As I mentioned the other day, resolutions are a waste of time, but planning adventures is so totally hot right now. The other thing that gives me some dirty movement is setting a Vision or a Goal and then going about the nerd like process of working out how to achieve it. It doesn’t need to be complex or over the top, this is about alignment. So, when I looked at ’15, I came up with this little one liner that will come to dictate what its all about this year:

To become the best Mountain Biker that I can possibly be

The emphasis here is on ‘I‘, as in, its not so much about comparing to others, its more of an attempt to reach a pinnacle of MTB prowess that I probably haven’t enjoyed since I was a teenager. Anyone who know anything about goals will be quick to point out that this vision is rather immeasurable and thus, an epic fail. How does one know when they’ve becomes the ‘best’ that they can be? Surely it needs to be able to be measured, tracked or compared to a baseline or control group. I would tend to agree with the cunt that raises such a point, but in this instance I’m going to reply with something that will enrage the scientific community: I will know it when I feel it.

Ok, so lofty and slightly subjective goal set, how does one go about achieving such ambitions? That’s right, by having a look at what you do now and changing shit! I would like to say that I’ve been through every single facet of what I do, and which makes up my mere dirty existence and tweaked, fingered or fettled it to squeeze out a marginal gain a la Team Sky style, but fuck, I am way to lazy for that.

Instead I’ve identified some areas of improvement (its always best to focus on fundamentals) that I think will help build this Pyramid scheme of shredding greatness in 2015. And what do these deficiencies smell like? Self reflection has come up with the following…

  • I need to look down the trail more – A good rider always looks far, not near, when shredding. Easier said than done when you get under the pump, so something that takes practice… And good eyes…
  • Move the body – MTB is massively about body movement and weight distribution, I am quick to turn into a meat popsicle on the bike, essentially doing the opposite of what I need to, especially when a bit fingered, which in turn triggers a negatively reinforcing cycle of performance. One must be fit and have a good core…
  • Turning up to the Dirt with Road Fitness – Yeah… Continually guilty of this one and it needs to stop, its time for MTB to become second nature and not second on the list.

Once you’ve identified how or why you suck, its solution time! And what are these items that I intend to focus on to cure my ills and fuel the quest for mountain biking mastery in 2015? Smells like its time for a numbered list! YAY!

1. Fire the Laser!

So, the US Navy recently started shooting shit down with a laser gun, which is RAD as it means that at last the future has arrived! Lets face it, we’ve all been hanging out since we were 8 years old for shit to get wasted by laser guns, so even for the biggest tree hugger this is a great step forward.

It did give me an idea though, how about I went bionic on it and got my eyes lasered! Yup, Lasik eye surgery has been deployed… Well, only on one eye so far, the other is to come this Friday, but fuck, stand right back as I become a MASSIVE cliche and say what pretty much what everyone who has ever had it done says:

“Oh my fucking gawd I wish I had done it ages ago!!!”

There – Cliche complete. Yes, its that fucking good, no its not a big a drama as one may expect and whilst it is expensive, I suspect that the long term benefits are well worth it. I did it on the basis that the better I can see, the faster I can go, pretty basic logic really. Oh, and I really fucking hate camping, which I will have to do on TP and I wanted to remove perhaps the biggest hassle/risk factor from that aspect of the trip. Here’s a pic of the actual procedure:

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Now just hold VERY still…

2. Attack the core

Lets clear up confusion now… I don’t mean like this:

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“This is NOT a fucking dual carriageway”

Ok, so now we’ve clarified that its not about attacking that core in an attempt to blow up a multi Trillion dollar death station, I’m talking about that pathetic part of our bodies that we like to call the ‘core’. Let’s face it, as cyclists (and for most people), we are super shit at looking after our core… Aside from the Welsh Assassin, where rumour has it he spends 48 minutes each morning in the Dojo having his abs beaten with bamboo rods by ex-special forces soldiers who still have a thirst for action.

Either way, most of us have a piss weak core. Bad core, means everything else is a compromise, so, a lot of focus and dedication on making sure that the mid section gets the full treatment so that I hopefully end up looking like some sort of sick Linda Hamilton (T2 version FFS) and Chuck Norris love child. If you want to play along, here’s a decent starting point I have stolen from another website.

3. Yoga

Just when you thought it was safe to head to the Yoga studio, BOOM, my shaking, sweaty and hairy chassis is taking up 1.5 Yoga mats as I grunt and moan my way through beginner Yoga sessions. I’m yet to actually fall over and fuck someone up, but I can feel it coming… Just like I can feel the sweat of the hot yoga session running down my face whilst the instructor marvels at my inability to follow biometrical instructions.

Yes, I have gone semi hippy on it and brought Yoga into the programme in an attempt to work the core (see above), get some flexibility going and also stretch. Stretching is a bit like being nice to people at work, its the first thing to go when you get tired and busy, so the hidden gem of the Yoga action is that it seems to double as a decent stretchathon at the same time, can I get a WIN/WIN?

Have to say though, its NOT pretty at this stage and I do believe that I have seen people actually pointing at me in the sessions, so lets see how this one plays out. To be fair, I can absolutely see the benefits already, so before you scoff it up, its worth checking out.

4. Dirt Addiction

This one is simple… I need to ride the Mountain Bike at every possible moment that exists. I’m not talking about a week here and there in between a whole lot of flat road riding, I mean in a ‘cult like religious zealot that’s really fucked in the head‘ kind of way.

This Nomad needs to bond with the other Nomad and to do so requires dedication and on-going shredding until it all becomes second nature. To be able to not make a total cunt of myself at TP, riding the MTB over hard core terrain needs to become a totally natural every day kind of thing, and you don’t get that from the odd MTB ride here and there. You get that from being obsessed with 160mm’s of the raddest MTB ever and forgetting what a road bike looks like… I need THIS to be the regular view:

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Commuting

5. Holistic fitness

Last year was about ramming in as many obsessive road miles as my legs would allow… To the point that it became weird. The result? Got relatively ok at riding around on a road bike, but struggled to walk up a flight of stairs and looked like a beginner every time I got on the dirt. Also found walking to the Dairy slightly cunty and generally felt like I wasn’t fit at all.

Time for that shit to END! Its time to get really fit… And no, I don’t mean joining some sort of crossfit cult running around the street with dildo shaped weights. This is about taking the Mad Markus approach… He taught me last year that having all round fitness is just as important as being purely bike fit. So, whilst i’m not signing up for any marathon’s etc, I will be having to partake in some uncomfortable days hauling myself up hills in preparation for TP. Not to mention a lot more time in the gym to get this gimp chassis ready for what’s going to come at it now that we’re FULL ENDURO.

Plus, now I have finally found out what it really feels like to work out in the Gym, why wouldn’t I want to be in there every day? Arnie explains it better than I can… Apparently this also applies to helping out your maid:

6. The gear

I just went out and brought everything that had ENDURO stamped on it. Even if I already had the item. No shit, I really did (Helmet, Knee Pads, Shoes). Embarrassing and of course its important to ignore my preaching of the other day, ultimately I’m innocent as marketing made me do it. But Honestly, I needed like 10% of this kit any way… Fuck it.

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3 simple steps to becoming an ENDURO cliche/zombie

So… In other words what we can derive from this post is simple really:

ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME

What are YOU going to nail in 2015? Aside from your Barista I mean… And once you’ve worked that out, what do you need to do to get there? Whatever it is, enjoy the trip (SO trying to avoid using the word ‘journey’) as you try new shit and reinvent the stuff you’ve always done. Good luck with achieving your goals and here’s to some rad adventures!