Get out & ride!

get out and rideAlways good to start with a bit of a cliché in the title…

I should point out you can click the image on the left if you want to buy the picture & have a constant reminder that your bike is crying out to be used! It happened to be one of the 1st ones on Google & I quite liked it
The idea for this post came from a comment on a ride about lack of motivation to ride when routes have a lot of tarmac. I guess each rider has their stuff that discourages them, even though once you’re out it’s usually great. Some thoughts below – maybe obvious but if they help, great
Whilst the ‘just do it!’ attitude might not always do it, it’s a starting point. On it’s own it doesn’t always lead anywhere though, so a plan is generally needed
Barriers to getting out & riding are many & varied; time, weather, distance to the good trails, lack of fitness or skills, family, work etc etc
It seems we’re possibly a bit conditioned to focus on negatives and they can sometimes cloud the positives. So it helps if you can put a positive to each negative. E.g. if time and/or fitness is a problem & you normally drive to work, the positive could be a switch to commuting by bike. It may or may not be off road, but next time you get out for a ‘proper’ ride you’ll notice the difference & it only adds to your day the time taken minus what the car journey would take anyway
biking matesDo you have a positive that would outweigh all the negative stuff, but isn’t happening at the moment? So you might love riding with a group but you don’t know that many other riders. Try starting a facebook page or similar to connect riders in your area. That can make an average route more fun & committing to rides helps you get out more often
Or you might like to ride alone most of the time but you sometimes need a kick to get you out the door. Sign up for a race or charity event that you’ll need a bit more fitness to complete. Make it achievable & you’ve now got a reason to stick some training dates in the diary. Filing a thought away until ‘later’ or ‘tomorrow’ is a good way never to get round to it! But with an aim, it’s much more likely you’ll plan how to achieve it
biking matesBack to the original thought about routes with lots of tarmac… When I’m running skills days I often ride from Scarborough into Dalby along the country lanes. Some days I enjoy the commute more than others & the Five doesn’t really like the tarmac! But what I love about it is the time to be quiet & take in the scenery, which is one of the things you don’t get to do off road at speed with trees/rocks everywhere… Also I do like the really steep tarmac downhills where it’s fine on the MTB to go as fast as you can pedal – discs & fat tyres let you actually stop for that hairpin!
If you’re like me, variety is quite important, although I sometimes forget this. But just doing some riding that’s out of the usual routine can be great. Next on my list is to get some use out of the bivvy bag. So for a couple of days it’ll be time to fill the pack with energy food & ride out to somewhere really remote. Camp overnight, possibly in extreme discomfort(!) then ride back the next day. Just booking that in the diary now!
But for me the main thing is just to remember that when I get on a bike I’m never bored…
Anyway, that’s my quite random & incomplete selection of thoughts on motivation. Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments section