Well, here we are again at the start of another year. The debris of the Christmas festivities is overflowing from the wheelie bin, and the batteries have all run out in the Christmas presents.
If you are not careful, once the excitement of Christmas and New Year has passed, it’s easy to become distinctly morose in the early part of January. The weather is crap , there’s no decent racing on, you’ve got bugger all cash left, nothing has changed and you’re another year older – rrruubbbish!
But it doesn’t need to be this way. A short, sharp shock courtesy of Ride Expeditions is all you need to launch yourself into the new season with all guns blazing. So without further ado, we bring you the Project 2017 – a chance to sort out your sh*t for the New Year, and make it so much better than 2016!
OK, so as a consequence of either Christmas excess or just plain inactivity over the winter months, chances are that your normally chiselled good-looks and ‘swimmers physique’ have taken a bit of a slide since the riding season ended. So no matter how much weight you have shaved from your race bike with carbon fibre and titanium aftermarket goodies, it won’t make a blind bit of difference if there is a fat lad on the saddle – OK?
So what we are looking at is Body Mass Index – a handy, if brutally honest, indication from the Health Boffins to show whether you are overweight or not. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared – in basic terms if the figure is less than 18 you are underweight and over 25 you are overweight.
If that all sounds too complicated, go to a health website, plumb in your details and weep. But there’s no need to see this as a bad thing – knowing your BMI, and trying to get the figure below 25 could be just the incentive you need to get lean and mean for ’17….
So we’re assuming that a good proportion of you now know that some fine tuning might be needed to reach fighting weight. So perhaps a month of detox and healthy eating will bring this goal a little closer. Whatever your vice, be it Maccy D’s, lager or even, heaven forbid , ciggies, a month of deprivation and rabbit food menus is only going to be good for you and leave you feeling healthier.
In the case of ciggies, a month off and then going back to 40 a day is not going to work – you might as well have a go at totally giving up and save your cash.
And as for the beer – if you look in the fridge and there’s more alcohol than food, you know it’s time for a bit of are rethink to improve your overall health.
RUN,CYCLE, RIDE, REPEAT
OK so a lot of people will tell you that the best way to improve your body will be to invest in gym membership. And If you do sign up and keep going all year – you deserve a massive pat on the back. For the rest of us, regular monthly payments to bob round in the jacuzzi during January and then stop going may be a waste of money, so perhaps a low rent option is a better suggestion?
So our plan is based on the training regime of America’s finest motocross rider ever – Ricky Carmichael, so there’s some back history of success. Although his regime would prove to be far more intense than we could ever hope for, RC’s legendary strength and endurance was based on a training schedule of running, cycling and practice – nothing more complicated. If you can manage the running, all well and good, but as a start, lets’s try walking for at least an hour a day and build things from there!
You could even buy a gadget like a FitBit or Garmin to help you along the way.
In terms of financial outlay, this would seem to be definite winner. Only requiring a decent pair of trainers and any old cycle for road riding, regular running / walking and cycling is going to be relatively easy to fit into a weekly schedule and is bound to have benefits on your overall fitness levels and stamina. In terms of the riding, any time on your motorbike is time well spent in our opinion and if you can rack up your saddle hours, your ‘bike fitness’ is bound to improve. Whether this means booking time at a recognised track, blasting, sorry – riding responsibly along local lanes if you’re road legal, or even entering a few local events it doesn’t really matter. Stretch yourself a bit and the results will show.
A LITTLE BIT LESS CONVERSATION, A BIT MORE ACTION
At least there’s one category that we can claim some moral high ground. As we are a motorcycling adventure company, we are all about the riding. Toby and the guides are busy leading our customers across the roads and trails of South East Asia from India to Vietnam and are doing it from January to December. And in the UK, Julian is busy bike testing, trail riding and motorcycle training, so we’ve got our riding wings fully operational.
So what about the rest of you – how committed are you to whacking on your Alpinestars and getting out on the dirt? It’s a scary fact that so many dirt bikes and adventure bikes don’t see the light very often, some barely leaving the garage for months on end.
But what’s the point in having a machine that can travel the earth if it never even goes more than ten miles from home? Covering your bike in trick aftermarket goodies and ally trinkets ain’t worth a crock unless it’s going to get your adrenaline pumping at the weekends. OK it’s going to increase the hours or mileage on your scoot, but that’s what it’s for. There’s always going to be reasons why you can’t go riding, but stop using them.
Join a local riding club, make some new mates and get out there!
CASH FROM CHAOS
It may be our love for cluttered junkshops, or perhaps just a love of an unexpected bargain, but we really like Ebay. The fact that at any time of the day or night you can type in a search for the most obscure item you could think of, to be rewarded with a list of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sufferers flogging their wares, is a tribute to the scary power of the internet.
But once you embrace the idea, the possibilities for generating spare cash from the junk in your garage, spare room, shed, attic, or lock-up are fairly endless. That old tank from a PE400 that’s been on a shelf for 15 years – some enthusiast will part with cash for that crap! The signed set of Dave Thorpe’s Race pants you’ve been hanging on to – whack ‘em on line and convert them into folding notes. One major word of warning – make sure you weight the item and check the postage, otherwise it will cost you more to post it than you make from selling it – been there….
The good thing of selling off unwanted items, is that the money you generate isn’t in the family budget, is it? So following that unarguable logic, then the cash can be used for part 2 of Project 2017….
Have you ever noticed how many list women write – bloody hundreds of them, on phones, on computers, on little pads in their handbags. If it’s not shopping lists, it’s lists for the kids, bills to pay, presents to buy – everything is written down. And the irritating thing is – they work. Once you’ve actually committed something to paper it’s more likely to happen
Part 2 of Project 2007 is all about getting out and enjoying seeing the world from the saddle of a mo’cycle. Because although riding close to home is important, getting away to ride in completely different scenery is deeply satisfying and enjoyable. Aside from the fact that it’s more time on a bike, going riding with your mates is a fantastic way to spend the weekend. Decorate the spare room or load up the vans and head for the hills? Tough choice!
So to ensure you get off your arse and into action, it makes sense to use female logic for planning the next year.
Get yourself a wall planner for 2017
Fill in the dates that you positively can’t go away – family holidays, wife’s birthday, wedding anniversary that sort of stuff
Take the planner to the next club meeting and get some dates nailed down that you absolutely will go away with the bikes. Pick a destination, agree it and write it down on the planner
These are now the definites – go riding on these dates come hell or high water – don’t book in extra work – don’t take on any more ‘cash in hand’ jobs, understood! And if you’ve written it down – no-one can complain – right?!
Now that’s fine for beginners, but if you are really ready to up the game…
THE BIG PLAN
OK so going riding in your own country is a great way to enjoy your bike and have a craic with your mates – it’s a no-brainer. But the Big Plan takes things to the next level.
Riding bikes anywhere is cool, but when plan things you can change just another riding holiday into a fantastic riding adventure, now you’re talking. With a bit of thought and not too much effort you could combine a lads holiday with the chance to ride in a totally new and exciting country. Travel always expands your horizons, and if you can do it on a bike, then whats not to like? Want to take on the epic trails of Northern Vietnam and sleep in the middle of the jungle – it’s just a few emails away. Fancy riding the highest road on the planet on a classic Royal Enfield– it’s easier than you think.
It’s all very well having ‘Bucket lists’ or reading endless articles of ’50 Places to Ride before you die” – like you can really ride after – but it means nothing if it’s just talk and pipe dreams. Do you want to get to 60 and never have ridden a bike more than 30 miles away from where you live? There’s a whole world out there and thousands of miles of epic riding. Yes it’s going to take a bit of cash, but if you don’t spend it on what you enjoy, what the hell are you earning it for …
Sit down with you mates, decide what you’d all want to do, write it on the wallplanner and start planning. You will not regret it.
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