No matter how much I enjoy cycling sometimes it is hard to stay motivated. It is cold and wet…well to be honest that is an understatement at the moment it is freezing! Though after a bit of a pep talk with myself I will don my lycra and head out for a pedal.
I am making a conscious effort to get more miles in this winter, I am also weight training and attending weekly sufferfest sessions. I find it easier to stay motivated by mixing up the types of riding I am doing, I will head out on my road, cx, track and mountain bikes through out the week. They all have their advantages and help refine different techniques and skills.
My Saracen Ariel 151 is my newest steed and I must admit I have been fully bitten by the all mountain/enduro bug. Whilst it is nice to head out and get the miles in on a road bike I do love scaring myself bombing trails and hitting jumps on the beast. It is odd how I can sped 3 hours riding and only cover 15 miles though the fun factor is incomparable.
So how do I keep motivated? Well to be honest it helps having a wife that also cycles a lot, when I might not feel like riding she gives me and push and vice versa. I also think that spending years working as a messenger helped toughen me up, if I could ride around for 10 hours is the rain then surely I can muster the motivation to go for a ride for a few hours. Ok when it’s raining, windy and wet it is hard but I just think of a warm cup of tea, cake and bath when I return.
The best way to motivate yourself to ride when the weather is crap is not to think about it too much, just get ready, layer up and get out there before you have too much time to think. Before you know it you will have warmed up…well maybe…and you won’t regret it. This is one key thing to remember; you will rarely regret going for a ride!
I am thinking about doing a 24hour non stop ride in the summer so every bit of riding I do now will make that more possible. I recently went out for a 152km plod as I need to start building up to longer rides and getting used to more time in the saddle. I have set myself a goal that I need to complete which helps me stay motivated. It is these small goals along the way that will keep me going through the cold months and also help me attain my main goal.
Yes it’s cold and wet and it does get dark earlier but I live in the UK and I have accepted that’s the way it is, I like riding my bike and what ever mother nature throws at me I will continue to do so. Embrace the winter and think of how much better your summer of riding will be if you get the base miles in. Eat cake, drink tea and ride as much as you can, you won’t regret it!