October 25, 2019 at 16:44 #289436
Here is an open question. What is your long range MTB plan?
So, you have been riding for a few years more or less, have ridden regional/national trails, been in some competitions, supported your local chapter, spent time, and money at the local LBS, take good care of your bike and have developed reasonably good skills. So where do you go from here? What do you see your MTB passion taking you in say, the next five years?
October 27, 2019 at 11:13 #289464
I don’t have a long range MTB plan and at is point in my life (53) I’m not sure I need one. I do, however, set – and measure – annual goals:
- Every year I set target MTB mileage and elevation gain goals which are usually slightly above the prior year.
- I target 1-2 races per year and try to improve my placing
- Participate in 2-3 organized endurance events where I either go further, faster or higher (i.e. in terms of elevation) than the prior year
- Cleaning certain sections of trails I never have previously
- I’ll usually target a number of Strava (longer) segments I ride and try to nail PRs
My only true longer term goal – aside from just getting better overall – is to (ideally) ride all the Singletracks Top 100 trails.
October 27, 2019 at 22:45 #289473
Continue to have fun riding and not “have a plan.”
While that may sound snarky, allow me to provide some backstory. I started XC racing at 14 years old and became a pretty strong contender and most races in the JrEx class in the area. My military service took me to Utah where I resumed XC racing and added road training/racing to my resume. In a given week, in addition to working full-time, I typically spent 35-40 hrs on a bike which didn’t allow time for much else. In 2000 and 2001 I tried to freshen things-up by trying my hand at DH racing as well and while showing promise, I just couldn’t afford hardware to really be competitive. In the spring of 2002, I just couldn’t find any motivation or desire to ride a bike anymore. I had spent 9 years living on a bike and structuring my life to revolve around it without allowing any real fun. Every ride was a targeted training event, every meal was fuel and it just sucked all the fun out of riding.
Fast-forward 12 years and I started to feel something missing. I felt an inexplicable urge to dust-off my old XC bike (now a relic) and get back on a bike. In the past 4 years, I’ve bought 3 bikes (HT, FS Trail, and fattie) and ride when, where, and how I feel like with a strict “no racing” policy. I guess the closest thing I have to a “plan” is to slowly integrate my 2-year old son into riding and to continue just riding for fun…
October 28, 2019 at 09:26 #289482
Living in North East Ohio, our trails are fairly tame for a couple reasons: 1) the terrain doesn’t allow for extended downhills and 2) the land managers and trail organization are more focused expanding the sport than progressing it. I have two bikes that are pretty well suited to the trails, one is a geared hardtail and the other is a rigid single speed. I also ride my bike to work as much as possible and try to keep my kids interested in riding.
My first personal goal for the next year is to finally lose some of the weight that I started gaining in college and kept going from there. I asked my wife how much weight did you think I would lose riding my bike to and from work about 100 times this year. She said 50 pounds (probably adding in my mountain bike riding and time in the gym) but the reality is 2 pounds. This is very disheartening for me because the number one thing to make riding more enjoyable would be not dragging around excess weight. My technical skills have come a long way, including technical climbs but the regular climbs are so slow because I am not a spinner but I also can’t push a big gear.
The second goal be to do a couple races. We have a handful that are pretty accessible. One allows for riding the trails in reverse, worth the price of entry just to get to do that. The other one I’d like to do is a duathlon with a 4.25 mile trail run followed by a 12 mile mountain bike race. If those go well perhaps travel a little to race or an Xterra race.
If I wanted to take a big risk; I’d start a bike shop that specialized in servicing direct sales bikes and also rent space to bike builders and DIYers. Basically, rent time to a workshop that is fully stocked with tools that the home mechanic doesn’t have.
If I hit the lotto, I’d move to Pennsylvania and find a suitable place for a good trail center. If you look at the map you will see that NW PA is barren of trails (specifically Erie and Crawford Counties) and the terrain is pretty good for it. The winter is harsh, so ideally, it would be built with a combination of weather proofed trails and when snow groomed for fat bikes and XC skiing. Beyond just being something fun to do, it would be cool to have a progression park to help train people before they head out to Utah, BC or Colorado.
October 28, 2019 at 11:26 #289499
When I first read this I was a bit turned off. I thought why do I have to keep pushing the limits or make the sport a complete competition. Not that I don’t want to get better but I don’t have to do anything to impress others. This is for me. Upon further reflection though I do have goals.
– Continue to upgrade my bikes as funds become available until I have my dream hard tails.
– Improve skills and be able to shred faster and with more style. At my rate.
– Learn more and improve ability to perform my own bike maintenance. Learn how to install new parts, bleed brakes, service front shocks, etc. Big stuff only for the LBS.
– Keep my kids in bikes and riding. 4 growing kids and providing capable bikes for them is a challenge monetarily. Bonding with them on the trails is so fun and coming home with stories to share is awesome.
– Explore more trails.
– Ride when I can. Ride with others as much as possible to share the stoke.
– Try a few different kinds or races that suit me and challenge me.
– More bikes
October 30, 2019 at 12:27 #289804
Great forum topic!
I’ve been riding a long time and can’t wait for the future. The sport just keeps getting more fun. Here are some plans immediate and long term.
- Improve my jumps and drops
- Get more into winter riding (just bought some fatty studded tires I can’t wait to try).
- Get my kids into riding and take them to see some races.
- Travel out of state and ride, maybe PNW.
- Buy a long travel bike and start bombing bike parks before I get too old.
- Convince my HOA to build a bike park! (They have a skate park so why not?)
- Keep myself fit, not injured and having fun so I can ride into retirement age. I’m a ways off from this but love to see the older generation logging huge miles. When my kids are grown I fully plan on spending an insane amount of hours pedaling until my body falls apart.
So much to do.
October 30, 2019 at 12:31 #289805
Oh and add own a titanium bike to my list. Moots YBB if I can ever afford one (drooling everywhere).
October 30, 2019 at 16:50 #289834
Thanks for all the input. I must confess, I have a passion for jumps and high speed cornering in all types of conditions. However, I am getting older and have to challenge my fear of crashing and breaking something important with my desire to experience the fundamental thrill of achieving success.
At some point, I expect I will either get more cautious and back off or really get hurt. However, I am am still testing those inevitable conclusions and will build yet another few features over the winter to see what next year brings.
October 30, 2019 at 17:34 #289836
November 6, 2019 at 19:00 #290292
I’d have to go along with Phonebem and keep it fun and simple. Racing is fun but can definitely lead to burn out then all what you have worked for is kinda useless. Thinking Ill train hard when I can but more importantly just ride for fun and keep progressing at a pace that wont spoil the drive to be better.
November 7, 2019 at 21:59 #290433
My first four or five years of riding were clearly adventure focused. I lived in the country of Mongolia and most rides required exploration, locating and following obscure, unnamed trails and two tracks through the small mountains and forests of the country. Having return to the US/CO in the Summer of 2018, I have focused more on building a better base of miles and conditioning. I am on target to ride 2000 miles this year, most all on trail. Having that base, for the next few years, I want to return to the adventure focus and explore trails throughout the State of Colorado and the Southwest. I also want to ride much of the Colorado Trail segment by segment and ride higher and higher in elevation. Keep the fun and adventure high and seriousness low … very low … I agree with Phonebem and Killer Climb.
November 7, 2019 at 22:43 #290434
I am on target to ride 2000 miles this year, most all on trail. Having that base, for the next few years, I want to return to the adventure focus and explore trails throughout the State of Colorado and the Southwest. I also want to ride much of the Colorado Trail segment by segment and ride higher and higher in elevation.
@mongwolf I would argue, that is a long range plan… and one I would love to do myself BTW! I think the OP’s question of:
What do you see your MTB passion taking you in say, the next five years?
is being somewhat misinterpreted as “do you have a hard core training plan?” Goals such as riding longer, further and higher, riding different trails, improving one’s skills, (heck, even “having more fun”), etc. are part of most (non-elite athlete) MTB’ers aspirations. But to significantly increase our ability to realize those aspirations, we should have a plan. It doesn’t have to be something written or even detailed but we should know what actions we take toward achieving our goals. To your credit, you’ve already defined yours.
My < 2 pennies
November 8, 2019 at 14:20 #290495
Exploring more trails and going more often to USA because I live in Canada Ontario very close to the border.
Staying healthy and fit would be nice and not loose my fitness with age.
November 10, 2019 at 14:15 #290504
Just keep riding! Just keep riding! Just keep riding!
November 13, 2019 at 04:04 #290724
Explore more MTB destinations. Espically in Colorado, Nevada, California and more of Arizona. Winter riding is best in AZ.
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