Crankin’ in the New Year

I could see my breath as I took off from my driveway on my mountain bike. My winter riding clothes kept me comfortable, and I thought I might even overheat as I headed up the first climb on a Foothills trail. It was mid morning, and I worried the frozen trail might melt into a muddy mess, or I might encounter a ribbon of ice coating the trail.

Fortunately, neither happened. The dirt was frozen and traction good. I settled into a steady rhythm, and my lungs pumped the cool air as my legs steadily churned up the hill. I am fortunate to carry much of my fall fitness this far into winter, unfortunately, I am also carrying about 10 extra pounds of winter comfort food and candy.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I think too many people set themselves up for failure. But at the same time, it seems as good a time as any to get in shape for 2014, and mountain biking is my favorite form of fitness and fun. It’s the perfect blend of hard work with the payoff of a carving corners and hopping water bars on the downhill.

There’s a lot of cool trips and adventures ahead, and I want to be ready. You can see a list of 10 that Zimo and I put together in the link below. I know that Seven Devils backpacking trip takes some fitness. Being doubled over and wheezing while climbing a trail isn’t my idea of fun, so I will put in the miles now to avoid it. My goal is to move 125 miles per month for the next three months, and that’s by riding, hiking, walking, running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. It reminds me to keep moving, because it all adds up. I walked around the Statesman building twice and knocked off a half mile in less than 10 minutes. If I do that every work day for the rest of the month, it will be 10 miles toward my goal.

If you’re thinking about doing something to get in shape, find something fun, form a plan – even a modest one is better than none – and get started. Call it a New Year’s resolutions if you want, or just call it putting a deposit in the fun bank to be redeemed later. Just get moving. Winter is shorter than you might think, and there’s so much to do in 2014.

Check out 10 cool trips HERE.

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