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12 ways to get stoked on mountain biking again

No matter how devoted we are to our sport of mountain biking, there are times when the enthusiasm wanes. I’m not just talking about the odd “I really don’t feel like riding today” feeling–that will pass by the time we get a good night’s sleep and the sun rises again, but rather the more extended “riding’s just not turning my cranks” version. It would seem natural to think that if the desire isn’t there, just let it be and do something else; but the lack of desire is odd and can be a little disturbing, as if a part of you is missing. Here are a dozen prescriptions for those times when the jaded rider isn’t really motivated, but wants to be:

1. Upgrade Your Bike’s Components

Not long ago, some sweet new flats put new life in my enduro riding.

Not long ago, some sweet new flats put new life in my enduro riding.

Of course you can’t go out and buy a new Mojo every time you lose your mojo, so a much more practical approach is to make your bike like new.  Treat your bike (and yourself) to a new component. Don’t yet have a dropper post? Get one. Lighten up one or more of your components. Slap on some new grips color coded to match your frame.  Stuck in a clipless rut? Slap on some flat pedals and learn to ride all over again.  Or alternatively, freshen up yourself; get a new pair of bike shorts or a cool new helmet.  Just having a new jersey may get you over the hump.

3. Lighten Up! Try Night Riding

Night riding makes everything new again.

Night riding makes everything new again.

In a previous article, I wrote about how riding at night is a completely new and different experience. If you don’t have lights for night riding, get some.

5. Take a Mountain Bike Trip

A Moab trip is an excellent way to jazz up your riding, but if that isn't feasible, you can still find worthy destinations closer to home. Photo: Jim Klaas

A Moab trip is an excellent way to jazz up your riding, but if that isn’t feasible, you can still find worthy destinations closer to home. Photo: Jim Klaas

Whether it’s a week’s vacation to a major mountain biking mecca or just a weekend trip to a regional hot spot, tossing your rig on the rack and driving somewhere with a variety of trails and a real bike culture can really put the zing back in your riding. No matter where you live, there will be a place within a few hours where you can immerse yourself in the mountain biking lifestyle for a refresher course in fun.

6. Invite a Friend Mountain Biking

Hitting the trail with a new riding buddy can also create a new, more interesting cycling experience.

Hitting the trail with a new riding buddy can also create a new, more interesting mountain biking experience.

If you usually ride solo, find a friend to ride with. If you usually ride with a friend, ride with someone different.  It can even be beneficial to ride with someone significantly more/less fit/skilled than yourself.  A better rider will encourage you to push yourself physically and/or technically. On the other hand, riding with a noob can help you see the trail with that wonder you had way back when you first started riding yourself.

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