If you want to become a better cyclist, I have some good news for you – it’s not as hard as it looks! All it takes is some planning and discipline. Here are some simple steps to follow to become a successful cyclist.

Set an End Goal
Figure out what it is that you want to achieve. A goal is necessary to make improvements; otherwise, you’ll have no direction. Your goal could be to accomplish a 100 miler with no stopping, a faster average speed, or competing in a race. No matter how big or small your goal is if you have a proper plan in place and the discipline to carry it out, you can achieve whatever you want.

For anything you wish to achieve in life, following the S.M.A.R.T. criteria can get you there. Your goal should be Specific and Measurable. It should be a goal that is Achievable and Realistic for you. And finally, it should be Time specific. By using this method, it ensures you know what your goal involves and what it will take to achieve it.

Set Smaller Goals
Whatever your end goal may be, there’s always going to be smaller goals within it that you can achieve. By setting your sights on these goals while keeping in mind your end-goal, you can start to feel more accomplished by reaching these small stepping stones. For example, if your goal is to be able to ride 100 miles without stopping, what all do you need to accomplish before hitting that end-goal? It could be that you commit to riding every day, then switching up your diet to provide you with the nutrients you need to become stronger, then making sure your bike fit is comfortable to avoid aches and soreness during your training. These small goals will all help you achieve that big end-goal you have in mind, and make you feel more accomplished throughout the process.

Keep Yourself Honest
Find the best way to log your rides; the good, the bad, and even the skipped. By taking note of each ride, you’ll not only keep yourself honest and committed to achieving your goal but also will be able to prove to yourself the progress you’re making. There are many smartphone apps that can help you achieve this. My two favorites are Map My Ride and Strava. They both track your ride via GPS to track your miles and your speed.

Ride with Friends
If you’re not part of a local cycling club already, try to join one. Many counties across the US have a group of people who enjoy cycling together. Making friends with fellow cyclists will help you stick to your goals and learn more about the sport.