Mental Preparation for the Ride


In my opinion, the most important ingredient for performance on the bike is Mental Preparation.  Of course it is….the brain is the most powerful thing we have so it’s really the starting point of making it happen.  Making anything happen.

Everything in life is created first in the mind, and then again in reality…..and that applies to your ride as well.

We just finished a week of cycling tips here at Loving the Bike, where we provided some tips on helping you perform better on your bike.  There are also a whole bunch of great cycling tips available for your listening pleasure over at our Cycling 360 Podcast as well.  But in order for any cycling tips to be effective, you must first be mentally prepared for your ride and mentally prepared to put these tips into action.

I’ve got an over-thinking mind so it’s always aware of a power training ride being a part of each week day.  (Yes, I’m a Monday to Friday rider who likes to get enough miles in during the week so I can spend the weekends with my Family).  So my mind never seems to stop focusing on my ride until it’s been completed….and then soon after begins to focus on the next one.

A couple weeks ago we had plans and I knew I’d be tied up for the whole day, and not able to ride.  My mind definitely knew about this as well.  In the morning, our plans changed and I suddenly had enough time for a ride after all.  As I got geared up and ready to go, I could tell that I just wasn’t into it like I normally am.  In fact, I opted for my mountain bike instead of a road ride because I just wasn’t feeling it.

Yeah, the mind is a powerful thing….and not being mentally prepared ahead of time made me lack the enthusiasm and energy to get out there and push the limits.  I learned right then and there just how powerful my mind and thoughts really are.

Enjoy Your Ride….but always be sure to mentally focus on it as well.  Be aware of what you want to do on your bike, mentally prepare, and Make it Happen.


Enjoy Your Ride

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9 Responses to “ Mental Preparation for the Ride ”

  1. Joel Phillips on February 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I like that cycling refuels my power for positive thinking. In my life, days are more stressful and “things” seem to get to me if I can’t ride. I like how you split hairs Darryl, you chose the mountain bike over the roadie because you weren’t feeling the mojo, as I read the other comments I sense it’s important to visualise and wrap your mind around a ride. It’s almost as if you are all forgetting the most important part, HAVE FUN! Even the most seasoned professional athlete will say the most important thing is to relax and have fun. Use your mind to structure your schedule and training program, from there on out focus on fun. Maybe I am way off base here, but it seems to me when we start to impose constraints (this ride has to be this way) then it becomes less of a passion and more like work. After all, at the end of the day it boils down to did you ride or didn’t you…

  2. Shawn McAfee on February 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I know what you mean man. Lately since I “went pro” I find a lot more random gaps where I can sneak a ride in. But because they aren’t planned I just don’t feel the immediate motivation to really nail it down.

    I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and planning out more rides.

    • Shawn McAfee on February 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Oh, and another thing. I find that the whole mental preparation part is an even bigger need for the off-the-bike world now. It’s become even more important for me to do some planning ahead for each days’ tasks. Otherwise I find myself floating aimlessly.

  3. Zach on February 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I am just about to go out riding, but now am going to take a couple minutes to focus on what I want to do on my ride today first. Thanks for this reminder Darryl.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Zach, glad this caught you in time for your ride. How did it go after spending some time focusing?

  4. Craig on February 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I try to keep my mind focused on my ride as well. I’m not sure if I go to bed thinking about it, but I do have it on my mind in the morning until I have completed it. Sometimes its a commute to work and sometimes its a training ride. Focus is key for everything.

  5. Bode on February 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I feel the same way. I have to have my mind in the game or I don’t perform as well as I know I can. I often visualize my ride before going out as well. It seems to help me.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      I’m still working on the visualization thing, Bode. I feel that is the best way to focus on what you want.


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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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