November 25, 2016 at 10:49 am #201573
2016 started out on the right foot for me, I was riding two or three times a week and was really gaining ground on my stamina. I was down to 230lbs and I was feeling fantastic. I even made myself a goal to attend and finish the annual thanksgiving appetite seminar for the very first time.
Fast forward to today, the day after thanksgiving and I did not even think of attending the ride. I have put on 20 lbs and I have little to no motivation to start it all over again. I have not been on a ride in months. Strangely enough the last real ride I attended was my first ever group ride and I had an absolute blast! Though I did see how my budget bike build had a ton of shortcomings compared to the other bikes in attendance when it came to climbing and small bump compliance. I still finished the ride with a smile.
My work schedule and family schedule changed several times. I had to switch shifts several times in short succession and here is the one that really did me in… went from a 4-10 schedule to 5-8. No more friday rides.
My kids started football/ Cheer and suddenly my Saturday rides were out of the window as well.
Currently I am working 50+ miles away from home and I have to drive past many trail heads but I cant stop and ride. I have to get home and that drive is nearly two hours everyday.
Okay, I am done whining now. Does anyone have any advice on how I can relight that fire in my belly? I really want to get back out there, my mental health depends on it I think.November 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm #201580
Dang that’s a lot of excuses. Any more to pile on?
As far as I can tell, none of these excuses are really valid. Are you injured? No? Then go ride your bike!
Not enough time during the day to ride? Strap on a light and go at night.
I could keep going here…
Here are a couple of articles I’ve ridden that seem to apply:November 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm #201581
Also, here’s a great article I read recently on Trail Runner titled “Lack of Time Is Not An Excuse” http://trailrunnermag.com/training/trail-tips/article/2339-time-management-busy-running
The person featured in the article is one of the top trail runners in the US. To get her runs in, her alarm goes off at 2am every morning.November 25, 2016 at 1:19 pm #201590
Thanks Greg.November 25, 2016 at 2:05 pm #201596
After reading your articles Greg, I would prefer to delete my original post and go about righting myself first. Then maybe writing a post about the road to getting back off road.
The first article “How bad do you want it… really?’ is something I plan on reading again and again. Maybe even once a week until I am out of this slump. I also just happened across a review of a trail in Hayward, CA (where I am currently working) that is minutes from work. I plan on visiting that spot soon.
Thanks again Greg.November 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm #201597
Hey man, glad you enjoyed the articles! Best of luck on your journey back to riding health!November 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm #201614
I will join the conversation to say “I’ve been there”. Just don’t give up. You have kids, try to live to see grandkids and maybe great-grandkids. Being in shape doesn’t guarantee extra time on this earth, but carrying around an extra fifty almost guarantees you less time. That’s the hard truth. I couldn’t get the balance right so I took a new job. Easy? Not at all! Glad I did? Hell yes! I am riding so much I’ve actually have gotten a Sheriff badge. I know there are some jobs that won’t be told “no”. Don’t let it steal your life, you only have one.November 26, 2016 at 8:58 am #201625
By the way I live in San Leandro, and maybe the trail you are talking about is the Hayward plunge trail? If so I rode it and it only took me 40 min! But i got dropped of at the top! It’s a fun descent. There is also Garin regional park in Hayward.. haven’t ridden there though… keep working at it and make yourself just get out and ride!November 27, 2016 at 8:47 pm #201650
How bad do you want it was good.
I have some goals for next year, and I need to keep up the training during winter, but oh my is it cold out there. I finished an 11 mile trip on Friday and when I got back to the house it was 28F and pitch black. I’ll buy something next time I’m in town so I can tolerate those temps a little better.
I just started MTB in August, hadn’t ridden a bike in 20 years before that. I died after two laps of my property (2/3 mile). My longest dirt trip so far is about 15 miles with 1000′ of gain, so I’m getting better. I want to be able to do the annual Silver Peak or Bust run on the bike next October. It’s 33 miles, 2400′ (elevation gain) straight climb to start, then up/down all around.
I quit smoking back in May, 2015 after 25 years of 2 packs a day. I vape now, which does generate some laughs when I’m hiking. I am unable to breath enough during MTB to be able to vape unless it’s real mellow stuff with company. 30 minutes after the trip I can take a drag. Mountain biking came as a result of quitting smoking, where I live (mountains/valley) and I used to ride a road bike a lot back in the last 80’s and early 90’s. Used to do 80 miles in a day, once a month.
Seems like us humans are good at finding excuses. Wind, rain, heat, cold, snow, daylight, time. Good luck with your efforts to get in shape. I can’t imagine doing a century at this time.November 27, 2016 at 9:31 pm #201651
You said “Strangely enough the last real ride I attended was my first ever group ride and I had an absolute blast!” but then you asked for advice. So, here’s my advice. Rather than thinking of the obstacles to overcome, just keep thinking of the way you felt on that ride. Also remember that you’ll be a better husband and father if you’re happy. Sometimes doing things for yourself isn’t selfish. Get back on the horse, and ride on brother.November 28, 2016 at 10:21 am #201679
Try and mix it up, don’t just ride. Go out and run / walk the trails, road bike. Avoiding burnout is really important with me. Good luckNovember 28, 2016 at 11:02 am #201682
Yes, the Hayward Plunge Trail is the one I plan to check out soon. I hopped on my bike yesterday and put in some work. I think I’ll have my bike serviced this week and use that time to recuperate my butt and knees ( wheels sounded like I had those plastic noise makers you used to see on little girls bikes on my spokes). May have over done it for the first back in the saddle ride but hell, I felt good about it when I was done.
Thanks for the tips and support everyone. This community is awesome!November 28, 2016 at 12:26 pm #201688
If your not motivated to ride just for the ride, trying to convince yourself doing it to lose weight will not make you more motivated.
I never ride to lose weight, if I do great, but I ride because I like to ride.November 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm #201765
Good point Alvin. I have been on two wheels since I was born (almost anyway) and I have always loved it. BMX, MTB are in my heart for sure. I look at the fitness part of it as an obstacle that I have to overcome in order to improve my riding and enjoy the rides even more. I actually like the feeling I get when I reach the summit all shaky legged and gassed.
I guess being out of the saddle for so long I was scared to find out how much hard work I had lost. My first ride back was last sunday, I had indeed lost a lot of cardio but my leg strength was right where I left it. I am wanting to get back to “group ride” status. Even on my last one when I had been riding often I was getting smoked out there. Not dropped but towards the back of the pack. It was kind of a wake up call.November 30, 2016 at 3:41 pm #201915
Here’s another great article I just came across in the archives:November 30, 2016 at 4:21 pm #201918
People like to rag on Strava but for me personally it added a lot of fun and motivation when local trails started feeling a bit stale. It is really fun to set goals and work your way up the leaderboard or just try to beat your old PR’s. It also logs your mileage so you can try to set a total mileage goal for the month. If you have any riding buddies you can have friendly competition among each other even if your schedules do not align and keep each other accountable.
The second thing I started back up recently is night riding, it increases your riding window and makes old trails exciting.
Last thing is riding a decent trainer or even on the road if you don’t have time for the trail. It’s no singletrack but it will make you feel good throughout the day and will make you stronger on the trail.December 1, 2016 at 10:49 am #201974
I agree with them man… start by going out, then you can walk or run. Anything that keeps you moving is better than nothing. Then someday you can get back on the saddle.December 1, 2016 at 10:39 pm #201992
With regard to the getting fat part, you will NEVER out ride, out lift, or out exercise a bad diet. If your body type tends to get fat easily, then you have to control portions and count calories, otherwise you will continue to be fat. For me, all the hype about life style change, diet without knowing it, etc are nonsense. Diet takes a conscious effort. I’ve found that after 3 days of feeling a bit hungry during the day, I get used to it and it’s not so bad. I have been around weightlifting and exercise for a very long time and I can tell you, that if you see any man or woman over the age of 30 with an incredible physique, they have a strict diet, period.December 5, 2016 at 11:36 am #202177
I had relied on surfing for my primary fitness for years. Problem with that is Florida doesn’t have consistent enough surf to go 3-4 times per week and my metabolism gets worse by the second. I needed something new. My favorite local surf spot also had singletrack nearby and I thought about getting a bike forever. It wasn’t until my bro-in-law took me on the blue trail at USWWC in Charlotte that I seriously considered it. I went out and bought a nice used FS 29er and struggled through the trails and slowly started to build skills and the fitness that came with it. I’ve logged almost 500 miles this year (my first year riding — started in Jan ’16) and have found a new passion in riding singletrack.
My point, echoing Triton, is that I found something new to keep me fit and fresh but more importantly something that I now love. I lift 3 days per week, I run here and there, catch a few waves whenever there is swell, and I shoot hoops when my creaky old knees will permit. But I love to ride and literally can’t get enough, to the point where even surfing has begun to take a back seat. Now if I could stop spending all my money on MTB, but that’s another issue entirely…April 4, 2017 at 12:29 pm #211856
My buddies and I started a out of shape dad’s bike club. We try to ride 1-2 times a week. I’ve made some good friends and the constant improvement of our riding skills makes everyone stick with it. No one wants to be that guy lagging behind. The group scenario makes everyone accountable and keeps you motivated. Check and see if there is a meetup or mtn biking club in your area. If there isn’t anything try and make one.
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