Like TexMex, I just stop, take a breather, enjoy the creation around me and be thankful I’m on my bike again. So much of mtb can be found just in where we get to be each and every ride. I’m not a KOM guy, so it’s easy to take in the other aspects of what makes mtb awesome.
Everybody has these days. I try to use them as a mental health day – just ease off the pedals and take a casual pace (or sometimes even shutting down altogether), and remind yourself you’re outside where you’re supposed to be. Almost without fail the next ride will be back to form. Days like this are actually valuable.
I hate those days. They’re almost always when I’m trying to huck something and it’s not clicking. I generally give up as to not kill myself. Any day casually pedaling through nature is a good time though.
When I can’t stay on-line on technical black trails or I can’t focus then I switch to a blue or green trail and hammer the climbs. You feel productive getting a good workout in even if you’re not riding with style.
This typically happens when I can’t stay on someone’s wheel (ie. keep up). My ego takes control of my thoughts and makes a mess of them, leaving me unable to focus/ride. I continue riding and try to turn my focus toward something else, leaving the frustration to fizzle. Whenever possible, I turn it into a skills ride, popping off rocks and working in cornering speed.
Similar to the kayaker’s slogan SKleen shared above, a shit day on the bike is better than any day on the couch.