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Mental block on getting out on a ride

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Laziness. I like my warm/cool house and comfy sofa! And I don't like getting up early on a weekend.

  5. Time Restrictions: I struggle to ride on days where I am restricted by a short time window

  6. There's no one to let down: I always ride solo

  7. Fear: Fear of getting injured

  8. 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:

  1. As soon as I can after a ride, I wash, spanner check and lubricate my bike

  2. After cleaning and servicing it, I put my mountain bike back in the car

  3. On returning from a ride, wash and dry my Camelbak ready for next use

  4. 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:

  1. Get all my mountain bike gear on as soon as I get up

  2. Fill my Camelbak

  3. Put some snacks, electronics and tools in my backpack

  4. Put my backpack and helmet in the car

  5. Make a flask of coffee, and don't hang around the house for one last tea or coffee

  6. Go for my final wee, and preferably a BRP (before ride poo!)

  7. 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.

  1. Decide before the day, whether I will mountain bike or bikepack

  2. 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:

  1. 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

  2. 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:

  1. Book an uplift

  2. Book a campsite

  3. 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.


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Mar 01, 2023

I feel very similarly!! It's frustrating, as I know I'll love it once I'm out there! But it's reassuring I'm not the only one who feels like this!

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