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  1. #1
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    How to motivate myself to ride when I'll no longer be commuting to work?

    The highlight of my work day is my bike commute. But I've accepted a new job where I'll be working from home. I've earned a reputation for being to fittest person at my current workplace, which is cool. Where I live has miles and miles of concrete and asphalt, so just going on a bike ride is boring. How should I motivate myself to ride daily when I'll no longer have the commute to look forward to? I've done club rides but most of them here are just rides through city streets, which is meh.

  2. #2
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    I've been in a similar boat for a few years. I suggest heading to a coffee shop several miles away everyday before you clock in.
    It occasionally works for me. Need to get back into doing it, myself; and I find doing it in cold winter weather or hot and humid days in summer makes it difficult to motivate myself.
    Biking to lunches and lunchtime learning workshops helps as much for the ride to and from as the social interaction.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hooCycles's Avatar
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    I was in a similar situation since I am a student. I commuted by bike for a summer internship and then went back to school. You may find this thread I started interesting.

    Is recreational riding ever the same...

    There is plenty of positivity in that thread.

  4. #4
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    Your personality and desire will drive this.

    I'm a fairly lazy individual. I know I don't have the discipline to work from home on a regular basis or hit a gym on a regular basis, so I NEED a reason/process to exercise. I used to bike to work (15 miles each way) whenever I could, but when work conditions changed and I couldn't bike to work I biked only a few times a month (friend's house, bar, small errand, ..). I flipped jobs a few months back and now I'm able to bike every single day

    Point: you need a reason. I like the coffee idea @randomgear brought up, but anything of that same nature will work. Just make a schedule and stick to it, if you don't block your time you won't do the activity.
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    Bike to all of your errands!

  6. #6
    Senior Member mcours2006's Avatar
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    Quite honestly I would find it difficult to motivate myself to head out to ride if I didn't have to go to work, which is currently 12 miles away. This is especially so in winter. My weekend bikes never get used anymore. However, if I did work from home, and it was wasn't winter I'd probably head out on my bike once or twice a week for short rides. In theory this is what I'd do.

    During winter, however, I'd probably head out for a short run instead. It accomplish the same thing, fitness wise, in less time, and I'm much less susceptible to the weather conditions. That, or just stay indoors on the treadmill and watch a movie.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
    I've accepted a new job where I'll be working from home........... How should I motivate myself to ride daily.....
    Things change! Working at home is major lifestyle change. You may never find time for the "daily ride" again... or at least not before retirement. You'll also never again be the "fittest" (or anything else) guy at the office. It will just be (more or less) ... you.

    Join a gym. Go every morning at the same time (maybe bicycle there). Have a coffee or something near the gym too. Build a new routine with new social contacts. Enjoy.

  8. #8
    Member hatrack71's Avatar
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    I'm nowhere near the situation you are in but I think I can imagine. I went periods without riding. How about getting a new bike that is more of a pleasure to ride than just an A to B'er? Or not. Your mind might be trained to think you are going to work instead of recreation if you ride your current commuter. I don't know, it's a different way to look at it. I've had to be reinspired a few times to get back into cycling. A new bike did in fact help me one time. I came to the realization all my race bikes from my younger years just were too cramped for me.... and not really my color. :^) So I made some changes. It might be as simple as you are bored with your current bikes or they are just plain uncomfortable. Also, try to connect with others that enjoy the hobby and bikes. It helped me along when I needed motivation to ride. The only other thing I can think of is wrenching on bikes. I have several in my ever rotating collection that I am constantly upgrading. I love to build up bikes whether I plan to keep them or not. And of course they need to be test ridden to make adjustments. It gets you out there. I guess if you have a passion for this stuff, it kinda becomes natural to want to ride.
    Last edited by hatrack71; 01-24-16 at 07:36 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    A coffee shop is a good idea but for me I don't see riding twelve miles a day back and forth to a coffee shop. Depending on how flexible the schedule was I could probably make up the miles some other way.

    The reason bike commuting works so well is that it's easy to make it a routine. Unless I'm training for something it is harder for me to ride just to ride. I need a destination. Maybe you could do a couple of longer rides each week just to go to someplace new. It doesn't sound like your immediate vicinity is all that interesting, but if you could block out a few hours that might allow you to get someplace worth exploring.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
    The highlight of my work day is my bike commute. But I've accepted a new job where I'll be working from home. I've earned a reputation for being to fittest person at my current workplace, which is cool. Where I live has miles and miles of concrete and asphalt, so just going on a bike ride is boring. How should I motivate myself to ride daily when I'll no longer have the commute to look forward to? I've done club rides but most of them here are just rides through city streets, which is meh.
    Find a faster group to ride with. You may be the fittest person at work but that likely won't be the case if you find the right cycling group.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    One thing that helps motivate me is when I've made some kind of public commitment to ride or if I've joined a challenge. There are lots of ways to do this. I did the "coffeeneuring" challenge in the fall and plan to do the "errandeuring" one in March. You can Google those for more info (Here's a link to the latter: Errandonnee Rules | chasing mailboxes). I also do the "30 days of biking" challenges in April and September. There are FB, Twitter, and Slack groups for those. Likewise, I've joined the 250 days challenge through an online bike journal. You can PM me if you want more info. on that one.

    These are all little mental tricks I do to keep myself motivated. They work pretty well for me. Good luck finding what works for you.

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    A lot of the times when I have trouble getting onto the bike i do one of a few things.

    #1 . I try to remember how good i feel ater riding for a bit on a ride.

    #2 . I'll had out to some destination that's not very far away. Once i'm out and riding I'll often go further.

    #3 . I'll plan a short "LOOP" ride but once i get to the point where i'd turn to keep the loop short I'll be feeling better and therefore ride further - sometimes it's much further.

    #4 . remember the story about a 90 years old man who walked across the country. He was asked how he did it. He replied, "I did it one stepat a time son. One step at a time." When he was asked what the hardest part about the entire ride was he replied, "Well, it was takling that first step sonny. Taking that first step."

    Cheers

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    If you find it boring to ride city streets then you might try to set a goal for a certain distance covered in X amount of time. I used to ride for a few blocks to warm up and then I'd sprint rally hard for a block, rest in a low gear until recovered, sprint another block or so, rest and repeat. That made me concentrate more on technique and the scenery wasn't so boring. If you have a cadence counter on your bicycle computer (if you have one on your bike) then you can ride and try to increade your cadence.

    Cheers

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kindaslow's Avatar
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    Try mountain biking, it is where the fun is. Then, you might road bike some to make sure you are in good shape for the mountain bike riding!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Kindaslow's Avatar
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    Also, you might want to try out single speeds, both road and mountain. They are great fun!

  16. #16
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    Don't quit your gym. Bike to it.

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    Nothing like procrastination to get things done when you should be doing something else. You'll have the freedom to not want to work during times you should be working and should get plenty of riding in.

  18. #18
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    I know this is heresy, but there's no law that you have to cycle. If you are not going to enjoy the ride, consider taking up another hobby for exercise or enjoyment or both.

    Or if there's better riding to be done not to far from home, arrange things so you can get there a few times a week for a high quality ride.

    Regardless of what you think you want, if you have to motivate yourself it's a losing proposition in the long term and you need to find thins that provide their own motivation.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    What city are you in? You can take nice long rides oUT of it and explore new areas. I started off as a roadie before I started commuting, and I still love going out for pleasure rides. Look into maybe doing some distance events, like a century, or if you have the interest, randonneuring. That will keep you cycling. Taking up mountain biking is also a good idea, or cyclocross
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  20. #20
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    If you really love riding, you'll find a way to get on the bike
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  21. #21
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    How to motivate myself to ride when I'll no longer be commuting to work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
    The highlight of my work day is my bike commute. But I've accepted a new job where I'll be working from home. I've earned a reputation for being to fittest person at my current workplace, which is cool. Where I live has miles and miles of concrete and asphalt, so just going on a bike ride is boring. How should I motivate myself to ride daily when I'll no longer have the commute to look forward to? I've done club rides but most of them here are just rides through city streets, which is meh.

    Quote Originally Posted by hooCycles View Post
    …You may find this thread I started interesting.

    Is recreational riding ever the same...

    There is plenty of positivity in that thread.
    I posted to that thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Is recreational riding ever the same...after commuting?

    Quote Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
    I have a hard time riding unless I am commuting to a destination. Otherwise I just get bored.

    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    What might be considered recreational riding for me is usually something I'm doing to get some exercise and the fun is secondary to the exercise. But even my commuting miles have enough fun in them to be considered at least partly recreational

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    my recreational riding has really tailed off over the past several years, but that probably has more to do with settling down, getting married, and starting a family.

    time has fast become the most elusive of commodities
    Due to a busy work-family life, all my fitness activities are cycling, and almost all my cycling is year-round commuting. I’m fortunate to have nice, safe, doable 14 mile one-way, and easily extendable routes...

    For me recreational vs commuting cycling is a chicken-vs-egg question, because commuting is fun / recreational, and the necessity of commuting gets me on the road far more than I would for just recreation.

    Furthermore for me during the nice weather when I try to follow a training program, mileage becomes a destination itself. An optimal and desirable ride is to extend my commute, especially if I do a long ride when going in on Saturday for a few hours. Such a long commute usually takes me through the best recreational cycling areas in Metro Boston.
    So for me I ride for fitness, and commuting is my modality, because that’s the only time I can spare, and I make the time from my busy life to achieve fitness…a vicious, but effective cycle. I would not be inclined to ride at less than 40⁰, or in the rain just for “recreation/fun”. So I hear you.

    Now while I enjoy cycling under my life circumstances, one discouragement over my usual routes is boredom. I have posted a couple mental tricks to alleviate boredom:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I'm very motivated by novelty, and stymied by boredom on a bike, but I do have the motivation of commuting to work. I have found that when I drive my frequent, decades-old routes I often notice things I had not seen before. I think it’s because I can look around at more than just the road surface when driving. So when the commute is getting too familiar, I just raise my head higher and look over a wider field of view...
    A local BF subscriber @rholland1951 who contributes hundreds of photographs to the local Metro Boston thread from the same 11-mile long MUP he rides, once commented something like that just the lighting / time of day / day of the year makes the ride “different.” So too does the direction, one way, or the reverse.

    And after buying a high end carbon fiber bike:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    ……I further craved the smoothness of the ride, including the shifting, making cycle-commuting [and riding in general] more pleasurable. Of greatest benefit, while long (greater than 40 mile) rides took the same amount of time as before, I felt much less tired at the end.
    Finally, one mental trick I have used is an imaginary riding partner. Since Boston is such an interesting town, and I like showing visitors around, I occasionally "show" around a fellow BF subscriber from my native Midwest, whose posts I like, and point out various sights on my route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Tosh
    Even when I was a kid, my imaginary friend would play with the kid across the street. I'd be like, "Hey, so I guess I'll see you later," and he's, like, "Whatever...
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-25-16 at 08:54 AM. Reason: mentioned rholland1951

  22. #22
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    I wish I was in your situation, that I could ride whenever and wherever. Of course, I love riding, and have so many places to ride around here. No idea where you live, but if there is somewhere you like, hop in your car and you can ride other places.

  23. #23
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I know this is heresy, but there's no law that you have to cycle. If you are not going to enjoy the ride, consider taking up another hobby for exercise or enjoyment or both.
    Heretic!

    Seriously though, I've been thinking about the same thing. I'm contemplating retirement in a couple years and it occurred to me that I'll have to make a conscious effort to keep riding my bike without the routine of going to work every day. I'm guessing it won't be too difficult in the nice months to go out regularly and ride. In the winter, though, it's hard enough to stay motivated to ride when I have a good reason to do it (i.e. I need to get to work.) If I don't need to be anywhere in particular, I'll have to be diligent to either find excuses to ride or substitute another form of exercise so I don't turn into a blob over the winters.
    Visit me at the Tundra Man Workshop

  24. #24
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    You can still be the fittest person in your office and it might take much less effort, LOL.

    I'm like a bunch of you in that without the ride to work, I might not ride during the week. However, I'm not too far (~4km) from a 2-lane highway with 2-3m/yd wide paved shoulders where I can go to the end of it and back (it is a bypass, so I'm referring to the end of the bypass, not the end of the TransCanada which is what it is) and put in about 45km. Given that you don't have to go to work per se, you can go in any direction you want and therefore, you might find a nice riding route (out and back) it a completely different direction. Furthermore, you're not encumbered by a commuting bike, you can take your road bike or your mountain bike and go somewhere that your commuting bike wouldn't let you. You could also consider throwing it on the back of your car and driving to the starting point for a nice ride. Finally, you could hop on a bike trainer in inclement conditions.

    I have found that it is difficult to make a new habit but once started, it can almost be just as difficult to break it: once you get into the hang of going out for a ride, it'll become automatic after a while.
    I was asked, "Now that you're an adult, what are you going to do with your life?" I replied, "I don't know, I didn't think I'd make it this far."

  25. #25
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    Actually, it might be easier for you to ride now since you don't have to lug your lunch, and change of clothes to work, nor do you have to lock up the same way.

    All you really need to do now is for your coffee breaks or lunch breaks, just hop on your bike with the minimal of prep, ride around the block and get back.

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