7. Try a Group Mountain Bike Ride
Go on a group ride. Check your local shop and local clubs for group rides. Getting out with a whole new bunch can really make things interesting. The joy of riding can be highly contagious; the enthusiasm of your fellow riders will rub off on you.
8. Hire a Mountain Bike Guide
Ride with a guide. As experienced riders, we have no need for a guide. We know how to handle our bike, do trailside repairs, we can read a map or biking app, and find our way around the woods all on our own. Why pay the extra bucks for a guide? Because they are experts in the areas in which they guide. They can show you things you may not find yourself, whether it be the unknown fork in the trail, knowledge of local history, flora and fauna, or just their love of the trail and why they chose to guide there in the first place.
9. Set Goals
By sheer force of our inherent personality, some of us are very goal-oriented. Without concrete goals to strive for, we get aimless. By putting a target out there for yourself, you’ll give yourself something to strive for and that is motivation in and of itself. Vow to hit one new trail each week, clear a technical obstacle for the first time, set a mileage goal, or set a target time/position goal on your favorite Strava segment (responsibly, of course), or see what others are doing goal-wise to see if anything appeals to you. Once the goal is set, you’ll be back on the bike in no time.
10. Register for a Mountain Bike Race
Don’t worry about whether or not you want to race, and by all means, do not worry about how you’ll place in the race. These things may prevent you from clicking the “register” button on the race site. But once you do, much like having goals, being committed to race day is an excellent way to get motivated. You won’t just be riding, you’ll be training, which takes things to a whole new level. Sure, you may think of it as a chore some days, but overall, you’ll likely find great satisfaction in chasing additional fitness and skill. After the race, the benefits of all that training will still be there, with one additional positive side effect: with the burden of training removed and the stress of the race gone, you’ll be amazed at how much fun just going out for a ride can be!
11. Go Build Some Trail (legally)
Trail work is not riding, so how does that make you want to ride? As a general rule, giving back to the sport you love will deepen the bond. More specifically, though, when you put tools in the dirt yourself, it’s impossible to not get an uncontrollable itch to test out what you helped create. Find your local bike club or other trail advocacy organization and sign up for their work days. Even if it’s not building new trail, just rerouting an old, unsustainable line, or merely doing repairs on an old standard, I guarantee you’ll be out there enjoying it the second you put your tools back in the shed.
12. Buy a New Bike!
Let’s just start off with the obvious here. Getting a new steed is inspiring. No matter how far the enthusiasm has dropped, a blingy new mountain bike is sure to get the juices flowing. Just as Kevin Costner learned in Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” buy it and you will ride. Maybe your old bike needs to be replaced. Maybe your old bike is perfect, but you can really jazz up your mountain biking repertoire with a totally different bike. If you have a great trail bike, start a quiver by adding a longer travel enduro bike and learn the joys of adding gravity to your days. If you’re used to rapid runs on your cross country racer, pick up a plus or fat bike for a totally different mountain bike experience. While not a permanent solution (actually there is no such thing), new bike glow lasts a long time.
Your turn: what do you do to motivate yourself when the fire begins to wane? Tall us in the comments section below.