If I am honest, I would certainly say that if I could ride everyday and get paid for it, worry free and in perfect conditions….I would. Unfortunately the reality of life dictates that the sun won’t always be shining, skies won’t always be clear and life won’t always allow you the time to spin the cranks. So how do we stay motivated?
Motivation for some people comes naturally, that sort of easy manner in which everything is just naturally an obsession, discipline that is always rock solid and a drive that is the envy of their peers. For most of us, this is simply just not the case. A day off the bike can lead to a week off the bike, a week off the bike can lead to a month of the bike and on and on it goes.
So the real question is how do we stop this from happening, how do we make sure we stay out of the vicious circle and stay motivated to hit the trails each and every week.
Surround yourself with Eagles
One of the best ways to maintain your stoke for the trail, your desire to let the rubber hit the dirt and your need for speed; is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Having a group of friends to ride with is integral to maintaining your motivation, mountain bikers are a pretty easy breed and there are not many of us that won’t go for a ride with anyone, so it should be easy to find some like-minded riders to hit the trail with. One of the best ways to improve and keep focused is to ride with riders that are better than you, whether that be fitter than you or faster than you, either way the dirt rubs off the rider and onto you!
So the easiest way to maintain a high stoke level and keep your motivation to hit the trails on a regular basis is to surround yourself with ‘Eagles’ (Not the SRAM variety!), people who ride regularly and people who have similar goals. Riding is fun whether you are riding solo or in a group, but we all know that riding with other people is much more fun and allows you to see your mates hit the dirt and send some jumps.
Think like an athlete and not like a couch-potato, after all, horses run faster than donkeys. Lack of motivation is often coupled with lack of goals and goal-setting is an integral part of improvement and progression. One easy way to set a goal is to start racing or have an event you are training for, racing isn’t always about who finishes on top of the podium….It also allows the majority of riders to push themselves, both in training and on race day. Trust me no-one at the races will give a hoot if you finish last, it’s you against the clock, not against the field.
When goal setting make sure you break the goals down into little pieces so that you can measure your progress along the way, reward yourself for the little wins and scold yourself for any setbacks, but most of all have fun. You won’t always hit your goals, adjusting and overcoming the setbacks is the reality for everyone, irrelevant of how successful you are.
Set a Ride Schedule
One of the most important ways to stay motivated on the steed and keep two wheels ripping down the trail is to set a ride schedule in advance. This might be as simple as riding every Saturday morning and Tuesday evening, or it might take a little more work. Life often gets in the way of riding and adapting a schedule to work in with your family life is integral to success.
Scheduling makes you accountable, all other sports have set training days and game days…. why should riding be any different. Some people are lucky enough to be able to ride every day but for many of us, this is not our reality.
Hitting the trail either solo or with your mates is an epic past time that delivers countless benefits, both mentally and physically. Ensuring you hit the trail regularly will help keep you reaping those rewards and ensure that your stoke levels are high….. see you on the trails.