As humans grow older it is easy to forget that we aren’t perfect at everything and we must try new things, or practice old ones, to continue to grow. Cycling adults know this to a certain point. If you aren’t good at climbing, go find a hill. If you are trying clip in pedals for the first time, practice on the trainer first.
The apparent things, that are new or rusty, are easy to practice. The learning curve is quick and you see improvement which keeps you motivated. There are other things such as flat fixing, group ride etiquette, or eating healthy, that come slowly or aren’t practiced at all until you are in the moment.
We don’t think of eating healthy as something you practice. You’re either doing it, or you are failing. You practice fixing a flat when you have a flat. The only time you ride in a group is on the Saturday morning anger-fest, and you are doing everything you can to hang on.
I encourage you to take this new month and practice a bit more
Practice is how I’m viewing my first few cyclocross races, and I will be putting in my schedule to practice cyclocross specific drills one day during the week (outside of racing) through ‘cross season.
Find a couple friends that you trust and practice pace lines on a friendly stretch of road. Ask your friend that is a billy goat on climbs to take one ride a month to help make you a better rider, in return if you are a better mechanic or descender – you pass on your skills.
What skills on a bike, or in life, could you practice a little more?
For me it’s climbing, cooking and patience. All three are things I plan on practicing a good amount this month. Hopefully the practice becomes habit and next month I can practice something different, or take these three things to a higher level.