2009 is here and it’s a great time to remind yourself of some of the basics.

1. Commuting – get those recovery miles in by riding to work.   Besides being good for you, it also cheaper, better for the environment and much more enjoyable than sitting in traffic for an hour.

2. Eating – One of the biggest food mistakes cyclists make is eating too many calories on short rides.   Rides under 2 hours don’t need to be supplemented by energy bars and gels.  Try to eat some form of complex carbs 2-3 hours before your ride.

3. Set Goals – Know your personality type before you do this and set your goals accordingly.  Concrete goals provide small steps of improvement.  If you’re the type of person who likes to set baby step goals, then set some benchmarks to measure your progress.  If you’re a "shoot for the stars" type of person, then perhaps enter some events that really push your limits.  Tell you friends about entering them so that you’re committed and don’t back down.

4. Make it a Priority – Ride first thing in the morning before anything else can get in the way. Give the best part of the day to yourself rather than getting into work early and letting it consume you.  Schedule it on the family calendar, in your diary, on your work schedule–wherever you can to be sure others will know you’re busy.

5. Climbing – the truth hurts. You’ll never get better at it unless you do more of it.

6.  Maintenance – it’s simple. A clean bike is a happy bike.  Keeping the bike clean will help you see and hear potential problems.  Grit and grime is the biggest reason for the drivetrain to wear down prematurely.