Putting Passion back in the Saddle of Your Bike. Ten Ideas.

Hi Roadies,

It’s getting up to five seasons of riding together for some of us and I’ve had a few conversations recently about how the passion for the ride just isn’t the same anymore.  I guess that’s to be expected, but I think we should all try to keep this club friendly, fresh, and fun (not that it isn’t, I’m just saying…).  I want to keep riding into my ripe old age but I know I have to keep from getting bored with my bike to do that.  I found the following posted on RoadBikeJourney.com, maybe you have more ideas, if so, please post a comment.

I’d dare say that no matter how long you’ve ridden – whether it’s just a few months or since the first guy slapped a set of pedals on a wheel and rode it around the cave – everybody has been, or will be, bored with riding a bicycle.

I know, I know. This could never happen to you – you’re a genuine hard *** cyclist. You ride uphill both ways, on gravel roads, in the snow, your veins bleed iron, your legs are made of steel, and your lungs function better than Lance Armstrong. You’d never get bored with cycling, it’s in your blood.

Well, here’s the deal, its human nature to get into ruts. Do something long enough and you get comfortable with consistency. It’s why most people work at the same job for 30 years yet dread going to work each day. Beware of the rut, you’ll get in one sooner or later and you’ll get bored.

People ride the same roads or trails every time they get on their bike. They do the same long rides on the weekend with the same cycling groups. They sprint the same sections. Interestingly, if you do get bored, its not really that you’re bored of cycling, you’re bored with your routine.

My cycling buddies and I get bored from time to time, that’s what inspired me to create this list – hopefully if you’re surfing out there on the web you’ll find this and it will stir your “cycling soul” a bit. Maybe it will even help break you out of your routines if you’re already bored, or if before it’s too late.

I got into cycling for the sense of exercise, and the freedom it provides – basically, so I’d never get into a rut. I’m hoping you don’t either.

 

  • 1.Plan a bike trip over a weekend. Don’t pick a destination, just pick a direction.
  • 2.Try a different bike for a while – go mountain biking, ride a fixed gear, anything but your regular bike.
  • 3.Pick a route from RoadBikeJourney.com (blatant plug!!) that you haven’t done before and do it by the end of the month.
  • 4.Start bringing a camera with you whenever you ride. It’s amazing how much photography forces you to see when you are on a bike ride.
  • 5.Do a century – train (and do something) you’ve never done before – don’t think about it, just sign up for one and go for it!
  • 6.Join a riding club/attend a bike race (as a participant or just to view).
  • 7.Start tracking all the roads you’ve ridden and the mileage you ride – buy a GPS to add some “new gadget” fun to the process.
  • 8.Get your spouse or friend interested in riding – their excitement will rub off on you (plus you’ll get a new bike buddy for rides)
  • 9.If you don’t have it already, get a Heart Rate Monitor and start logging your stats including the miles you’ve ridden (its amazing to see how motivated you can be when you start to see things in numbers)
  • 10.Splurge and do one of those guided bike tours at a place you’ve never been. (You’ll get to ride a new bike AND try somewhere new!)

5 thoughts on “Putting Passion back in the Saddle of Your Bike. Ten Ideas.

  1. How about hang it on the wall for a year? I personally have had a very hard time getting on the bike this year, I’ve tried and done alot of the recomended items in that list and yet my desire to get out and ride has been at an all time low, I sit and wonder “why” yet cannot seem to come up with an answer.
    I can remember when I started to ride 5 years ago, and was amaized at how I could go farther and farther as each week passed, then meeting a small group of riders on a Saturday morning and getting invited to join them on a ride the folowing week. I can remember loading up my back pack with a towel and a change of clothes in case I got wet and meeting up and pounding my mountain bike hard to keep up with this very diverse group of 4, yes, 4 riders a couple who had old beat up road bikes and one or two of us who rode beat up old mountain bikes…
    I can remember telling them I would never buy one of those bikes with the skinny tires because I thought they were “Gay”. Yet at the end of that first season what did I do but went out and bought one of those “Gay” bikes because I was totally hooked like some crack head junky.
    I can remember getting up on a Saturday and getting to the tower and it would be raining a little yet we would head out for our ride and end up being completly soaked, cold and tired at the end of our ride, yet I always felt totaly fulfilled in some strange way and would actually look forward to getting out with the group and doing it again the next weekend, during the week I would rush home from work and jump on the bike and be out the door to pound out 50 or 60 km, the wife felt like a widow at times and I guess she was in a way, yet the rush and from riding would not go away, if I missed a day on the bike I would feel “out of sorts” so to speak. It just seemed that everything was good when the pedals were spinning and the sweat was dripping into my eyes.
    I cannot for the life of me figure out what went wrong this year, I look at the bike sitting in the basement and just don’t feel that urge to get on it and go, if it looks like rain I go back to bed, if it’s a little to windy I go back to bed, If I get home from work 10 min. later than usual I turn on the TV. It’s like the desire to ride has completly disappeared this season, if I get out on a ride with the group I generally have a good time, yet I just don’t seem to have that burning desire like I used to to get out in rain sleet or snow like I did in the past, lets hope that feeling returns next season, I kind of miss it.

    P.

  2. I’ve had a really tough time wanting to ride my road bike these last few weeks. It hasn’t been fun, like earlier. I haven’t been able to push myself to get up early to meet at the tower and ride in the wind and rain. It has just felt like plain, hard work. I have been blaming the fact that I haven’t taken a break, winter or summer for about 2 and a half years. I’ve been riding my mountain bike more recently and have enjoyed that – Helmut and I have had some great rides at Bird’s Hill and the Whiteshell on the TransCanada trail. Spruce Woods has provided some great trail riding, too.
    The kayaking has provided a great diversion, too.
    Paul, I feel your pain! You’ve said it so well.

  3. I kind of like the idea of #1. Just get on the bike, with enough $ for a night or two in the hotel, and start to ride. I think I might go east. I could end up at Pinawa or Lac du Bonnet, but hey, it’s about the ride right? Or maybe south, cross the border, and check out small town Minnesota (tip some cows and have a pasty). With a couple of buddies, it would be fun to stay at some cheap motel (last time I went that way, they were about $30 US a night), order pizza, have a beer and look forward to the ride back on the next day. The MIT “excellent adventure”…think about it.
    Anyways, I hear you guys. There’s alot more to riding than the roads around Steinbach. Maybe next year I’m due for a mountain bike…or maybe I should try to challenge the R-man at a duathalon (he’d kick my butt). But we do miss you, Shorty! Everyone adds their own spice to the club and there’s just that much less flavour when someone drops.
    Maybe this is one of those phases that we just have to push through. Like the “seven year itch” of marriages (made it through 3 of those so far), or my own “five year ceiling” with jobs (only got past 1 of those so far…currently heading for a record 8 years!).
    C’est la vie!

  4. Thanks Ron for the 10 great ideas to increase the passion. My “personal hobby” adult life has very much been based on achievement based activities. Scuba Diving and certification, Private Pilot License, Marathon running, and more recently Run-Bike-Run (Duathlon) competitions. The problem with these type of extracurricular activities is that when you reach a certain pinnacle and/or reach the goal, the desire and ambition wanes. What I’ve learned over the years is that I feel extremely blessed to be able to do the physical things that a lot of others cannot do or have chosen a lifestyle that makes it impossible. I’ve also realized now that cycling has the potential to be a sport and passion that can last for many years to come, especially in comparison to other sports that due to impact are much harder on the aging body. What I look forward to is the diversity of multiple sport competitions and training to keep the magic alive as well as the change of seasons that change the dynamics of the sport. i.e. hot/humid to cool/windy to indoor trainer/DVD to -35″beating the elements”. Things this year that got my blood going were the Latke 200 (that was an amazing accomplishment), Can Am 120 anticipation, new routes (Cooks Creek ride), outdoor road ride on January 6th(-2degC), and the opportunity to again ride with new riders. I think we are very fortunate to have the seasons and breaks that we have and will look forward to more new adventures next year. Kicking it up a notch for me next year(s) may be to enter a National or International event or maybe actually enter a ride outside our Manitoba zone such as the Toronto-Niagara Falls Ride for Cancer. I also like your idea Ron to just “go” and see where the road takes us. I also have missed the presence of a number of riders this year and hope that Paul and Shorty do get their mojo back and don’t hang up the bikes for all of 2009.
    I definitely want to have the barn available for some winter training again after Christmas and maybe our action should be less on the ride and more on the opportunity to get excited about a new season approaching. Looking forward to the look of the border guard stamping the passports of a bunch of Mennonites in Tights although one acquaintance suggested we sprint across the border and see how far we can get before they shoot our tires out. Either way, I hope this last main event for the year is a safe, comfortable and memorable group effort.
    As stated before … keep pedaling.

  5. Great reading material. A big warm fuzzy group hug! I too have been feeling the “just don’t feel like it” bug that seems to be out there this year. Looking back I have enjoyed many of the rides, what I haven’t done this year is many by myself, and that was always what I enjoyed as much as the group rides.
    I have heard different suggestions for next year, one suggestion was to have 1 weekend each month for a special ride like the Cook’s Creek ride or Latke 200 this year. Remember when the Woodridge was THE ride we all looked forward to.
    My feelings right now are over the winter as we plan 2009 rides I will look to the MIT riders to plan & lead those special weekend event rides that some or all can particiapate in. I like the idea of heading south on a ride or putting our bikes on a trailer and heading in one direction for the big ride.
    But, it also comes back to the other important partners of my life as well like the one that I seek permission and grants my wish to a free Saturday morning all summer long, just to ride.
    Well, I will be out on Saturday…RJ good job of posting this

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