Anyone who’s been around me lately has probably heard that I’ve not been that motivated to ride my bike lately.

Combine this with the onset of winter (even though I ride year round, I still ride less in the winter) and a good deal more socializing (ironically enough, with fellow cyclists and their families) and the food and drink involved, and you have the perfect recipe for getting soft and slow.


And that doesn’t even take into account this nagging injury and that old scar, and what-have-you — though I tend not to take them into account, because they’re just there and there’s nothing to be done.


But it’s the habits that are the real problem. Not enough cycling, especially hard, long rides with plenty of climbing. Too much food and beer. Not enough sleep. None of these things are going to put me in the right place for events like Trans-Iowa or Almanzo, or the other kinds of riding (and living) that I want to do.


Based on some of the reading about habit that I’ve been doing lately (William James, Charles Duhigg, etc.), it’s clear that I need to both change a couple of key habits, and also provide myself with some kind of reward for success.

So I’ve decided to set myself an objective with a deadline, driven by a rather substantial reward.


For now, I’ll just write about the objective, which is twofold:

  • Get my weight down to what I consider my “race-weight,” which is 170 pounds or less and keep it there for at least two months.
  • Be able to perform a five-minute plank.

My rationale for selecting these objectives is simple.

  • When I weigh less than I do now, I feel better in every way. It’s a simple index for whether my riding, nutrition, and sleep are working correctly.
  • As for the plank, well…I tend to neglect core strength work. A five-minute plank will provide another simple, easily measurable objective.

And, both proper weight and core strength will be crucial for the enjoyment of the reward.


So what’s the rather substantial reward? I think I’m going to keep that to myself for the time being.

But the photos provide a hint, and I’ll do it in 2014.

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