Troy Brosnan Interview | “I Finished Second Last Year. There’s Only One Spot I Want”

We speak to the Australian mountain bike star about his start to the year and season aims…

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Troy Brosnan making his way through the rough stuff on the Losinj track in Croatia. Photo: Seb Schieck

We’ve teamed up with Dainese to shine a spotlight on luminaries from across the world of action sports and adventure. Here, we speak to Troy Brosnan, the Australian mountain biker who finished second place in the overall World Cup rankings in 2017, and is looking to go one better this time around.

Lead photograph by Seb Schieck

“It’s a pretty easy one for me,” says downhill mountain bike star Troy Brosnan, on his aims for the season ahead. “I was third overall in the World Cup for three years in a row, then finished second last year, so there’s only one more spot I want to go for.

“I want to fight for that number one position and I really believe I can. It’s just about taking it race by race and trying to win each one. It’s going to be a good season.”

We’re speaking to the Australian national champion a couple of days after he rode his Canyon Sender to ninth place in Lošinj, Croatia, the first stop on the downhill World Cup circuit for 2018.

Troy put in a smooth run on the sun-soaked island track, possibly too smooth to fulfil his ambitions of capitalising on his potential and consistency to win the overall World Cup title.

“It was a tough weekend,” he says. “The track was really different to most World Cups. It actually felt a little like home – though maybe with a couple more rocks than normal!

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Troy Brosnan at the finish line in Croatia. Photo: Boris Beyer

“I was feeling pretty fast and qualified fourth but somewhere through race day I guess I wasn’t pushing as hard, or at the same level as the guys up there on the podium. I feel like my lines and my speed were good but maybe I just wasn’t on the edge enough.”

Troy is one of the most consistent riders on the World Cup circuit. Since the start of 2013, he’s raced 35 World Cup events and only finished outside the top 20 once. Only four of those top 20s have been outside the top 10, and the vast majority have been podium spots. He’s never finished outside the top 10 in the World Championships during that period, either.

“It’s something that I really like, staying consistent and being in the top 10 or the top 20 in every race, but I also want to win races”

“Maybe it’s my riding style that helps me do that,” he says. “It could also just be preparing things in the off season and also with all the years that go by I learn how to push the limits when I need to and save a little on certain sections when you don’t need to push.

“I think it’s a tough one overall. It’s something that I really like, staying consistent and being in the top 10 or the top 20 in every race, but I also want to win races.”

Despite yet another top 10 finish to start the season in Lošinj, Troy is well aware that if he’s going to be number one come the end of the year, he’s going to have to raise the bar.

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Troy Brosnan in action on the Losinj track in Croatia. Photo: Seb Schieck

“I was watching my run and I thought I looked a little too smooth and maybe reserved on the track. So I guess that’s something that I’m a little bit disappointed with myself in, that I didn’t go harder and faster, but it’s given me a bit more of a drive to go out there and do that.

“It’s always harder, especially for me, going to a brand new World Cup track. Trying to learn a track and then having the confidence to really go fast and choose lines, that takes time. Especially for me. I seem to be a slightly slower learner when it comes to new tracks but all of the tracks coming up now I’ve been to before and I know them like the back of my hand.

“I’m pretty excited just to get there and start riding at the pace that I should be riding at. This year I want to take some more chances – especially on the tracks that I know really well.”

It’s tough to call a ninth place finish at elite level a misstep, but whatever the reason for Troy finishing +3.211 off the pace of his once Specialized-teammate Aaron Gwin, it’s not for a lack of preparation.

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Troy getting to know the course during training in Croatia. Photo: Boris Beyer

Brosnan has been on the saddle of a Sender and at the head of the Canyon Factory Team for over a year now, and he’s gone from strength to strength in that time. He’s played a firm role in establishing the Canyon team on the circuit, and now Troy’s ready to take the team to new heights.

“Canyon originally came to me stoked to build a team up from the ground up and have a team on the circuit with their bike and try and get World Cup wins and Championships and Overalls,” he remembers. “It was pretty awesome that they shouted out to me.

“I have been pretty involved with the team – the sponsors that we chose, and in getting Mark [Wallace] and Ruaridh [Cunningham] on board and now Kye [A’Hern], the new junior. It’s been a massive team effort, though.

“Our goal [over the off-season] was just to actually try and dial the bike a little bit more. My fitness was pretty good and my strength was pretty good, we just wanted to spend another chunk of time getting the new bike dialled in.

“We had one year on the new Canyon, so it was trying to learn about it and make it go as fast as it can go. It was already really good last year but we wanted to go even faster.

He adds: “I’ve started to shorten the length of my trail rides and do some high intensity stuff for four or five minutes long. I can ride at about 100 percent intensity for about four minutes but that’s all I’ve got. Hopefully all the tracks are around four minutes long!”

Brosnan also emphasises the importance of having such a talented team at Canyon, pointing to the role of three-time World Champion Fabien Barel as the team director.

“It’s been great having Fabien. He’s like a guide and a coach in a way. He’s been helpful on the technical side where he can give you his knowledge and what he’s learned over the years and I can put that forward to learn quicker and try and not make the same mistakes.

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Troy coming in to the close in Croatia. Photo: Boris Beyer

“He’s definitely had an impact. There are a few things that he’s got up his sleeve that we can use. And Mark is a top 10 overall in the world from last year and riding super fast. The more we can help each other the faster we’re both going to go, on and off the track.”

Troy fancies his chances of getting back on the podium as the World Cup rolls back around to more familiar venues in the next few months.

Next up is the Fort William World Cup on 3 June, where Brosnan took his first ever World Cup win way back in 2014. He knows the course and is eyeing up another medal in the Scottish Highlands.

“I know I can go to Fort William and be in contention and win at Fort William,” he says.

“I’m definitely confident. The bike is actually set up and really dialled for Fort William. Not so much for Croatia. I guess Croatia’s track kind of caught me off guard with our bike set up but I know deep down that the track that I’ve been riding at home, and the stuff that we’ve been testing has been grooved towards a World Cup track like Fort William or Leogang or Andorra.

“I’m really excited. I don’t feel like we need to change too much. For the tracks coming up we’re dialled in and we can do really well there. We’re ready to go.”

Stay tuned to our Dainese Luminaries hub for more from the world of ambition and adventure.

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Katas in Comrie Croft | Camping with a Twist in Scotland’s Most Exciting New Mountain Bike Spot

“Once you split from the straightforward path, that’s where things get really stunning…”

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Log burners, huh? Photogenic, cosy and thoroughly romantic. What could be more fun than sleeping in a kata (a sort of Nordic tipi) warmed at night by a jolly little log burner?

Well, it depends whether you back yourself to get the bloody thing lit or not, doesn’t it?

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A kata through the woods in Comrie Croft. Photo: Ian Potter

On my first night sleeping in one of the katas at Comrie Croft in Perthshire, I spent the first couple of hours consistently failing to get the log burner lit. It would flare for a few minutes then, as soon as I took my eye off it, quickly flicker and die out. It was getting cold in the kata. It was dark outside. I had a delicious packed dinner from the Comrie cafe to eat, but no means by which to warm it through. This is what you get for growing up in a house with a gas fire and quitting the Cub Scouts after three weeks.

The thought strayed into my mind that this could be it. Perhaps, finally, after tackling the hardest amateur bike race in world and riding across West Africa in the name of Mpora, this incredibly pleasant tent on a Scottish hill would be where I finally croaked. My last breaths condensing in front of my eyes – all for the want of a basic knowledge of how to light fires. Picture the headlines:

  • ‘Inept Journalist Found Frozen To Death in Scotland’
  • ‘English Numptie Perishes Near Perth’

Fortunately though, it was not to be. I was being overdramatic. I got the bugger lit after three hours of fruitless match-striking (and swearing), and eventually the kata warmed up nicely. I popped the wild venison stew with dumplings into the adjoining oven on the burner and cracked open a tin of craft beer, picked up in the supermarket on the drive from Perth station. Bliss. And I hadn’t even ridden a bike yet.

Trail time

Comrie Croft won newcomer trail centre of the year in 2017, and best trail in 2016. Trail designer Richie Allsop is the man responsible, but to imagine that the trails at Comrie sprang up fully-formed at his say-so is to overlook the fervent DIY MTB scene in this part of Scotland. In the last couple of years the trails at Comrie have taken off, going from undiscovered backyard brilliance to a cherished gem for those in the know.

Scottish Cycling have used the Croft a fair bit in recent years, with the cream of the youth pool coming here fairly regularly for their cluster training camps. The 2014 Scottish Commonwealth Games team came here to do their pre-Games build up too.

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Looking out at the views over the Scottish hills. Photo: Ian Potter

Probably most notable though is “local rocket” (as he’s described by the guys in the Croft’s bike shop) Charlie Aldridge. He has been a member of the local group Strathearn Mountain Biking Club since it began when he was a mere nine years old. As a prodigiously talented XC rider he has progressed through the ranks and has been Scottish Series Winner, Scottish Champion, British Series Winner and most recently European Champion at under 17 level. He has since been brought into the British Cycling programme and has very real aspirations of making it to the Olympics, either Tokyo 2020 or Paris in 2024.

Despite the brushes with destiny and a booming development scene, the Croft remains a place for the passionate amateur. On weekend days when the weather is good, people from cities around Scotland fling their bikes onto the car and head to Comrie for a few hours of superb quality trail-riding. It’s easy to see why.

On the first morning of my stay I took a hire bike rented from the Comrie bike shop up onto the trails for a bit of a blast around. The ascent out of the Croft is quite pretty, but once you split from the straightforward blue path up, that’s where things get really stunning. The red route crisscrosses the area at the top of the land owned by Comrie, with an impressive variation in terrains and types of obstacle – and all the while you’re glimpsing the wild and desolate views back down into the valley.

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Getting the turns in the Croft. Photo: Andrew McCandlish

I had the centre pretty much to myself – staying on-site means you get first run at the trails on a Saturday morning before the hordes descend later in the day. After a couple of hours bouncing about up top, I made my way back down via the blue route. While technically pretty simple, it’s one of the funnest, grinningest descents I’ve done on a mountain bike in years. At one point I caught myself laughing out loud like a kid who’s just discovered how to make fart noises with their hand in their armpit. Dumb, simple, but undeniably super-fun.

Local knowledge

The community-owned Croft is like a little socialist paradise nestled in the Strathearn Valley. Rather than one business that comprises a bunch of services, it’s really a loose collection of small enterprises with different owners, all contributing to the whole and creating what is a genuinely wonderful place to spend a weekend.

As well as the trail centre, the cooperative contains a hostel, an event venue, and a market garden / produce shop called the 100 Mile Store (because everything they sell comes from within that distance from the Croft). The surplus is sold to locals interested in home grown fresh produce. How many trail centres have you visited where you can go for a thrash down the black route then leave with your arms full of tasty courgettes? It’s quickly obvious how the Croft has won awards for innovative tourism and its green credentials in the past couple of years.

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The scenery is exactly what you’d expect from a Scottish trail centre. Photo: Andrew McCandlish

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Outside of the kata. Photo: Ian Potter

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Directions. Nice and simple. Photo: Ian Potter

In the afternoon it’s time to break free of the confines of the trail centre and explore some of the fire roads around Comrie and Crieff, the two nearest towns to the croft, which sit themselves within the Breadalbane tourism region. Breadalbane marks the beginning of the ‘proper’ Highlands in Scotland and comprises a couple of mountain ranges as well as a wealth of outdoorsy goodness.

“As we get a bit closer I see this bloke is stood among the corpses of five or six ducks, in varying states of disembowelment”

The scale of what’s on offer for a bike rider around Comrie is overwhelming, with mysterious and inviting gravel paths calling out in every direction. Luckily, I have a local guide called Tom to take me round – an enthusiastic mountain biker who works in the Croft’s bike shop. After a quick smash along the main road, we’re soon onto empty B roads, then off the road entirely and climbing steadily into the pine forests on the other side of the valley.

We climb gravelly fire roads before dropping into a fast and straight run down through dense pine forests. As we catapult along the forest floor on an access path cut through the trees, we flash past a bunch of confused looking walkers clustered round a map. It’s way too steep and I’m concentrating too hard on dodging ruts and tree roots to stop. As far as I know, they might still be there.

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There’s enough trails in the centre to keep you occupied for a good few sessions – and many more outwith of that. Photo: Andrew McCandlish

Next up is a cut across open farmland, frequently used for grazing. As such, the ‘path’ through moves about a bit, frequently disappearing entirely. As we’re ploughing on through the boggy fields, we reach the edge of some scrappy woodlands – then over to our left a man’s voice calls out. It’s a bloke in dark, woodlandy-coloured clothing stood in front of a large tarpaulin hung from five or six of the trees around it. It’s clear that Tom the guide knows the fella, so we go over.

As we get a bit closer I see that this bloke is stood among the corpses of five or six ducks, in varying states of disembowelment.

“It’s duck day today.” he says, jovially. It is the only explanation he offers, so it’ll have to do.

Tom and the Killer of Ducks chat amiably and it becomes clear they know each other from local backwoods trail rides in the hills around Crieff. Everyone round here is a rider it seems, because how could you not be with all this untapped natural wonder to play in?

Forging on, we head down through the Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre and back onto actual roads. We roll into Comrie, the teenie village after which the Croft is named, then head up onto the hillsides to the north. We climb steadily again on the road first, before leaving it for more gravel – eventually leaving that behind too as we ascend to the Melville Monument – a somewhat dilapidated commemorative obelisk to the memory of Henry Dundas, nicknamed ‘The Great Tyrant’ because of his machiavellian mastery of Scottish politics in the early 1800s.

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Got to earn those downhills… Photo: Andrew McCandlish

From the Monument, it’s a pretty technical run back to the road, which starts off super-twisty with a couple of switchbacks and a sheer slope the reward if you stuff things up. After that it opens out and becomes a straight downhill blast over rough forest floor – it’s still super steep and sometimes used by dog walkers, so you need your wits about you.

From there we bushwhack it over some more heather-covered moorland, before rolling along beside the river Lednock to get back to the road to Comrie Croft. All-in, the ride takes about three hours and is a pretty stern technical test for me as a ‘crap-intermediate’ MTBer. As you can imagine though, I only get the chance to glimpse a small part of what’s on offer in the area in that short time. There are trails, mountains and mystery in every direction from the Croft – as well as plenty to keep you amused in the trail centre itself for at least a couple of sessions.

In fact, heading back to my kata for the second and final night at the Croft, I feel pretty gutted to be leaving in the morning. This time the fire lights first time.

Click here to read the rest of our February ‘Olympic issue’

Do It Yourself

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Comrie Croft on the map in Scotland.

We went to Comrie Croft and stayed in a Nordic Kata. Comrie Croft is a one hour 45 minute drive from Edinburgh and just over an hour from Glasgow. One night in a kata in Comrie costs £99 from Sunday-Thursday or it’s £229 for the kata for the weekend.

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Next Level Riding | Is This Mountain Bike Trail in Canada “the Hardest Trail in the World”?

“It’s definitely up there. It changed my perspective on what a difficult trail could be…”

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The hardest trail in the world? Watch the full video below. Photo: BCPov / YouTube Screenshot

A lot of the time when you watch footage of a ridiculous downhill mountain bike run, what you’re watching is a rider sail effortlessly over every rock and root, round every corner and over every jump no problem at all.

Of course, that doesn’t always happen first time. What’s probably happened a bunch of times before the footage you’re watching is excruciating track checking from the rider, practice run after practice run, maybe a few over-the-handlebars, and no doubt a whole lot of runs where at the very least not everything went absolutely according to plan.

That’s why we like this video from the BCpov crew. The video is titled ‘The Hardest Trail in the World?’ but it’s not just GoPro footage of a professional sending it accompanied by AWOLNATION – Sail. The footage sees the group stopping to check out the feature and talking through how to ride it before our narrator gives it a try; not with the best success.

“It’s definitely up there. It changed my perspective on what a difficult trail could be…”

It’s a bit like being on an actual group ride, really. It’s one hell of a trail no doubt, but it’s still a lot more relatable – the build-up at least! – to normal riders than your average headcam footage from Red Bull Rampage anyway.

The guys in the video don’t list the exact location of the trail, stating that it’s under the radar and they “wouldn’t want anyone to be on the trail who shouldn’t be on the trail” – which is fair enough.

It’s somewhere in British Columbia in Canada anyway, which obviously narrows down the possibilities massively if you are trying to find it (though a comment says “If you ask around in the Sea to Sky area and are a good enough rider, someone would probably show you it”).

The video is a long old watch, but we’re betting that once you start, you won’t be able to look away:

“The title says that this trail might be the hardest trail in the world,” says the narrator. “It’s definitely up there. It changed my perspective on what a difficult trail could be.”

So what is it that makes the trail so hard? It’s tight and it’s steep… and it’s tight… and it’s steep. Even on camera the trail looks scary, so just imagine how difficult this looked in real life, and the narrator’s eventual fall wouldn’t inspire a lot of confidence in some people (glad to read in the comments that he’s okay!).

The video also shows two-time Canadian downhill mountain biking champion Matt Beer sending it (albeit successfully), but that should show you the level this trail is at.

It also looks like a hell of a lot of fun, though. It’s definitely one of those which after watching a lot of people would want to get out and ride… which we’re guessing is why the narrator omitted the trail name!

Let us know what you think. Know a trail harder? Give it a shoutout!

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Marin County, California | Two Doctors Charged for Mountain Biking Illegally… in the Birthplace of Mountain Biking

“I don’t want to be 65 before my vision for trail access sharing in Marin County is implemented…”

Nicasio Reservoir Marin County mountain biking

With views like this, it’s crazy to think Marin County California has just a couple of legal MTB trails. Photo: Getty

Two mountain bikers face potential fines of $1000 and imprisonment in a county jail for resisting arrest while mountain biking illegally in Marin County, California.

Oddly enough, while Marin County can actually be said to be the birthplace of the entire sport, the county has harsh restrictions on mountain biking.

The county was home to the first mountain bike race ever and can take credit for legends of the sport like Gary Fisher. After the quick growth of mountain biking as a sport in the 70s and 80s though, legislation was introduced to ban mountain bikers from nearly all singletrail in the area.

As such, while the area is written into the folklore of the sport, you can actually count the trails it’s legal to ride a mountain bike on in Marin County on one hand.

It’s a bit like Footloose in that way, except instead of having the local minister to blame for banning dancing, you’ve got scared 70s & 80s hikers to blame for banning mountain biking. Oh, and it’s actually real as well.

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View of Stinson Beach from Mt. Tamalpais, Marin County, California. Photo: Getty

The two riders caught on this occasion were both doctors – Dr. Paul Cameron, a Corte Madera dentist, and Dr David Carbonell, an emergency room physician – and were charged with “riding their bicycles illegally on Marin County open space land where bikes are prohibited and resisting arrest when a Marin County sheriff’s deputy attempted to issue them a citation,” writes the Marin Independent Journal.

A quick flick through the Marin Independent Journal’s archives suggests trail access is quite the hot topic in the area.

Dr Carbonell is described as a co-founder of the New Paradigm Trail Group, a group which has declared the country roads and trail management plan in the area a failure, saying there is not enough access for bikes.

Open Space Superintendent Ari Golan says the fine for riding illegally on open space land is $199 including court costs. The fine for a second offence is $410 and all violations after that cost up to $615.

Resisting arrest meanwhile carries the maximum punishment of a $1,000 and imprisonment in a county jail for up to a year.

The doctors were riding the Piedmont Trail in the Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve on December 12th when they were caught.

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Marin County, the troubled home of mountain biking. Photo: Getty

Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Edwards said: “They were seen by one of the open space deputies riding on a trail they were restricted from riding bikes on. The deputy attempted to stop them and they rode away from him.”

The deputy was then however able to catch up with the mountain bikers, grabbing Cameron’s arm to stop him and later identifying Carbonell.

Carbonell is quoted as having said (in February of 2017): “I don’t want to be 65 years old before I see my vision for trail access sharing in Marin County implemented.”

Linda Novy of Fairfax, a Marin Conservation League board member, said, “These guys were breaking the law and then they tried to evade it. I think it is really shameful.

“This is really proof that enforcement is very necessary. There are some people, and these are examples of those people, who just don’t think the rules apply to them. We may never get them to comply unless they’re arrested.”

Cameron has pleaded not guilty to both charges, while Carbonell’s arraignment is scheduled for January 24.

Update: We have been informed that the riders in question were not pursued for citation for riding an illegal trail, and that the trail they were riding is actually legal for mountain bikers to ride during the day. The reason they were pursued was for riding the trail at dusk.

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New Year’s Resolutions | 17 Challenges Every Cyclist Should Attempt in 2018

Here are just a few ways to take your two-wheeled life to the next level in the new year…

Myriam Nicole on a trail near Funchal, Madeira. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Liautard

New year, new you? Well, that’s a shame. We liked the old you, though even the best of us can do with a little bit of self-improvement from time to time.

Still, we much prefer new year, same you – but maybe with a bit more direction. A new year is a great chance to kickstart your biking lifestyle, particularly if you’ve found yourself in a bit of a lull at the end of 2017.

“Perhaps you’ve not been getting as much time on the bike as you’d like”

Perhaps you’ve not been getting as much time on the bike as you’d like, been riding the same routes over and over again or would like to meet some new riding partners.

Anyway, traditional New Year’s resolutions are great and all, but where’s the fun in focusing purely on losing weight or forcing yourself to go to the gym more? We’ve previously covered the fact that giving up chocolate may even be counter-productive for cyclists, so hang on to that box of Celebrations and why not pick a resolution that’ll help you get more from your time on two wheels? Here are a few ideas for how to do just that…

1) Introduce five + new people to the sport

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A ride out in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo: Suguru Saito/Red Bull Content Pool.

Five may seem like a lot, but it’s not like you’ve got to tick them all off in January. You’ve got twelve months to get just a handful of people to give cycling a serious go.

Maybe they’ve never cycled off-road, maybe they’re a regular commuter but have never seriously hit the roads on the weekend. Either way, it’s always fun to ride with new people and see the inevitable smile on their face.

You know how addictive the sport can be, and they might just feel the same way. You could give a mate a new hobby and get yourself a new regular riding buddy in the process.

2) Become a bike maintenance guru

15 New Year’s Resolutions Perfect for Every Cyclist 3

So you’re a pro at fixing a flat? Maybe you even know your way around your bike and can name all the components and their use without batting an eyelid – but we’re betting there’s still room for improvement on the maintenance front in one way or another.

Learning the inside-outs of your bike, what everything is there to do, how to maintain it and how to fix it if it goes wrong is one of the most useful things you will ever do. And it’ll make that expensive bike of yours last a whole lot longer, too.

3) Get into the habit of carrying the essentials

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Of course bikepacking is another ball game – but there’s plenty of stuff you should take on each right.

Especially if you’ve now learned your way around the bike, you’ll know how many problems could potentially arise when you are on the roads or the trails. If you’re ditching bad habits in the New Year then, why not pick up some good ones to replace them?

Chuck a spare inner tube or two in your bag, maybe some water, a phone, ID, a first-aid kit, a pump, tire levers, a puncture repair kit – even with the spare tubes – a good biking multi-tool, some zip-ties, duct tape, an extra layer of clothing, a beer or three, a derailleur hanger, a good supply of steeze and a head lamp… just for starters.

That way you’ll never end up having to try and repair your bike with a packet of crisps.

4) Find one big challenge and tailor your training towards it

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The Ho Chi Minh Trail. Photo: Josh Letchworth/Red Bull Content Pool

It’s great to just get out and ride, but why not set yourself a huge challenge to complete by the end of 2016 – whether that be riding in your first race, cycling through a series of cities or countries on the continent or riding a challenge like the North Coast 500 that’ll take quite a few days and require a good level of fitness.

Having this kind of thing to work towards is sure to make you ride harder and with more organisation. You’ll check your timings, check your fitness levels, check how far you’ve gone and strive to do even more in your next session. This is the way to take your riding and your fitness levels up a notch!

5) Ride with people better than you. Listen to them!

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You might not be able to shred with Myriam Nicole, but riding with someone better is a great way to improve. Photo: Jean-Bapiste Liautard

Riding with friends new to the bike is great fun, but if you want to advance your riding then getting out with the more advanced guys or girls is the way to go. Odds on you’ll notice a few things they’re doing that you aren’t, and there’s a good chance they’ll give you some pointers if they see you going wrong.

6) Remember to take photographs

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Mountain biking in the hills of Slovenia. Photo: Grega Silc

Okay, so we know the whole ‘Instagram’ mountain bike scene isn’t for everyone. Often it’s a bit too clean, it’s a bit too wanderlust-driven. Often, it doesn’t seem real.

But you don’t have to take photographs like that if you don’t want to. Taking a snap or two from on your rides is something you definitely won’t regret in 365 days time, whether that photograph is of the beautiful scenery, the bike, the mud, the mess or just you and your mates at the bar the hour after.

Stick them on Instagram if you want by all means, or don’t put them anywhere – even just keeping a folder-full of pics on your laptop means you’ll have easy access to a nostalgia-packed gallery come the end of the year.

7) Use the technology available… But don’t get too addicted

strava

Use them! Just don’t use them too much… Photo: iStock

There’s an app for that. For everything. For everything you could possibly think of. And if you’re not using them, they’re often giving you notifications or e-mails to ask you why you’re not using them.

What that means, though, is that you don’t have to shell out big bucks to get cycling technology that will help you keep track of, well, whatever the hell it is you want to keep track of.

Some of the best apps for cycling will track your fitness levels, your distance, your speed… Hell, these days they can probably tell what kind of bike your riding, if your tyres need inflated and whether or not your family actually loves you.

Making use of apps like Strava is great, and you should totally do it, stick it on Facebook if you want, keep it for your personal records or whatever else, but don’t get caught up too hard in the KOM chaos. Don’t become the type of person who becomes paranoid someone else on Strava is trying to ruin their life and in engages in a full-on viral argument with them. Cycling should always be for the fun of cycling – and apps should only be used to enhance this!

8) Help your scene grow in your local area

Get the spade out in 2018! Photo: Cal Jelley

Get the spade out in 2018! Photo: Cal Jelley

Giving back to your local cycling community can come in all shapes and forms. Whether you’re a mountain biker who is committing to trail-digging and maintenance for the first time or a road cyclist volunteering at a local race or helping with the running of a local club, this is a great way to get those feel-good vibes flowing and make a bunch of new friends.

9) Save up and travel… anywhere!

new year's resolutions mountain biking

There’s a whole world of riding out there… Photo: Stuart Kenny

Travelling is wonderful. That goes without saying. It shouldn’t just be your New Year’s resolution to travel though – find a more specific goal, a place that you’ve always wanted to go, that you’ve always been astounding by… and bring your bike with you!

Whether you end up heading to a mountain biking mecca, a setting from road cycling folklore or just take a train a bit further out than the local trails, it could end up being an experience that changes your riding habits forever.

10) Do something that absolutely terrifies you

mountain biking new year's resolutions

Myriam Nicole on a trail near Funchal, Madeira. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Liautard/Red Bull Content Pool

We don’t mean that you should cycle off a cliff here. Be reasonable. Don’t do something that’ll end in your inevitable injury… but do expand your horizons and make your life exciting!

How about learning to jump, slowly but surely at the skills section of your nearest bike centre, and then taking your new talent onto the trails? Trying to ride a World Cup track? Or what about committing to a huge uphill road loop you’ve never felt confident enough to attempt before? The glory of the ride is in the effort!

11) Don’t go a week without getting on your bike

mountain biking new year's resolutions

Carson Storch with the hike and bike. Photo: Paris Gore / Red Bull Content Pool

A challenge to start now and never finish. At the very least, it’s the kind of challenge which would get you out in the wilderness a whole lot more. And at most, it could completely reignite your love of cycling.

12) Try a new discipline

mountain biking new year's resolutions

Kate Courtney riding in Bend, Oregon. Photo: Paris Gore / Red Bull Content Pool

We’ve been talking a lot about resolutions that fit road cycling, mountain biking and beyond in this article, so how about this one; why not swap bikes for a while?

If you’re a hardcore roadie, take to the mountains and get dirty. If you’re MTB mad, climb on a road bike and take an alternative route through the scenery – or get going on a BMX or give cyclocross a try.

If nothing else, it’s always nice to mix things up for a while, and if you do hate it, at least you’ll have some good new slams for your next rap battle with your tribal two-wheeled enemies.

13) Ride in every type of weather

mountain biking new year's resolutions

It’s not as slippy as you’d think… Photo: Matthew DeLorme/Red Bull Content Pool

If you live in Britain, this isn’t so much a resolution as a reality. If you don’t ride your bike in every type of weather condition, you’re probably not going to end up riding much of your bike at all.

But that’s part of the beauty. The days spent powering through pouring rain only make it better when you get to the warm shower, and in the months that follow when you’re riding in the sun. The days spent battling against 50mph winds only make it sweeter when you’re cruising on a sweet summer day.

It’s a rite of passage for any budding cyclist to have experienced the worst as well as the best when they’re on two wheels. Just be careful things don’t get too slippy!

14) Drink More Post-Ride Beers

how-to-open-beer-bottle-with-bike-pedal

A handy hack when you’ve lost your bottle opener… Photo: Stuart Kenny

Y’know, in moderation and stuff. We don’t like New Year’s resolutions that say “do less of this stuff”, though. Less is boring. So maybe do more instead?

More biking, more day rides, more night rides, more pedalling, more pushing, more risks, and yeah, why not, more post-ride beers as well. Enjoy 2018 folks. We’ve got a good feeling about the 12 months ahead.

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Theo and Jake, Mountain Bikers | Adventure-gram

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