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Old 02-27-08, 10:32 AM   #1
igloomaster
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MOTIVATION problem

Hi all, long time no post. I've had some issues to work out.

One of my problems is this "all or nothing" attitude i've had most of my life.
My schedule is such that, if I can't ride the way I want to, then I don't ride at all.

I love my bike. I love to ride. I don't love the mental battle, the guilt, the all-or-nothing
mental roadblock.

Anybody have some motivational tips, other than the obvious "change your attitude" type stuff?

It should be OK to go out for 15 minutes if that's all the time I have. But somewhere in the back
of mind I think "you crapbag, that's nothing."
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Old 02-27-08, 11:00 AM   #2
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An attitude change does seem in order, but that doesn't always come willfully. I know growing up I was always all or nothing, so I never had the chance to enjoy liesurely rides like folks talked about. I was balls to the wall 24/7.

As I got older I realized I don't need to feel the burn on every pedal stroke...that I can just go for a ride and enjoy the scenery (especially in the spring in college towns ).

They say getting out for a 10 minute ride can overhaul your mental state enormously...even as much as a 2 hour ride.

One thing you could do is small errands. Don't think of it as riding to ride, but picking up a jug of milk, a six pack, a treat for you and your significant other, etc...just run some short errands!
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Old 02-27-08, 11:05 AM   #3
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I don't really have an answer, but more like a motivational story:

My brother and I have both ridden all of our lives... I'm 44 and he's 41. He was always the fast one... the guy who won his age division in races and triathlons. I was always attacking my own goals because I wasn't fast enough to win those races.

His problem was that he had your "all-or-nothing" training attitude... and it came to bite him as he approached the big 40th birthday mark. He got slow enough that he couldn't win the overall trophies anymore... even though his training ate up 6 or 7 hours of every day. He couldn't slow down and enjoy the rides at all. His mind kept telling him "you crapbag, that's nothing"... so he quit riding and running at all. This is a guy who once won the Georgia amateur cyclocross championship by outrunning all but three of the pro riders who were on the course at the same time... he just quit riding.

It took my brother a couple of years to adjust, but he is just now starting to ride and actually enjoy the activity itself. He's not in the shape that he used to be (put on about 30 pounds)... but he's at least out there again.

The moral of the story: Don't put artificial barriers onto your rides. If you ride 5 miles... then you ride 5 miles. Each and every ride doesn't have to be a 50 mile gut-buster.
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Old 02-27-08, 11:06 AM   #4
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Yup. Run errands on your bike. Go to the organic store half-way across town, then the organic butcher across town in the other direction and the cheese monger all the way south of there and before you know it, you've gotten a good ride in and have lots of tasty treats to show for it.
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Old 02-27-08, 11:20 AM   #5
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I switched to using my bike as my main transportation last June (as well as commuting) - I've learned since having to ride in just about everything Toronto weather can throw at me, that it's not a race unless you make it - if you back off 1-2mph you're still going to get there. If you go 10mph for a mile or two because damnit those hills *really* sucked (even though it's a city, and no "real" hills, you crapbag!) and the wind is really beating down... you'll still get there, just a bit later - no worries, just get there safely.

If you start to do errands or your commutes via bike, you'll soon learn that going balls-out all the time isn't the way to go (I personally can't do that, I don't rest/eat well enough to support it or the recovery time needed each and every day).

I remember reading here that someone started backing off on their commute about 1-2mph and amazingly only suffered a few minutes in actual journey time. This really hit home with me, and it's very true - unless you're actually in competition events, thrashing around on the street can sometimes be really inefficient (I prefer rolling up to lights than screaming up to them and braking to a stop now, for example).

Most important factor: enjoy yourself.

Riding your bike is better than not, and it doesn't matter to anyone but yourself how you do it (ignoring legalities )

I'm far over the hump of the morning should I/shouldn't I debate of riding. I know all too well as soon as I choose not to ride, I'm going to want to ride as soon as I'm out there. Remember that you're dressed properly for the -15C+windchill, remember that you'll be as warm as you want all depending on your work level, remember that you love to ride your bike, remember that even though you got a pinch flat in a snowstorm, you have everything you need to get yourself back up and running OR money/fare to get you home in cases of IT hitting the fan. Just do it.
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Old 02-27-08, 11:21 AM   #6
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Yeah, I get this..I mean I understand and experience a similar 'internal push'. Being a musician myself there's alot of 'high/low' that comes into play and w/gigging/sessions/touring etc. the bicycling sometimes can seem like a chore instead of the pleasure it may have been. My answer is that I'm taking up yoga, which I used to do years ago when I was touring alot. What it does is allow one to take what can be a very 'intense' workout into a very small space w/no equipment needed. Breath control, flexability, strength, tenacity, co-ordination. Would recommend 'hatha' yoga for you, being a drummer AND a cyclist. The 'sun salutation'(12 different positions-all forward and backward)would be a good start.

'Light on Yoga' by B.K.S. Iyengar is the 'gold standard' in yoga books.
"Complete Book of Yoga' by Swami Vishnudevenada is also very good if you can find one. It's been out of print for years.

There're other books, DVD's etc. and plenty of places to gain experience as yoga has entered the mainstream. It can be a real challenge to master these seemingly simple breathing techniques and poses. Leave the bike for a while and concentrate on your music and yoga and the joy and release you'll feel when you get back in the saddle will be well worth the time away. Sounds like you've got 'bicycle burnout'...give yourself a 'break', it'll come back.
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Old 02-27-08, 11:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igloomaster View Post
if I can't ride the way I want to, then I don't ride at all.
Change the way you want to. Have a look at this:

http://copenhagengirlsonbikes.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-27-08, 12:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igloomaster View Post
It should be OK to go out for 15 minutes if that's all the time I have. But somewhere in the back of mind I think "you crapbag, that's nothing."
If you don't have 15 minutes to ride, how can you honestly give youself a hard time for not riding enough? It's obviously something you want to do, so give yourself a break.
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Old 02-27-08, 01:19 PM   #9
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all worthy replies folks, THANK YOU
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Old 02-27-08, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igloomaster View Post
Hi all, long time no post. I've had some issues to work out.

One of my problems is this "all or nothing" attitude i've had most of my life.
My schedule is such that, if I can't ride the way I want to, then I don't ride at all.

I love my bike. I love to ride. I don't love the mental battle, the guilt, the all-or-nothing
mental roadblock.

Anybody have some motivational tips, other than the obvious "change your attitude" type stuff?

It should be OK to go out for 15 minutes if that's all the time I have. But somewhere in the back
of mind I think "you crapbag, that's nothing."
I used to think the same way. I'd start doing something (usually running), start gradually pushing myself harder, then start dreading the run a bit because I knew it would be tough, then started skipping here and there, and finally would quit. I'd repeat that cycle every few months, getting me nowhere. Finally I just decided that I'd do what I had to do to keep it fun, since the fun is what kept me coming back. And in the end, that attitude would have me doing a lot more in the end. It worked, too. Outside of injuries, I've been running consistently for 5 years and riding for almost 2, with a full year of commuting. I still tend to over-push myself sometimes, but I did take off 3 days from commuting due to weather this winter.

If you can't shake being goal-oriented and driven, try to make it a cumulative thing (per week or month) instead of per ride. That way, all those little 15-minute rides would contribute to your goal.

And really, it does take an attitude shift. Realize it's OK to have the easy ride, and the challenging ride. And as long as you're meeting your goals, an easy ride here and there is great.
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Old 02-27-08, 01:30 PM   #11
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Hey good to see you post, it's been a while! Anyway in addtion to taking it easy on yourself as far as the "Internal Negative Trip" I would suggest and have done all of the following to stay motivated or spark motivation:

1. Take you bike apart, and clean and rebuild it. It helps me get excited to ride it.
2. Get/Try a different type of bike. Sometimes switching the type of ride can help you get going.
3. Ride only on the weekends for a while. While its great to be super-committed, it can also burn you out.
4. Find a riding partner for fun or commuting.
5. Get involved in a local bike oriented charity if time allows.
6. New gear, provided fund are available, can also be exciitng and motivating.
7. Rebuild/restore project bike, ride for a while, then sell on CL.

Anyway winter is winding down, so riding won't be as much of an ordeal in the very near future!!!
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Old 02-27-08, 01:41 PM   #12
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Troughs and peaks.
I know exactly what you mean. I go through and over them regularly.
Riding through a trough means youre investing in a peak. It will pay dividends, although it may not seem like it at the time.
My last week of commuting was brutal. Felt like I had a piano tied to my ass. Then, this week Im absolutely flying and I dont know why.
Mind set?
Diet?
Stress level?
Dragging brakes?

Who knows?

Ciao for now.
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Old 02-27-08, 02:35 PM   #13
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Troughs and peaks.
I know exactly what you mean. I go through and over them regularly.
Riding through a trough means youre investing in a peak. It will pay dividends, although it may not seem like it at the time.
My last week of commuting was brutal. Felt like I had a piano tied to my ass. Then, this week Im absolutely flying and I dont know why.
Mind set?
Diet?
Stress level?
Dragging brakes?

Who knows?

Ciao for now.
I just got off of a conference call about the amazing buying opportunity the market is providing us with here in America. Made me think of exactly this post ^^^^^.

This is the time to buy more, not sell out. Throw yourself at your biking. Learn to love hating it, and soon you will hate how much you love it! Discipline and consistency is the road to success for investing AND athletics, ask any high profile investor or sports persona.

But, if you're like me you enjoy enjoying it, so do what you can to do so...even if it means not burning yourself out right now and biking for pleasure. Sounds like it's time to get on the cruiser with the basket and go bar hopping by bike!
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Old 02-27-08, 03:04 PM   #14
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It should be OK to go out for 15 minutes if that's all the time I have. But somewhere in the back
of mind I think "you crapbag, that's nothing."
You could ride for the 15 minutes and "accidently" take a wrong turn and get lost for 2-3 hours. Then you would not be a crapbag.

For me, last night I got to ride to the train station. It is about a mile after a long day, I just smile at all the poor fools how are stuck in their cars. That is all the motivation I need.
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Old 02-27-08, 03:24 PM   #15
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If I come directly from the house to the office, it's less than 4 miles. If I hit all the lights, it's just 15 minutes. When I'm tempted to call myself a crapbag, I try to remind myself that every mile counts.

And you're out in the world, connected to your surroundings, instead of sitting in a box. The other night I was riding home and looked up and noticed the moon. And the weird cloud that was blocking a corner of it. And then I remembered that it wasn't a cloud, but the start of a lunar eclipse! That was awesome. If I'd taken my car or the bus that day, I would have never noticed it.
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Old 02-27-08, 03:48 PM   #16
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+1 same here. I tell myself

Something is still better than nothing".
Also even racers do recovery rides that are under 20 minutes.
I'm work'n on my pedal stroke

Sometimes I pass a person hobbling along the street and I thank God himself that I can ride at all. Makes me feel better any way!

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It should be OK to go out for 15 minutes if that's all the time I have. But somewhere in the back
of mind I think "you crapbag, that's nothing."
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Old 02-27-08, 03:56 PM   #17
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If you have 15 minutes to ride, but you don't ride, then how do you waste those 15 minutes?
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Old 02-27-08, 04:40 PM   #18
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If you have 15 minutes to ride, but you don't ride, then how do you waste those 15 minutes?
Well said.

I've never had the all or nothing problem. Perhaps it's because I never raced or did club riding.

Sounds like you need to loosen up. Here are a few suggestions.

SELL YOUR CAR. When you have no alternative to the bike, riding to the store is not bad. It's just a short ride. You can take it at whatever pace you like.

GET A BIKE LIKE YOU'VE NEVER HAD. Get a chopper bike and ride it around the neighborhood or in a parade. Learn welding and make yourself a tall bike. Or get unique and make a bicycle that drums as you ride it along. Or learn to ride an ordinary.

GET AN LCI CERTIFICATE. Learn to teach kids to bicycle. Retouch the wonder of cycling.

RIDE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. Burn out the all or nothing.

TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF YOUR RIDE. Stop frequently and snap pics of what you see.

WHEN YOU GO DOWNHILL, COAST. Make that a rule. It's not about speed. Its about an ocean of air swirling around you. Whee!

JOIN THE LOCAL BICYCLE ADVOCACY GROUP. They have wide range of skills and focus on the bigger world of bicycling.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

Last edited by Artkansas; 02-27-08 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 02-27-08, 04:53 PM   #19
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Here's a tip: start keeping a cycling/exercise log. Write everything down -- time, distance, average speed, what you felt like. Then set some goals, like trying to ride 100 miles a week, or 300 miles a month. That's a lot of what keeps me going. I shoot for 150 miles a week, 600 miles a month year-round. In winter that is harder to accomplish, so I scale it back to 125 miles/week and 500 miles/month. If you have an off week, don't sweat it, or try to ride some extra miles to make it up.
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Old 02-27-08, 04:59 PM   #20
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I agree with Artkansas and would add another: whenever there's a full moon, put on some lights, ride down to the beach before sunset, make a campfire (if allowed) and watch the moon come up. Afterwards, take a leisurely ride home. Really puts things into perspective.
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Old 02-27-08, 05:56 PM   #21
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For me, reading all of the interesting thread/posts here at BF helps to keep me motivated. In the past I wouldn't ride when the temperature was below a certain mark. Then I would read about some of you riding in the snow, using studded tires and when the thermometer was in negative territory.

I agree, use the bike for all sorts of trips, to work , around town, and it will help to keep things interesting...
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Old 02-27-08, 06:50 PM   #22
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I set stupid goals for myself. Some call them 'stunts'. Some say U R Nuts. But I always come up with a new way to keep myself motivated. And it doesn't always have to be performance based.

Example: I have gradually changed over from commuting more and doing fewer group rides. My annual mileage is the same, but my focus is wider. I try to go on commute streaks where I go as long as I can without driving. I call a perfect week "Arby's" (five for five). I try to ride my bikes more miles than I drive my car. I set little personal bests, like "coldest ride to work".

Set yourself some kind of little goals within the time you have. Even if it's setting a goal of not skipping the 15 minutes. Here's one: see how many pounds of groceries you can squeeze into a duffel bag and get home without tacoing a wheel.

And reward yourself in little ways to.
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Old 02-27-08, 07:49 PM   #23
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I'm going to have to respond with a "change your attitude" post, but not in a preachy way. I used to be very much all-or-nothing until my first year of university. There, I discovered that handing in a crappy assignment was better than not handing in one at all (an obvious lesson, but one that I needed to be taught).

My motto thereafter became:
"Better half-assed than no-assed"

Hope you find that as inspirational as I did
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Old 02-27-08, 08:28 PM   #24
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Grow a pair, smash your car, and ride everywhere whether you want to or not
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Old 02-28-08, 11:22 AM   #25
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I was thinking of this thread when I rolled into the parking structure this morning. The computer said 12:59.1. Just under 13 minutes and I'm damned glad I rode the bike today. I might still be able to take a longer route home; if I drove that wouldn't even be a possibility.
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