As the season gets into full swing, you may find yourself working to achieve this year's cycling goals. This is tremendous mistake.
Just as rules are made to be broken, beer is meant to be drunk and tubulars are meant to be punctured on the very first ride, so are goals made to be missed.
The world is a beautiful place, full of endless possibilities. Every glorious day is an experience yet to be had, a sensation yet to be felt, a cheese yet to be tested. Why then rule out all of these possibilities by focusing your entire existence on getting a top-10 finish in the Cat 4 field....on July 12th?
Obviously some people need goals. These people are called "professional cyclist," and they exist to entertain us. We thrill to their victories, and we laugh uproariously at their defeats. However, while we should enjoy the exploits of professional cyclists, we should not seek to emulate them.
Does Alberto Contador spend his leisure time cleaning people's teeth or folding folding clothes at Banana Republic? No, he does not. We do these things because we're paid to do them. Why should we want to do this job for free?
Even worse, some cyclists actually pay other people to help them experience the needless stress of being a professional. These people are called "coaches," and they set goals for you that are even more masochistic than the ones you might have set for yourself. This is like Alberto Contador paying your manager at Banana Republic to berate him for his poor folding technique.
Cycling is fun. Whether your prefer to race, or tour, or just get on your bike and wander, it's all volunteer work, and the only way you can really lose is to hurt yourself. Setting goals serves only to reduce the limitless vista that is cycling enjoyment to a tiny silver of possibility in which you have maybe fifty-fifty chance of succeeding. And I don't like those odds.
Source: Bicycling Magazine/ The Bike Snob