cycling objective for the future and publish it to all your friends and family. “I will cycle my age in kilometres in two hours on my next birthday” is a good example. A bit of a challenge if you happen to be nearly 70 like me, so tailor your own personal commitment to be a challenging, but attainable goal, that can be met with perseverance.
5 – Book a challenging future cycling holiday or event such as cycling from Bangkok to Phuket with Martin Brot’s Siam Bike Tours (www.siambiketours.com) with some of your friends and give yourself plenty of time to train so you can not only complete it, but enjoy it.
Resolutions like these will make your 2018 pedaling revolutions not only abundant, but fun.
Happy New Year and stay safe!
“Bicycling” Baz Daniel fell off his first bicycle aged three... a case of love at first slight. Since then he has spent a further 65 years falling on and off bicycles all over the world, but his passion endures. When not in traction, he found time to become Senior VP of the world's largest advertising and communications group, finally retiring to Phuket in 2006. He has been penning his Blazing Saddles column, chronicling his cycling adventures in Phuket and beyond, since 2013.