We are two weeks into 2013 -- have you stuck to the New Year's Resolutions you made to be a better cyclist this year? Whether your bicycling bucket list includes a century ride in your neighborhood or an epic cycling tour in Italy, here are six ways to be a happier, healthier and -- dare we say -- sexier cyclist by making these New Year's Resolutions.
Leave the Garmin at home. If you're training for a Pure Adventures tour, an epic mountain bike race or your first century ride, chances are you have a training plan you're trying to stick to. This year, choose one ride each month to leave the cycling computer at home and simply ride your bike for fun. If you're a road cyclist, try mountain biking; mountain bikers give cyclocross a try. Fill up your water bottles, tuck some cash into your jersey pocket and go on an adventure.
Ride for a cause. Charity bicycle tours are increasing in popularity, with rides found everywhere from small towns to big cities, always with a variety of distances to challenge cyclists of all abilities. Choose a cause close to your heart and sign up for a charity ride in 2013.
- United Kingdom: the British Heart Foundation offers off and on-road events for cyclists supporting heart health, including the iconic London100.
- Canada: the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Canada is one of the country's largest rides, raising more than1,000,000 in 2012.
- United States: Levi's Grand Fondo is on target to raise more than $200,000 for charities along its Santa Rosa, California route.
Eat clean. Guilty of grabbing vending machine snack foods when you're hungry and in a hurry? This year resolve dump the processed snacks and opt for homemade. In particular, pay attention to the foods that you eat during a long bike ride. That store-bought granola bar may have more fat and additives and you think. Try this homemade energy bar for a natural boost.
Bike Commute. Cycling safety campaigns and making bike lanes a priority in infrastructure planning are ways cities coast to coast are making it easier for people to ride to work. Riding your bicycle to work is not only healthy for you, but healthy for the planet.
Update your kit. Admit it: your closet is over-run with tacky jerseys bought during post-Christmas sales blowouts. Do your fellow riders right by investing in a brand new bike kit. Women who are fans of the Tour de France will love this Graham Watson image of tour riders racing past a field of sunflowers on this Team Estrogen jersey. If you are an urban commuter, these custom helmet covers from boutique helmet manufacturer Yakkay are guaranteed to turn heads as you pick up your morning coffee.
Deck out your ride. A stock bike doesn't have to look like a stock bike. If your bike is looking a little ho-hum, change up the color of your bike tape or add a few cheeky decals. Not content to make just cosmetic changes, how about these puncture resistant tires from Michelin for your commuter or swap out the stock chain on your BMX for these colored chains by Evans.