We’ve all been there. You want to ride but, for some reason, motivation is nowhere to be found. Be it life stuff, other commitments, something going on with your bike or you’re simply just too tired - and summoning the desire to move just isn’t happening.
So what do you do in this situation? Here are a few ways that might inspire you to get back on your bike again.
1. Don't make it about the ride
Take the pressure off. Give yourself an end goal or even a reward. Perhaps don’t even make it your usual type of ride at all. Head out for a coffee, ride somewhere entirely unrelated to mountain bikes like a canal path or a loop around your local area (if you can).
Even if you only ride to get some cake, you’re still getting out of the house. This is something you can build on slowly. If you’ve not been in the mood to ride for a while, start small. Why not make plans to try somewhere new if riding the same stuff doesn’t feel very exciting?
2. Ride somewhere you love
If you’ve got somewhere you love, head there first. It doesn’t even have to be a trail. What about that slightly gruelling fire road that rewards you with the most spectacular vistas? Or the lap that has a friendly dog always in need of a fuss standing at the gate. There are places that conjure memories, smells that make you reminisce and features to be conquered.
There’s something to be gained on every ride. Even if it’s something you’ve ridden a thousand times before.
3. Get a little help from friends
Make plans with your favourite riding buddies. You may have a few different groups, so choose the ones you know will go along with whatever. Nothing really beats chasing a friend down the trail and the way it builds up the stoke levels. What about the laughter echoing through the trees and the odd noises that burst out unexpectedly when things get a little sketchy? It also means you’re less likely to back out if you’ve made plans with other people.
Plus, think about including a quick pub stop at the end of the ride. Who doesn’t love that?
4. Get ready to ride
Before writing this I took to Twitter. I asked what motivated people when they weren’t in the mood. So many people said just getting dressed helps enormously. Sometimes that’s all it takes, you just have to initiate movement, and the rest will hopefully follow.
So next time you find yourself wondering if you want to ride, get dressed! Put on all your kit and then, according to mountain bikers of Twitter, you’ll be ready to go.
5. Watch some great bike edits for inspiration
There’s no shortage of bike edits. You just need to pick your poison. Do you like epics, race edits, documentary-style pieces or content from vloggers? What gets your inspired to ride? If you’ve got a favourite, stick that on and motivation may materialise!
As a side note to this, it will depend on you, but avoiding social media can be a good idea. Sometimes FOMO and seeing all the best bits of what people are doing can make wonder if it’s worth it when what you’re off to do doesn’t look as fun. Comparison is the thief of joy after all.
6. Set a time limit
Tell yourself that you’ll give it ten minutes or so. That’s only ten minutes away from the car/van or where you started, so if you want to turn around you can. You’ll usually find that once you get going, ten minutes will fly past and you’ll keep going. Sometimes all it takes is just to get out there, even if you’re really not feeling it.
7. It's okay to take a break
There will be times when nothing you do is working its magic. Often you’ll use all the typical tips and tricks, but riding your bike is the last thing you want to do. That’s fine, too. Time off is good. You can have a reset and rest and figure out why you might not be feeling it. There’s always next time.
8. Switch off Strava
One of the biggest factors to ruin any ride is the pressure of Strava or some of the other best cycling apps. Strava, while good for the most part, can place unnecessary pressure on you and your ride - forcing you to ride harder and possibly further to impress those who follow you. One of the best ways of getting your cycling mojo back is to switch off completely and enjoy the journey, not how fast you go to the destination.
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