2021 Cycling Goals

The cyclists doing this road are nuts with all the heavy trucks

I’m struggling this year. Either with my fitness, my recovery or my expectations. Not sure which. Any and all comments gratefully received.

Between 2013 and 2016 I cycled virtually every day, only sickness stopped me from riding. Mostly cycling to work or to a sports club, where I did even more intense exercise. Anyway, average cycling distance would be about 140km per week. In 2016 I did that as well as lunchtime running training for a half-marathon, and doing a competitive crew rowing season.

One day I got a text from a friend saying that their crewmate in their rowing boat was injured and they had a half-marathon booked for two days time, and if I could fill in. I said ‘Yep!’ and rocked up to it without breakfast or training and finished it in just under two hours.

A few weeks later I started having fainting spells which was never diagnosed but suspected to be me overdoing it. The bike went in the cupboard for a couple of years until confidence was restored.

Since March 2020 I’ve dusted the bike off and been out more frequently. In the last few months its been two or three times most weeks, 20-25km a pop (mostly flat profile). I can do my route fairly easily without getting too tired. The problem is a few hours afterwards I feel drained for days and am frustrated as I don’t feel like I’m doing very much activity and seems pretty lame so I get frustrated.

I was mid-20s back then with all the activity and now I’m early 30s.Is this just cos I’m older and this is the way it is now?

Is this a food/recovery problem?
Should I cycle more, or less, for it to get better?


In my case, I am the opposite. I started cycling in my mid 20s and being a newbie, I was not doing a lot of kms early on. However, my work outs and rides got more intense/longer once I got into my 30s due to joining cycling clubs and meeting friends that kept me competitive.

However, one thing I have noticed once I hit 30 is recovery is not as quick. I haven’t changed too much from my diet, but before I could go out and hammer a 60-80km ride with minimal hours of sleep, but now I need more. The soreness factor is always there though. That has not changed much.

I am sorry I do not have a solution to your problem as I am no expert, but I would try to change something one by one from your routine to see if that works. First try riding the same route, same intensity and changing up your pre and post meal. If you do not see change in that, give your cycling route/intensity a change up.


When I read your post my immediate thought was male menopause, until I found out your age. Early 30s is still young. Many Olympians are in their 30s, and we know how hard they train. The fainting spells also raised a red flag. Are you still getting them? I had a bit of a fainting spell recently the morning after a long ride. (Woke up and saw the room spinning.) But I chalk it up to not being adequately hydrated on a hot day, and it was just a one time thing. Might be a good idea to see a specialist.


It can be a million things so I hesitate to comment. But it’s definitely not age, as mentioned above. I was in the best shape of my life in my early 40s. Steady work schedule, ability to wake early and sleep little, and very focused on trying to achieve some goals allowed for this. I didn’t feel my age at that time slowed me down at all.


Ah yes. Both of those are lacking, I’m pretty underweight (worked hard at it, no change) so fuelling is always an issue. I also stupidly forgot I did a 7km walk the night before cycling my 29er mountain bike 20km into work, so my carb-starved brain wasn’t thinking clearly.

Comments like these have given me enthusiasm once again. Thank you all!

It’s easy to get disheartened this day and age, isn’t it?


If you are exercising and not re-fueling, that may be key to your fatigue after your rides. There’s science to it that I do not understand, but I do know that you need to eat after rides!

For a short time after rides, I tested eating a bit less, but the right foods, to see how my body would react. It did not help, I still needed to replenish the right amount of calories as I probably had just burned a shit ton.

It has been tough for us in Taiwan, but most of us in the forums have been pretty upbeat and smart about cycling outdoors. While you’re still in the UK, soak up as much of that mask-less country side riding before you come back. We really do not know when they will update regulations to wear masks while exercising.


How’s everyone’s goals coming along. We only have one last day in the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late!

This was my first year cycling and my goals were a moving target. Initially I bought a bike for weekend exercise along the river path because running around the track was just a bit too boring. With the Taiwan Covid issues earlier this spring tennis and table tennis stopped and cycling took center stage. In the dead of the summer I finally ventured out to some hills/mountains with the roads to myself as most were inside due to covid restrictions. I guess the regulars / group ride people were all on zwift banging out 5,000km monthly on the trainer :laughing:

I’ve kicked tennis and table tennis to the curb and cycling has been my obsession. I never thought I would be a part of the 5am club, but on a weekend ride I’ll now be out the door by 5:45am.

My longest rides have been just over 100km and 2000m elevation so for next year I my goals will be to do the “Buddha hand”…and NOT spend as much money as I have this year on cycling and hoping not ‘burn out’ on the sport :sweat_smile:


The investment is done, now enjoy the benefits.

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I was in the same boat as you when I first started cycling. Having to find someone to hit with that was on the same wavelength was always a challenge for me. Glad I can just hop on the bike and for a solo ride whenever I want.

I also can’t be bothered to meet up or leave the house anytime past 7AM anymore. Just gets too busy on the roads!

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I never set a goal for 2021, but I made sure that whenever the thought of cycling entered my head (e.g., Hmmm, the rain stopped, I wonder if I should go for a ride), I would go for a ride. It’s a good way to rack up the Strava numbers without the pressure of reaching a preset goal. Rode 2,400k and climbed 20,000m in 2021.


Ha. That’d be nice, but it’d also get me fired in a hurry.


Ok, bad phrasing. I should say, whenever I debated with myself whether I should go cycling, I made sure the pro-cycling side would win.

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Oh, I knew what you meant, I’m just being obnoxious.

But I’m definitely glad I had a few rides this past year that turned rainy, and it was still fine. I’ve been too apprehensive of riding in the rain. I’m still not going to set out on a rainy day, but I’m much less concerned about dealing with a bit of rain, and, as you say, that helps the arguments of the pro-cycling angel on one shoulder.

The main issue right now is figuring out when my recovering knee is OK to get back on the bike. The physiotherapist said the cycling motion is fine, as long as I keep the knee in line with the foot and ankle. But I’m not sure what that means for twisting the foot off the pedal, or standing at lights. I may look into if the gym at my university has monthly memberships, and try a stationary bike for a while.


You might try clipping out with your other foot for lights to minimize this action on the leg with the bad knee. Maybe even switch to traditional pedals for a while? I sometimes ride with running shoes with my special pedals when I ride with my son. It’s not the best set up but completely possible.

Oh and maybe you can start lifting weights at the gym. We all should be doing some kind of weight training (I’m giving myself this advice as well!).


This is worth looking into a fitting for you to your bike. It’s a bit costly, but worth it to prevent any further injury.

You could also start simple with short easy rides and slowly make your way into the mountains on longer rides.

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You might want to loosen the cleat tension on your pedal to minimize the pressure on your knee when you unclip. I’ve always ridden with a light cleat tension. It saved me a few times from toppling over when I forgot to unclip.

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Thanks all for the suggestions.

I resumed lifting dumbbells at home a couple of weeks ago, after around a month off because I was (overly?) cautious about how much to stress the knee. It’s sort of fun - it’s the first time in a few years that lifting has really hurt, and I’ve had quite a bit of pain two days later! But I’m still taking it easy with the different videos: “Ok, for this one go into a deep squat.” “Nope, won’t be doing that!”

Oh yeah, I’ll be doing that for sure. First couple of rides may even be YouBike on the flatter parts of Danshui, just to see how the knee feels, especially when coming to a stop.

I guess it’s mildly inconvenient that the twisted knee is also the one I almost always rest on at lights. But we’ll see. The physiotherapist gave me the go-ahead for starting to exercise more, and already in the past week I’ve noticed a lot of progress, so that’s good.