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Old 01-25-09, 08:48 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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Ever lose interest for a while?

I'm feeling odd ... a little guilty ... a little melancholy (no, that's too strong a word for it) ... a little "something" ...

I took up this cycling thing in 2005 and really got hooked. Got in lots of miles (for me) for the first two and a half years...then it started to recede...last year's total was down by 2/3 from the year before.

I still love being on a bike, but I'm flat out not as keen about the whole thing as I was. I have new interests which take my time, particularly photography, and I find more reasons NOT to ride than to ride. I used to enjoy the challenge of a little rain or some colder weather -- now, I use that as a reason to stay inside.

When I come to this forum, quite naturally all the posts are from people who love cycling and are still out there day after day (weather/injuries permitting, of course). Anyone who's interest has lagged is probably not going to post, either.

But I still read most of the posts, so I thought I'd post about this and see what people have to say. Have you ever gone through a period where you sort of lost interest in cycling as much as you had loved it before? And if so, how long did it last, and how did you re-discover the passion you'd had before?

I'm curious because I can't quite sort out whether this is temporary or permanent. And I do know that when I DO get out on the bike, it's pretty much as good as always -- fun, and I feel good. But I'm just not as passionate as before. What's up with that???
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Old 01-25-09, 09:02 PM   #2
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There is one rule that I learned early on from my LBS mechanic, Don't ride because you have to. If you feel like you don't want to ride, don't force it. Sooner or later the desire comes back. For me, that has worked.
I went through a similiar time when I began losing interest in mountain biking. I had tried road and found it boring. Then I joined a really well orgainized road club and found my interest again.
Meanwhile, the rest from mountain biking helped and my interest returned.
If you're not finding the old thrill in riding, I wouldn't force it. When that desire returns by itself, it will be natural and it will be stronger than before.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:05 PM   #3
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Drive on the freeway for awhile. That'll fix you right up.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:21 PM   #4
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It sounds perfectly normal, DG. There's only so much time to do everything we want to do. You sound like someone with many interests, cycling being one of them. At one time, cycling held a more prominent spot in your life. Now, you have new interests, but you still enjoy riding your bike -- and that's good! I'd worry if you were selling (or already sold) your bikes to give up riding altogether. In a happy life there must be balance, and we need to be true to ourself -- not chase someone else's dream of miles, centuries, and so forth. I think Joe Friel says something about taking a break in his book Cycling Past 50, keeping balance in one's life and not riding because we feel we "should" (a sure recipe for burn-out).

I'm experiencing a similar period now... I still LOVE riding when I do, but there are other things I need to do and get done around the house. Saturday rides with the group take up a good part of the day and then I get nothing else done, and I return to work on Monday feeling good about the ride but bad about my otherwise lack of duty to house and home. I ride as often as I can and ignoring the inner voice that points fingers at me and says I'm lazy or I don't like riding anymore. That's simply not true -- I'm just a person of many interests.

Don't sweat it.... and don't compare yourself with anyone else here. Listen to your own set of goals and priorities, and don't let anyone else set them for you.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:27 PM   #5
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During the eighties and nineties, I was madly into motorbikes and dog training with my pushbike mania was still hangingon in there. I used to go through this cycle - every year, the TdF would come on and I'd drag the Europa out of the shed and go riding. Some years it'd last a few months, other years I'd still be riding when the next TdF came on.

2007 was a heavy riding year for me. 2008 dawned and I was still all keen and energetic. Then I started uni and the stress of returning to full time uni just made riding all too difficult - I'm also a single dad. I guess it didn't help that I'd built up a commuter from second hand bits and spent much of the year trying to sort the thing out (buy new bits, it's easier). For the first few months, I drove the car, then started driving most of the way and riding a few kms into uni, the parking further out and riding into unit. During the last half of the year, I was commuting most of the way and went back to riding to my son's soccer games on the weekend I didn't have him.

For the last 8 weeks, I've had full time work and have been commuting by bike every day. This however, has meant that I'm tired and should be leaving weekends free of riding until my body is used to commuting, so my only riding has been commuting. As it happens, my contract ends in a couple of weeks with no prospect of further work and with jobs rather scarce ... so the commuting angle is going to end and I'll be back to 'recreational' riding whatever that proves to be.

Mate, the message I'm trying to send is that life just gets in the way. Maybe there's other stuff taking you away from bikes, maybe you just did too much for a bit and you're mentally stale. Maybe it's time to find an old steel roadie and convert her to a fixed gear bike or restore that Schwinn you lusted after as a kid and couldn't afford or buy a bent or get really really radical and buy a **gasp** bike that isn't white

Don't sweat on it. If bikes are in your blood, you'll come back to them. If you don't, maybe bikes are no longer your thing. You can still come here, and we'll insult you, just to make you feel at home of course.

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Old 01-25-09, 10:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
I'm feeling odd ... a little guilty ... a little melancholy (no, that's too strong a word for it) ... a little "something" ...

I took up this cycling thing in 2005 and really got hooked. Got in lots of miles (for me) for the first two and a half years...then it started to recede...last year's total was down by 2/3 from the year before.

I still love being on a bike, but I'm flat out not as keen about the whole thing as I was. I have new interests which take my time, particularly photography, and I find more reasons NOT to ride than to ride. I used to enjoy the challenge of a little rain or some colder weather -- now, I use that as a reason to stay inside.

... Have you ever gone through a period where you sort of lost interest in cycling as much as you had loved it before? And if so, how long did it last, and how did you re-discover the passion you'd had before?

I'm curious because I can't quite sort out whether this is temporary or permanent. And I do know that when I DO get out on the bike, it's pretty much as good as always -- fun, and I feel good. But I'm just not as passionate as before. What's up with that???
I OD'd also - mileage from Nov '97 to Oct '04 - 22 mi.- 2 bike rides in 7 yrs
actually I guess I should not say 'also'... this was just what got me off.
really, I guess after almost 28 yrs of full-on passion for cycling (and racing), I just imploded.
got fat, pretty fat. actually for most of that the dry-rot was very subtle, until around '03 when I finally realized how far I;d sunk... almost gave up...
then I'd realized I;d gone well past 50 (54) and wasn't happy with myself.
at first the return rides were hell. I didn't enjoy them. But I persisted cause I knew cycling was the ONLY way I was gonna lose 25 lbs to get even close to some semblance of 'OK' (205 to 180 - victories can be small ones...)
Then I decided that contrary to prior years, cycling was, from now on, always gonna be 'living in the moment', never again about 'tomorrow' and 'goals'.
its never again about 'training', its about the 'now', I ride again to live
and living is lotz of other things.
sometimes I fool myself into thinking I NEED to compete. Nah, not really
but its different for everyone
for me, riding is again my life rhythm
when **** piles up and society becomes allergic, riding is the remedy. Better than Vitamins, more effective than anything else I know, cept maybe a good hike.
actually it doesn;t have to be ridin, it could just as easily be painting, or many other things.
riding, like many other things, opens me up, broadens my vision, makes me totally aware I'm just another small bag of organic matter in a huge ocean of everything. it feels good.

Dee Gee - its ok
we are all more than just bike pilots
and we are fickle...
the roubaix never feels unwanted, it sits waitin for the next flight of the magic carpet.
you pick the time.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:48 PM   #7
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I never lose my passion for bikes or riding but often have problems with motivation. I think what you're going through is fairly common. Don't be too hard on yourself.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:54 PM   #8
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I've heard of this before. It's often referred to by bikologists as TWBS (The White Bike Syndrome).

It will pass.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:00 PM   #9
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My interest in cycling doesn't wain, but my interest and motivation to ride ebbs and wains, then re-peaks. Its a lot like marriage, where in there are lots of good days, and some days that suck. But the good always returns.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:09 PM   #10
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Since my early 20's, I've been "into" biking in a passionate way 4 times, each period lasting for several years. If you do the math, that means there have been a fair number of years when I didn't bike much at all.

In my case, my "non biking" periods started with a move or change in my living situation - moving to a new city, or a new house; in some cases I've lived some places that weren't very "bikable" at all. But in other cases "the move" created a change in patterns and habits, a lot of distraction, and typically a period of time when I was adjusting to a new work situation.

So taking a break seems natural to me. My problem, though, is that sometimes I let "short breaks" develop into longer breaks....before you know it the bike has a layer of dust, the tires are flat, the helmet and shoes are still in storage, and just getting back on the bike became a mental obstacle.

I don't regret that I took "breaks" in my biking; that's natural. However I do regret that I let some of them stretch on for so long....I did have other interests, and lots of other responsibilities, but none of my other interests got me as much exercise as biking, and that was just cheating myself.

My advice would be not to let the bike "grow stale;" get back on it frequently enough (at least a couple of times a month) that biking doesn't become "something I used to do." That's enough to make sure you can still find all your gear; the bike is in tune and reasonably clean, etc.

If you're meant to bike more, your bike will be ready and waiting - if not, and the bike phase of your life is over for now, I hope you find another form of exercise.

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Old 01-25-09, 11:11 PM   #11
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When I come to this forum, quite naturally all the posts are from people who love cycling and are still out there day after day (weather/injuries permitting, of course). Anyone who's interest has lagged is probably not going to post, either.
You would think so, wouldn't you.

I haven't riden a bike since October 29th. Was hoping to get out in the cold weather a bit, but the snows and ice came in and covered the trails.

My interests in hobbies, areas of interest, activities, etc., always runs in cycles (he he he). But it almost always centers on a relatively short list of them, I just go from one to the other and eventually circle around.

As to biking, I've never been an avid cyclist. Getting out 3 times a week is a lot for me, unless I'm on one of my biking vacations. Even then, I never do more than around 150 miles in a week. So biking has always been a relaxing activity, rather than a strenuous one. I'm looking forward to getting out some in March, not because I feel the need to get out and push myself, but because I miss the relaxing escape it provides.

But I wouldn't be surprised if one day I noticed that I hadn't been out for a while and was now doing different things, like hauling my telescope out a lot more often. That's the way it goes for me.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:29 PM   #12
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My passion for bikes goes in cycles, too. (Shoot me - I couldn't resist!) After having been out of the saddle for many years, I latched onto a lowracer recumbent - a totally different riding rush. My teenaged son sparked my interest in single track mountain biking - another world of wonderful biking experience. A friend of mine got me on fixies, which I did only a few months before I relented to my complaining knees and added a freewheel. Lately I've added a folder to the stable because it is always in the back of my vehicle and ready wherever I drive to and suddenly feel "Gee, I wish I had a bike to ride here right now." I still have all those bikes and ride each of them because of the unique joy each provides me. Variety really is the spice of life.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:39 PM   #13
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eh
Me too. New England roads are icy, narrow and cold.
I need 2009 goals.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:41 PM   #14
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I've got lots of interests.

This year has been heavy with my national and local groups I have formed for attempting to end the wait lists for individuals with disabilities, including even two trips to east coast conventions on the subject, and now, in the midst of economic crisis, attempting to save what we have in services. I moderate 3 listservs, and am the leader of two groups, one of which takes a good deal of psychic energy, and into which I place a whole lot of planning time and thought.

Also, I discovered that I could swim starting about 13 months ago, and I started new routines for weight lifting and stretching, and am doing indoor spinning classes. And then I decided to organize an annual 50+ bicycle ride in Glenwood Springs. Oh, and then there is the gospel singing group I started and the 12 December concerts, and the upcoming Gospel Winterfest in February and the 7 minute movie video I made, which can be seen at http://www.ourwebs.info/indexxyz.htm

Also, my wife's schedule has changed (some of my bicycling depends on her being otherwise occupied), and, with long nights and short days and a lot of very cold weather, I miss getting my 5:00 am rides.

So, it all comes down to fitting my biking in along with all my other interests and other life factors and schedules. Bicycling does not dominate my life, and I wouldn't want it to. I view it as one of the many things I do to keep my mind and body active and balanced at age 69.

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Old 01-25-09, 11:46 PM   #15
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I lost interest once from 1987 until 2006... does that count?
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Old 01-25-09, 11:50 PM   #16
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There is one rule that I learned early on from my LBS mechanic, Don't ride because you have to. If you feel like you don't want to ride, don't force it. Sooner or later the desire comes back. For me, that has worked.
+1

I started a thread a while back when I got lazy about commuting and that was the advice that was given to me. That said, I've commuted the last week and a half without taking the car once, and I'm shooting for a whole month commuting without the car. If I hit the wall though, sure I'll drive. Tomorrow is in doubt due to weather. Light rain/mist/fog predicted. I think I'll ride but you never know.

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I lost interest once from 1987 until 2006... does that count?
+1 on that too! My bike was our second car until about the time my first son was born in 1987. We got a (real) second car shortly after and the bike spent a lot of years hanging on hooks before I got it down about a year ago... then crashed it!
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Old 01-25-09, 11:57 PM   #17
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Sounds normal to me. I too have many interests and a few passions. One of my passions is finding new things to be passionate about. Some interests get left behind and others stay with me. It's all good and normal for me.

DG, I think things are just evolving in your life. Go with whatever makes you happy. Ride more ride less whatever feels right for you.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:20 AM   #18
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I've heard of this before. It's often referred to by bikologists as TWBS (The White Bike Syndrome).

It will pass.
If it persists, it can be cured with a rattle can of red paint

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Old 01-26-09, 01:30 AM   #19
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A few years ago I got into percussion instruments. Got a Djembe, Bongos, Congas and other percussion instruments. I finally got a drum kit and I played faithfully for about two or three years. Then I discovered Astronomy and after seeing the rings of Saturn and the Gas clouds of M42 and M43 I was hooked and joined a astronomy club. One passion took time from another. It is normal. Now I have added cycling and it takes even more of my time. When the weather is bad at least I can play the hand drums. If you think we argue about equipment in the these forums you need to see what they do in the Astronomy forums.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:34 AM   #20
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Just as there is a bike butler, there are "Easy Riders". If you will send me a mere $10 a week, I will take some of your rides for you. For an additional $5 per week I will take some pictures of where you have ridden and send them to you for your own personal enjoyment.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:52 AM   #21
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Just as there is a bike butler, there are "Easy Riders". If you will send me a mere $10 a week, I will take some of your rides for you. For an additional $5 per week I will take some pictures of where you have ridden and send them to you for your own personal enjoyment.
Slip him an extra $50 and he'll force himself to enjoy himself while riding your bikes

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Old 01-26-09, 05:50 AM   #22
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OK. Someone has to say it. Since no one else will say it, I will.

HTFU Get off yer lazy butt and get out there and ride your bike! What's wrong? Is that San Diego weather too perfect for you or something?






Having said that, let me add that it is a stupid thing to say and is not serious. Do what works for you.
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Old 01-26-09, 05:57 AM   #23
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Easy answer. Never happened yet. Never, so far... Of course, it's nice to live where the climate is almost always - nice. In fact, wish it possible to sometimes feel a little apathetic. Cause, if I miss too many days off the bike, I get a little grouchy.
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Old 01-26-09, 05:58 AM   #24
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I seem to have lost my passion for the sport. Don't ride nearly as much as I used to. But there is a reason--I like off-road riding, either a mtn.bike trail with some length to it, or even a rail trail for just getting in some miles and relaxing. And I lost both when I moved to my current location. There are some mtn.bike trails, but they are short in length, and the mtn.biking crowd in these parts likes to put in log jumps all throughout (I'm not a great technical rider). The one park which did have some longer trails has been closed (budget problems), and the closest rail-trail requires a long drive. Since moving here, I purchased a road bike, and while it's OK, I have been really missing the trails and rail-trails back in southeast PA (Shrewsbury-York area). Guess I need to try to crank up my interest in road riding!
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Old 01-26-09, 06:21 AM   #25
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You're not lazy. You're just practicing periodization.
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