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  1. #1
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    How to Get the Enthusiasm Back

    I've been riding less, and enjoying it a bit less than years ago. It's not that I don't like it, but I have less of the "I can't wait to go on a ride" feeling. And I've been letting some of the bike maintenance slide instead of looking forward to it.

    Part of this is due to colder, rainier weather, the same old routes, and getting older, but here's what I think is the main problem:

    I've become convinced that the long, slow cardio workouts (such as a five-hour sixty-mile ride), are not as beneficial as I used to think they were. That is, there is more benefit from a 30 minute workout which includes high-intensity interval training, than from an all-day bike ride. Further, I see the long rides as a net negative for health, when figuring in the chance of injuries (actual crashes and repetitive stress injuries).

    Here's the kind of article that changed my mind:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/hear...cardio-or-hiit

    Now that I'm riding less, and working out more efficiently, I have fewer of those evenings where I'm really beat. In addition, my prostate has always gotten annoyed with a lot of long rides.

    I think that some of my joy came from feeling that I was really doing something good for my body.

    But, I miss the enthusiasm that I had, and the fun of a day-long ride with my wife, stopping for lunch somewhere.

    Suggestions for how to get the old enthusiasm back? Can someone convince me an all-day ride is beneficial?
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl
    Suggestions for how to get the old enthusiasm back? Can someone convince me an all-day ride is beneficial?
    "Beneficial" makes it sound like a job or like eating your veggies. Who would get enthuisatic about that?

  3. #3
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Being outdoors for prolonged periods is very beneficial to the brain and body. Maybe that idea (link below) is sufficient motivation. But I would also compare your enthusiasm issue to what I used to feel when I ran every day. There were often days when I didn't look forward to the run. The deal I made with myself was to get dressed for the run every day and go out allowing myself to plan on a very short run --like a half mile or maybe just around the block. Every single time I started out with the intention of a shortie --I always ended up doing the whole route --and loving it. I may not have looked forward to it, but I ended up loving doing it --and loving having done it.

    http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness...e-Morning.html
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Those long rides always have taken a lot of training for me and that involved Gym and Cycling to get the fitness required to do them. Up till 2006 I used to do a 100 mile- 10,000ft offroad ride in one day. I can assure you that you have to be fit for this ride and I used to train for that one ride for most of the year. Couple of evening rides all year round- 60 odd miles at weekends and winter was the Gym aswell. After the ride it was do a few 65 mile offroad enduros or a 100 mile on the road just to retain fitness. But It was that 100 miler that gave me the goal and I worked for it. It wasn't a chore but it was hard work.

    Then in 2006 I stopped the serious offroad and went road. New challenge now- and the main one was adjusting to road bikes and riding. That challenge kept up till the end of 2011. I blame it on the weather but in reality it was me. I lost the enthusiasm and could not be bothered to go out on a Sunday in the rain and the wind and the cold and gradually the impetus went out of my riding. Still managed a few Metrics that year and a 100 miler or two but the enthusiasm was not thre. last year and I entered a Metric early in the year and turned it into a 100 miler by riding back from the finish and a few miles before the event. That made me realise how unfit I had become and I had every intention of correcting that this year but it hasn't happened.

    So I am in the same boat as you and sinking fast--Or I was. There is a big National ride next year and I have got a place. I will have to be fit for that ride. Cutoff time for the 100 miles is 8 hours and I will struggle to do it unless I get off my backside and do some work.

    Since getting that place on the ride- I have my old enthusiasm back. It will not take much effort for me to get fit again- just a couple of thousand miles and some effort-or a lot if I really think about it. I may even take up the Gym membership again so I will not catch pneumonia on the cold wet days that I should be riding but won't as it is too cold- too wet and too windy.

    I may be peculiar but I require motivation to get out and do a boring 60 miler when I don't really WANT to. I know I NEED to but that Goal of doing the ride next year is going to overrule what I want to do.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    I have read a lot of similar material and now handle the fitness side with short rides with sprints a couple of days a week (on the trainer in the winter). But I still like to take longer (e.g. 30-40 mile) rides with my wife simply for fun. I actually enjoy them more now that I don't worry about getting "sufficient" mileage in each week. How about looking for new ride location, stops midway for lunch, etc.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  6. #6
    Older I get, faster I was con's Avatar
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    I "cycle" through about 3 or 4 major activities. It helps keep them all fresh and fun.

  7. #7
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by con View Post
    I "cycle" through about 3 or 4 major activities. It helps keep them all fresh and fun.
    Variety is the spice...change up the routine. Take some short rides around town, rather than going out determined for a certain mileage use it to get to a different activity or place. I don't even keep track of mileage, but use my bikes all the time for something.

    Marc
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  8. #8
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    No suggestions for you, Al, I do hope you can find the enthusiasm for riding again.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  9. #9
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    The number of glucose molecules required to produce one molecule of ATP at aerobic level of exercise is a nett of 30. The number of glucose molecules required to produce on molecule of ATP at anaerobic level of exercise is 1. You can do anaerobic exercise for around two minutes before the lactic acid fatigue stops the muscles. You can keep riding all day at aerobic levels.

    All-day long rides are OK, if that's what you want to do. But I don't know that many people who do them unless they are training for LD, setting out to achieve something like a century, or are touring.

    Many training programs for LD riding suggest two or three short rides with relatively high intensity during the week, and one long one at the weekend. That is active training. There is nothing that says someone seeking health and fitness benefits has to do that, and there is nothing that says you have to ride if you don't find it fun to do.

    I do have some trouble with some of the reports like those in the Examiner. I haven't followed the study to the journal, but I would suggest some care with a report written by someone who declares in passing their enthusiasm for one form of exercise regimen over another.

    If you want to ride for beneficial purposes, ride as you want to. More importantly, watch what you eat. Apart from exercise, I think the other major active preventive measure for heart disease is looking carefully at what and how much you eat.

    Link the two together, and you have a formula that seems to agree with the recommendations for adequate heart health.

    FWIW...
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Im just making a statement here what worked for me, I dont want it to turn in to a "us vs them arguement".

    What worked for me was going to recumbents 5 years ago. I usually ride 30 miles or so, and when I get home I am a little sorry the ride is over for the day. The total lack of pain, and the ability to set up and see the scenery comfortably increases the joy of riding.

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I can't help you. I have always ridden because I enjoy riding. That it may or may not be good for me was always a secondary consideration at best.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    I do have some trouble with some of the reports like those in the Examiner. I haven't followed the study to the journal, but I would suggest some care with a report written by someone who declares in passing their enthusiasm for one form of exercise regimen over another.
    The analysis by the Examiner is junk. Their conclusion that HIT sprint intervals were better for the heart than steady riding was not supported by the article they cited. The article concludes:
    Overall, results of the study indicated that the two exercise programmes had distinct cardioprotective effects on adolescent youth. Participants in the MOD intervention improved several risk factors, including %BF, aerobic fitness, insulin sensitivity, Fg, and PAI-1concentrations, whereas participants in the HIT intervention improved in SBP and aerobic fitness. It is not surprising, perhaps, that traditional endurance exercise appears to have had the greatest effect on CVD risk over the 7-week intervention.
    The HIT training was more time efficient but not everyone wants to run around doing tabata intervals all the time.

    Sorry, no help on the motivation factors. Just finished up a nice 3 hr ride in the chilly(4C) sunshine. The 2,300 calories I burned made me feel less guilty about the pizza I ate for dinner

  13. #13
    Senior Member gif4445's Avatar
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    Maybe the best thing is to do something else for awhile. Spend some time away. Absence may make the heart grow fonder.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The number of glucose molecules required to produce one molecule of ATP at aerobic level of exercise is a nett of 30. The number of glucose molecules required to produce on molecule of ATP at anaerobic level of exercise is 1. You can do anaerobic exercise for around two minutes before the lactic acid fatigue stops the muscles. You can keep riding all day at aerobic levels.

    All-day long rides are OK, if that's what you want to do. But I don't know that many people who do them unless they are training for LD, setting out to achieve something like a century, or are touring.

    Many training programs for LD riding suggest two or three short rides with relatively high intensity during the week, and one long one at the weekend. That is active training. There is nothing that says someone seeking health and fitness benefits has to do that, and there is nothing that says you have to ride if you don't find it fun to do.

    I do have some trouble with some of the reports like those in the Examiner. I haven't followed the study to the journal, but I would suggest some care with a report written by someone who declares in passing their enthusiasm for one form of exercise regimen over another.

    If you want to ride for beneficial purposes, ride as you want to. More importantly, watch what you eat. Apart from exercise, I think the other major active preventive measure for heart disease is looking carefully at what and how much you eat.

    Link the two together, and you have a formula that seems to agree with the recommendations for adequate heart health.

    FWIW...
    Sheesh. Now I've lost my motivation too.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    +1 for doing something "else" for a while. During the winter, when my bike is parked in the basement, I start spending more time with my ukulele, and find that I really enjoy THAT again after a whole biking season away from it. Then, as spring approaches, I always find myself strumming and staring out the window, daydreaming about rides again.

    I've had months of disinterest in my bike, but never more than that. You'll get it back.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  16. #16
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    Seasons come and seasons go. Some stay awhile and some pass quickly. That is just a fact of life and isn't subject to some pseudo-scientific study. It appears to be extremely rare to be able to go back. Once passed even though the events of the honeymoon may be duplicated it just isn't the same.

    So, maybe just move on with thanks for the past that allowed you to get to this place?
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Im just making a statement here what worked for me, I dont want it to turn in to a "us vs them arguement".

    What worked for me was going to recumbents 5 years ago. I usually ride 30 miles or so, and when I get home I am a little sorry the ride is over for the day. The total lack of pain, and the ability to set up and see the scenery comfortably increases the joy of riding.
    Yes, a recumbent or a tandem if there is a partner, or folding bikes.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  18. #18
    Senior Member momsonherbike's Avatar
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    It's winter, it's cold, it's dark early, and all motivation to bike just flattens like summer grass under a pile of cold wet dismal snow.

    Hang the "which is better for my health" comparison, and just go out to enjoy the day for what it is - a peaceful time to bike along, no agenda, to simply see and reflect on Nature's beauty. That enthusiam will return if you stop putting so many other conditions in it outside of pure enjoyment for the sake of riding.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I can't help you. I have always ridden because I enjoy riding. That it may or may not be good for me was always a secondary consideration at best.
    This ^^^

  20. #20
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    I started riding for a specific reason and that was to loose weight and get off my meds. During the process, I became addicted to just riding, regardless of the benefits. In the three years I have been riding, I have lost 35 pounds, have been taken off of all my meds and I'm still addicted to just riding for the sake of riding. I never had a training plan or read any books about this vs that type of training, I just got on the bike and rode. I have found that for every study that says one thing, there is another study that says something else. Who do you believe? I tend not to read any of them and just ride.
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  21. #21
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I've struggled through the same motivation/interest cycles for various reasons. I have the down cycle last up to a couple years. I got excited about a new bike build and and once I got that pulled together it rekindled some of the interest.

    One thing that helps me is to do different events I haven't done before. I've done the same ones around the Carolinas so often they now lack some of the luster.

    Just let nature takes its course??
    Ride your Ride!!

  22. #22
    Senior Member climberguy's Avatar
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    For me, the following can help to renew or increase enthusiasm and motivation:

    1. Set specific goals, long-term and then short-term. These may include specific events, but need not. They may be purely personal goals.
    2. Buy, order, or build a new bike. Short of that, buy some new gear or significant cycling apparel, and have fun testing it or riding in it.
    3. Take some time off, but not too much.
    4. Join a new club or local ride. Get to know some of the people and their goals and backgrounds.
    5. Try a different type of cycling--eg, cross, mountain-biking.
    6. Enter a race or other challenging event. Plan and train for it.
    7. Take some time to reflect on why you ride and what it means to you.
    8. Read a new book on cycling or a cycling figure (Half Man, Half Bike (eddy mercyx), Racing Through the Dark (david millar)) or get a subscription to a new cycling magazine.
    9. Experience some major health issues or injuries that prevent you from riding or limit you to very short and slow rides. Not really recommended (I've been there and am still there to some extent) but this really does increase the desire to ride.

    Well, that should be a start. Let us know how it goes.

  23. #23
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    For me, it's all about who I'm with. That goes for biking, skiing, picture taking, ukulele playing, bar hopping ... hell ... all kinds of stuff that would be TMI here.

    My advice is to join a club. If you're tired of your club, join another. If you don't like clubs, try an on-line forum or meeting people at organized rides.

    And if that still bores you, mix it up. Try XC skiing, or something else you think you might like.

    Vive la difference, baby.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
    www.photo395.com

  24. #24
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    TromboneAl, short, higher intensity rides or intervals help me to feel stronger. they may help you get your enthusiasm back too. In the summer before work, I try to ride 12 or 13 miles as hard as I can, attempting to average 20 mph for that distance (dont laugh, stronger riders, and I can only do that if I catch most of the traffic lights green).

  25. #25
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with changing the routine time to time. If it works it works.

    Don't be surprised if sometime in the next year or so you decide you want to do a longer ride. Not to ride X miles but to go see some specific scenery on the bike. Then just do it.

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