Tipping Point

Sometimes it's even harder to get motivated when you have to ride the trainer.

Sometimes it’s even harder to get motivated when you have to ride the trainer.

I have this problem, a decision problem. You see, when I decide to go out for a ride, it’s often not the first time I’ve decided it. I usually have an internal argument on whether I should and want to ride that goes on for awhile, sometimes until it’s too late, and the decisions made for me. Eh, I’m kinda tired. Eh, I need to eat first. Eh, I’ll hop on the trainer later. You get it. I tend to procrastinate actually getting on the bike. This has plagued me ever since I started taking this stuff seriously, and the instant gratification of firing up Netflix instead of hoping on the bike isn’t worth the loss in training. This I keep learning the hard way.

The worst was my first day back in Penang. I had landed the previous night, and was pretty tired, but I knew I had to get the first ride over with. It was a Wednesday, the day my usual group rides mountain bikes. I figured having other people there and seeing my friends would keep me motivated to ride. Instead, I debated all day (the ride was at 4) if I should ride or not. At lunchtime it was a definitive NO and I gave in to having a beer with lunch. Then, at 3, I decided YES and kitted up. I ended up having one of my best mountain bike rides on the local trail.

I’ve found my tipping point. Eventually I will call myself an idiot and put on my kit, whether I’m ready to ride or not. Just putting on bibs and jersey gets my mind into ride-mode, and I can focus on finishing the ride prep: putting air in the tires, fixing bottles and finding my shoes.

They say that cycling is a mental game, and it absolutely is, but off the bike as well as on. I know this is common for everyone who does exercise regularly, so what’s your tipping point? What is it that makes you decide to finally kit up and get out there, or on the trainer?

- Ashley

  • Bob Burpee

    If I get into that debate about “ride” vs. “not ride” the “not ride” wins out 90% of the time. Most of my rides are early morning so I get everything ready the night before. Like you, once I’m kitted up I’m mentally committed. So I just get up, get ready, and go. Avoiding that mental debate is key for me..

  • Paul Kirby

    I absolutely know what you’re talking about. “I’m tired. It’s cold. I’ve got stuff to do. I ate too much.” I’ve talked myself out of my share of rides. But, at the same time, I’ll talk myself into riding by remembering how fun it is and how good I feel when I’m done. I’d say you’re in good company. :-)

  • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

    Interesting post, Ashley….thanks for sharing what goes on in your bicycle mind. I have this issue with some things, but not cycling. My ride is the main thing on my mind each day and I can’t stop thinking about it until I’ve got it done. The earlier I can get that ride in the better. It’s only on those few instances where I wasn’t able to get a ride in until later in the day that I might have thoughts of not going.