Here's the dilemma: love ridin', love commutin', unfortunately I work a rotational shift (i.e., I work 2 days from 5:45 am to 6:15 pm, have a couple of days off then work from 5:45 pm to 6:15 am for 2 days). Now...providing anyone's been able to keep up with that, I can't myself half the time, does anyone else work a schedule like that, and if so, do those people have any suggestions to keep their motivation up. I'd love to commute more than I do but staying up all night at work and having to ride home first thing in the morning...well, let's just say it ain't so fun.
Tough question. I guess it is hard to identify with that type of schedule. I get up at 0445 to get to work at 0600. Then I can leave any time after 1500. I don't find it hard to get motivated to ride my bike, but it is sometimes hard just to get out of bed. Once at work, it is different. I can't wait for the ride home. Of cours, I am lucky in that I have worked out a nice route on which I only have to interact with significant traffic in a couple of spots. Obviously, there is almost no traffic at 0500!
Motivation is such a personal thing, anyway. Since it comes from within, we must each struggle with it. All any of us can do is point out the good things about riding, all of which you already know anyway. Two that might mean something to me if I were in your situation, especially the early morning ride home after a long night:
1. I am going home!
2. I will have had a good workout before most people even wake up, and I will probably sleep well.
You don't mention how long the ride is. Mine is 20 RT, 9 in, 11 home.
I have had the same problem, although the longer I ride the fewer days I wake up and say "I don't want to do this today." It's becoming second nature. However, as the days grow shorter and the mornings cooler, the motivation problem is coming back...and then I just go visit my local gas station and BAM! I'm right back out there on my bike.
My commute is a short one, only 5 miles each way.
I think it was Naisme or someone who said they were so tired sometimes they'll stop on the side of the road, sit on the guardrail, rest their head on the top tube of the bike to take a 10 minute nap before continuing home. That's motivation...