So here's a thing, I love mountain biking, I love bikepacking, I don't mind a bit of hiking either. The longer I leave it between rides or hikes, the harder it is to get myself out of the door. I know that if I can just get myself out onto the trail, that I'll have a great time and be so pleased I forced the issue. But still, that getting out is the difficult part oftentimes.
You can see a YouTube on this subject here
Why does it matter if I don't ride or hike?
Getting out into nature is so important for my mental health. When I ride, not one thought is given to any other matter than to having fun.
Things that prevent me from riding my bike:
Motivation. My head isn't always in the right place and I just can't get myself out the door. Rarely nowadays does getting out come easily to me.
Indecision on where to ride. I'm so spoilt for choice of where to ride, I end up going nowhere because I just can't decide.
Procrastination over what type of ride to do. Mountain biker or Bikepacker, trails or Bikepark. I can't decide which I want to do on the rare occasions it is possible to do either.
Laziness. I like my warm/cool house and comfy sofa! And I don't like getting up early on a weekend.
Time Restrictions: I struggle to ride on days where I am restricted by a short time window
There's no one to let down: I always ride solo
Fear: Fear of getting injured
Another cup of coffee: just one more, then I need a wee and so the time wasting goes on!
Make it easy to get out:
Here's a few things I do to encourage myself to venture out when my head isn't in the right place. These things don't cure the problem but do make it easier to just get in the car and go:
As soon as I can after a ride, I wash, spanner check and lubricate my bike
After cleaning and servicing it, I put my mountain bike back in the car
On returning from a ride, wash and dry my Camelbak ready for next use
I wash all my kit as soon as possible
Give myself no reason not to ride:
On a day when I know what I want to ride and where I want to go, but just can't get my head around getting out of the house, I do the following:
Get all my mountain bike gear on as soon as I get up
Fill my Camelbak
Put some snacks, electronics and tools in my backpack
Put my backpack and helmet in the car
Make a flask of coffee, and don't hang around the house for one last tea or coffee
Go for my final wee, and preferably a BRP (before ride poo!)
Mooch about the house until I have no more excuses not to go!
Dealing with indecision, laziness and procrastination
Make a decision on which day(s) I plan to ride and make no other commitments on any of those ride days.
Decide before the day, whether I will mountain bike or bikepack
Have a rough idea of where I'm going to ride if mountain biking or have a route planned if bikepacking
Overcoming the fear of getting injured
Reducing falls and mitigating injury should I fall:
I commit to riding well within my capabilities, this does hold me back in skills progression, but really what does it matter, as long as I enjoy myself
Make sure I wear all the protective gear I have, every ride!
Make it too expensive not to ride!
There's a few things I do that would waste a load of money if I didn't ride:
Book an uplift
Book a campsite
When bikepacking, pay my Garmin and Ridewithgps subscription for the month
There's nothing I can do about having no one to let down, I like stress-free, uncompromised rides, so always ride alone🤷♀️ And as for not wanting to get up early on a weekend, that's not going to change anytime soon!!
If you suffer the same mental block on getting out, I hope you got something out of this little article. If you have any tips, please leave them in the comments below.