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motivation needed!(31 posts)

motivation needed!Becky
May 3, 2002 10:35 AM
Help! I need some motivation to ride after work.
I'm in the car every day by 6:00 to get to work by 7:00 so that I can be home by 5:00 in order to ride. But after an hour on the road, I can't seem to get changed and get on the bike, even though I have 2.5 hours of daylight left. On the weekends, I'd be content to ride all day...so why can't I convince myself to ride an hour or two after work?
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
I hate to break this to you...eschelon
May 3, 2002 10:42 AM
but if you are asking us to help you out just short of calling your house to harass you to ride your bike, you are in the wrong sport. If you don't want to go riding and you end up forcing yourself to ride, you are only wasting your time...because there are so many other things you could do with your life that would make you so much happier...maybe cycling isn't that magic potion to invigorate your life.

Maybe cycling isn't the answer for you. In order for you to enjoy cycling, the inner drive has to come from you and you alone...if others around you "manipulate" and "steer" you towards cycling, sooner or later you are going to find yourself continually asking why you should ride your bike at all.

I stopped trying to convince those around me the joys of bicycling a long time ago because you either have the itch or you don't. If that itch for cycling isn't there, why bother at all?
re: I hate to break this to you...Becky
May 3, 2002 10:50 AM
you're right, coach...I'm just a lousy player.
My love of the sport is not the problem....getting out the door after 9 hours at work and 2 in the car is! I'm just looking for advice from other commuters who feel drained after a day in the office. If I want to be harrassed to ride, I'll ask my husband to kick my butt, not some stranger on a message board.
Try leaving your gear by the door...Lowend
May 3, 2002 10:55 AM
It will be the first thing you see when you get home and hide the TV remote. Maybe that can get you motivated.
ambiguous tone???eschelon
May 3, 2002 11:05 AM
I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic but just in case...I'm not trying to be your coach nor am I being a harda55...I realize that being at work all day does drain many person's energy and spirit. Perhaps your job is more draining than most of us...who knows. Many of persons on this forum truly have a deep rooted passion for cycling...we are not normal...in addition to cycling during the week, we also "waste" our spare moments at work and at home to simply talk about cycling...talk about passion/obsession?

This forum serves as our emotional/therapeutic outlet until we can once again mount our titanium/aluminum/steel/carbon fiber/retro steeds and ride carelessly into the wind and feel our will power alone propelling our bodies at speeds which we alone without our steeds could never never never attain for the amount miles we log in daily...freedom girlfriend...freedom from our lives of serfdom and servitude where our masters are not the nobles or lords of the middle age...rather our masters have taken new names...we know them to be Credit institutions, Mortgage banks, etc.
ride before work?ColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 12:04 PM
can you come in l;ater and leave a bit later? i find that i am more likely to work out if i get up and do it first thing in the morning. then again i get up at 5am to do so.
So...you're born with it?Tschako
May 3, 2002 11:18 AM
I remember heraring a story about Greg LeMond. He would wake up in the morning and "just not feel like riding" He knew that once he was out there he would feel on top of the world and he would laugh at himself for not just hoping on and riding.
His way of making sure that he would ride is that he would get dressed in his riding clothes and sit around the house, read the paper...whatever it took to remind him that "sitting here is not as much fun as riding"...then he would go...

I was refelecting the other day about my cycling roots...the 40lb cruiser that would beat everybody else in the "coast down the street the farthest" competitions...and my first "real" bike. I bought it off of my friends father stripped it down, repainted it and handpaintd my name on the chain stay....I would ride it everywhere.

I think that I now know too much about bikes and what to wear and tire pressures and all of those things that make getting out the door a bit more of a chore than it used to be.

I still do it. I love to ride my bike.

Becky, I hope that provides a bit of inspiration to get out and do what you know you love to do.
If you really wanted to, you would. Watch TV instead. NMLowend
May 3, 2002 10:48 AM
well...this may sound extreme but....Spirito
May 3, 2002 11:08 AM
im sure if you posted a pic of your A$$ on this site...

you would have more than a few responses. given that most here are a sexist lot im sure that anything short of a model's proportions will result in much denigrating comment and snide remarks.

if you have any vain notions about physical appearance then granted the responses could make you ditch the car and ride into work and back each day.

yes i am awful and cruel and my thoughts are maligned and out of order but i call it as i see it.

personally i think motivation should come from within and the pursuit of hapiness on a bike is hard to "manufacture". you either want to or dont. i dont think you are being that hard on yourself as a full work day with a 2 hour commute is enough to beat most of us here. dont worry it will come and at least you ride on the w/ends. no harm in that.

ciao
re: motivation needed!tz
May 3, 2002 11:14 AM
Try doing what I do: don't even think about training, just go out for a short, relaxed spin on a road that you really like. I ride a bike path, that runs along seashore [and a highway, but I learned to ignore that drawback :) ]. Unstressful physical activity and fresh air really help.
re: motivation needed!gtx
May 3, 2002 11:27 AM
to combat this feeling I make sure to get everything ready to go the night before--bottles filled up and in the fridge, riding clothes laid out, tires pumped up and bike ready to go and near the back door. It has to be a real no brainer when you're tired and lazy and fuzzy after a typical work day. So then it's just a question of simply not thinking about it--put yourself on total auto pilot, get dressed, get on the bike and go. By the time you rolling you'll be happy you did.
don't listen to them.....bigskulls
May 3, 2002 11:30 AM
plenty of people who like to ride need motivation.

I'm in mostly the same situation. You want to ride, but by the time the day is done, you have little energy left to go do it, its getting dark, bills are piling up, there are phone calls to make, laundry, etc... I live in NYC, which doesn't make things easier.

Recently, I've been getting home around 6:30, having a quick and light dinner, then putting the critters to bed and going for a ride. Actually, I've started to really look forward to it at the end of the day.

Remind yourself that riding at night has several advantages (as well as distinct disadvantages). Of course, its dark or getting there, so there's the safety issue and you won't have the same amount of energy at 8 p.m. as you do first thing in the morning. But..........

Summer is coming, and the temp drops alot at night, making it a lot more comfortable for riding. Second, while you need still need to be visible, there are a lot fewer cars out at night. I ride a loop in Prospect Park, which is utterly desserted after 9.

Perhaps best of all, your time is your own. You've taken care of the days tasks, chores, etc, and you can ride as long or as little as you want. You know you can relax when you get him, so you can push a little harder.

And, I just started to like it. Something about being outside, at night, by myself is really appealing to me. Push yourself to go a few times and I think you'll quickly get hooked.
Better Riding Through FoodGregory Taylor
May 3, 2002 11:32 AM
If you are coming home just wiped out, maybe a snack in the car on the way home would pick up your energy. A bottle of your favorite sport drink to remind you go go ride? A banana or piece of fruit? Or go whole hog and have a Pop Tart.
Another Thought....Gregory Taylor
May 3, 2002 11:39 AM
Do you have a riding buddy? Think about hooking up with some friends and establish a regular post-work ride. We have a group in the neighborhood that commutes regularly M-F. Meeting up with the guys (it's all guys) gets me out of the door in the morning.
Another Thought....velofelo
May 4, 2002 6:21 AM
That's just what I was about to say. Find a riding buddy - someone who expects you to ride with him/her and will be disappointed if you don't want to ride.

Another thought: my gym has a cycling program (essentially a group ride) once a week that I'm just itching to get to by the time the workday is ended. In fact, it's all I think about that afternoon. It really helps me to get motivated to ride when I know others will be there, sharing in my passion for the sport.

Barring that, just force yourself to go out for a half-hour spin. You might find that it becomes more than that.
some advicesalmonwheel
May 3, 2002 11:33 AM
Well, I see my fellow ambassadors of the sport have once again shown what a welcoming crowd we are. If you have trouble being motivated to ride, you probably shouldn't plan on being able to compete in the Tour, but you can still enjoy many of the benefits of cycling.

For some people, it is hard to get started on a consistent riding routine. If you are like many of us I would bet that once you get out riding you enjoy it and think "why don't I do this everyday". My advice would be to work it in to your routine somehow. You may need to be creative, but really try, don't just dismiss it. You're already showing a good sign by being willing to change your work schedule. Do to your commuting time, I'm guessing bicycle commuting isn't a real option. Do you really spend two hours a day in your car, uggh.

A motivational tool that worked for me was to keep track of my ability and progress. I don't know what your goals are, but I'm sure you have some ( I started with losing weight, now I'm much more ambitious). Do you want to lose weight, ride faster, be fit whatever. First assess your present state (weigh yourself, time yourself etc.). Then set one or more specific objective(s) to help you reach your goal (lose ten lbs. by august, do a 50 minute tt, complete a century....). Spend some time thinking about what it will take to reach your objectives, there's only one real answer here? Ride the Bike!! after that you can get more specific or rigid if you want to. Now check on your progress, if your goal is to lose weight it's easy
weigh yourself every morning and keep a diary (I'm a numbers geek so I wrote my own computer program). I think entering the numbers in a spreadsheet and creating a graph is useful, so you can see (or have to see) your progress (or lack thereof), and look at the graph everyday. That way each day you don't ride isn't day 1 it is day 12 and you still haven't ridden which beats on the psyche a little more. When you miss a deadline don't abandon it change the reenter the deadline on your chart and reassess how you can make sure you reach it the next time. Once you start making progress it gets easier because it feels good and you don't want to slip. Besides bicycling gets to be even more fun when you go faaster and get comfortable riding for a long time.

When I was getting started I used my daughter to help me out too. I told her to help "remind me to ride more" and she loved riding in the trailer. So I get home from work and "daddy can we go for a bike ride, daddy can we go for a bike ride....................." you get the picture. Don't use an adult, its way more annoying ; ).

I hope you find a way to help you get started. There's always room for one more bike on the road.
some advice (spreadsheet)Icefrk13
May 3, 2002 1:33 PM
Would you be willing to e-mail me your hard work. As I am in the process of trying to loose weight. I am up and down latly. If you would my e-mail is shuter13@attbi.com.

Thank you.
Matt
What I did...DINOSAUR
May 3, 2002 11:41 AM
During cycling season I had the advantage of working different shifts. I would work 5:45am-2:15pm during the cycling season. I found as soon as I got home I would just not dally around and get on my cycling cloths and get on my bike and ride. If I allowed myself time to sit down and relax I'd start thinking about not riding. Listening to music while I suited up helped. My rides were usually within the 1:30-2:00 range during the weekdays. Don't think about it, just do it..I'm retired now, but everyone suffers from lack of motivation once and while..even now...some of my best rides is when I'm limited to time and I just have to get on my bike and go...
Getting goingDCP
May 3, 2002 11:41 AM
I am like you. Sometimes, I have to trick myself. If you don't feel like riding, just decide you are doing a short ride. Once I get going on the bike (or to the gym or whatever) for a while, most of the time, I feel well enough to do a normal ride or rountine. Sometimes, but rarely, I do just the short ride and so I am not always lying to myself.
How about this...rideslikeagirl
May 3, 2002 12:08 PM
I'm in the same boat, and I may be giving this a try if things (motivation) doesn't change-

Put your cycling clothes on BEFORE you leave work at night.

That way, when you get home, you won't have to take any extra steps to get on the bike, other than putting on the helmet and shoes. No time to talk yourself out of a great ride.

It's really tough to wind back up, after un-winding for an hour in the car.

Good luck!
re: motivation needed!DrSchu
May 3, 2002 12:33 PM
buy a new bike, expensive but effective.
I had the same problem & here is what I did.Len J
May 3, 2002 12:49 PM
When I lived in Philadelphia, I took my gear & bike to work, and got dressed & rode from work, get my 1.5 hour ride done. By the time I get back to my car, traffic is reduced & my normally 50 minute commute only took 35 minutes. Gained both ways.

I always found that a long commute in traffic was draining as hell. You also might try eating in the car to build up your energy.

Len
I had the same problem & here is what I did.rideslikeagirl
May 3, 2002 1:08 PM
Was doing that last year, and you're right, it's a win-win.

I just like my route at home so much better.

But, riding a crummy route is better than not riding at all!
re: motivation needed!Me Dot Org
May 3, 2002 1:58 PM
It's funny, I just finished a 43 mile ride when I saw this post. When I finish a good ride, it feels like all the cells in my body have been washed. There is a glow that comes from the inside.

When I'm feeling like you do, I ask myself: When's the last time I felt worse after a bicycle ride? Think about how you feel after you've ridden. It always feels better than before.

If possible save your big rides for the weekends. Give yourself 1 or 2 days off during the week. It will make going out on the other days easier.
re: motivation needed!guido
May 3, 2002 9:23 PM
The more tired you are mentally, the greater the benefits of a spirited bike ride, to cleanse the mind along with the body. Many's the time I've really resisted going out after a hard day's work. A little voice in my head always says, "But you'll feel better afterwards!" Which is the main benefit of exercise, when all else is said and done.

I have gone out dead tired, mentally drained, angry, bitterly resisting, calling the whole thing stupid, usually at the end of a ridiculously insane day. And, like butter, the tensions just melt away, every time. All it takes is getting on the bike and pedaling down the street. After that, you've got it made. The body and mind regain that essential vitality which is suppressed or denied in "modern industrialized society."

As others have pointed out, ride as hard and as long as you like. Mine have always been escapes from the workaday woes and worries. If I can't let go of some life problem, I find a good hill to attack. If I'm really stressed, I just take it easy and work on my spin.

Too many people treat their workout as a chore. They have a program, a training goal, going a pre-planned distance or intensity, anticipating results. That's all fine, but the wonderful thing about bike riding is the effort can be modulated to fit the mood, the immediate fitness level. No matter how hard or easy, how long or short the time, the body and soul respond.

MeDotOrg is right. One or two days off during the week will allow your body to regenerate. Use the week to build leg strength, stamina, which will make you fitter--and fresher!--for the longer endurance rides on weekends.
If you can, try riding in the morning.steve1244
May 3, 2002 2:00 PM
Set the alarm for about 45 min to an hour before you plan on leaving for your ride. Move the alarm away from your nightstand so it's impossible to hit snooze without getting out of bed first.

Load and set the coffee maker the night before. Hopefully, you have one with a programmable timer so you can have a hot pot of coffee waiting for you as you stumble into the kitchen.

I never thought I'd get used to getting up so early in the morning and riding, but after doing it for a year, I love it. It's quieter, safer and more peaceful, I find, to do my weekday riding in the morning. Plus, it avoids the motivation issue you're running into that also plagued me. The fatigue factor is illusory. After my body got used to waking up at 5 a.m., I found that I actually had more energy during the day when I got up early to ride, than when I didn't.
re: motivation needed!SnowBlind
May 3, 2002 2:09 PM
You say your commute is a hour?
In the Bay Area, that might be only a 10 mile distance. Maybe you could ride in? One guy here lives 50 miles away, so he drives in/rides home then rides in drives home. He can get in up to 200 miles a week that way.
Added bonus: It takes a lot to get under my skin on a day I ride in, I am just too damn cheerful.
re: motivation needed!turtlemoye
May 3, 2002 3:10 PM
Someone may have said this already but I think that you should find a group to ride with. There are several benefits:
1. Your rides are more social--you get to met other cool cyclist.
2. Your cycling will improve, both fitness and technique.
3. If you miss a ride you have 10-50 people asking you why you missed the last ride.
4. Missing these rides for a while and coming back a few weeks later you may noticed the group got stonger while you problably didn't.

Hope this helps, I know it works for me.

Keep rollin'

Turtle
Imagine it could be your last ride...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 3, 2002 6:12 PM
I know what this is like. I was racing down in Trinidad and had an amazing week... race before I gave up cus I was 1) sick and 2) screwed up my knee. Then I had a concussion from a few days prior on top of that and I was sick. So in the next race there was a huge crash... it almost killed me. These accidents are so rare but its like winning the lottery... what if? Did you do everything you wanted to before that?

-Nick Corcoran
Driving force behind PodiumBound.ca still under construction and a comeback storry all about second chances!
re: motivation needed!bianchi boy
May 3, 2002 6:26 PM
Well B, I don't mind giving you suggestions despite what some of these other curmudgeons say. Here's what I do to keep motivated to ride on weekdays:
1. Get a daily training log where you record your mileage and time riding, and keep running totals for the week, month and year. Seeing those miles add up, and knowing that I won't meet my weekly/monthly goals unless I ride, really helps motivate me.
2. Make it your goal to ride every day. That way, even if miss a day or two, you'll still get in some decent miles for the week. If you start out thinking you'll ride 4-5 days, it's easier to cut that back to less.
3. Find some buddies to ride with one or two days during the week. You're more likely to get out if riding with others and it's more fun.
4. Go to a spinning class or ride a trainer if it's raining or otherwise bad weather outdoors. Spinning class in particular is a nice change of pace, it's fun talking to other cyclists, and the music is a good diversion.
5. Plan to ride right away when you get home from work, not after eating or doing other stuff. Otherwise it's too easy to get distracted and talk yourself out of it.
6. Don't try to hammer and push yourself hard every day. Take some nice, easy recovery rides during the week to let your body heal. Enjoy the scenery.

All this stuff has worked for me. My goal last year was to ride 300 miles a month, 3500 for the year. I ended up riding nearly 600 a month and over 7000 for the year.
re: motivation needed!cycleguy
May 3, 2002 8:43 PM
I ask myself the same question everyday. Yet I work 50+ hrs every week. Walk 6+ miles everyday with a 15 lb. bag on my shoulder. Single dad with two teenage boys. And wonder why I don't feel like riding 25 to 50 miles everynight when I get home and still have a few hours of sunlight left!?!?! Oh, and cook a great dinner with all the yada, yada, yada. LOL And my life is no different then many.

Where does it say in the book of life we all must be like Lemond or Lance or Coppi or Ulrich etc. etc.

We all have seasons, not only every year but also through out our life. Sometimes it's just our season to be a little slow. Sometimes not.

Knowing and understanding where we are in that season, is what we should try and understand.