I love cycling and I still have days when it’s a struggle to hoist myself out of my chair and saddle up for a ride. Motivation is the same for all of us: It waxes and wanes like the moon. You just need a few little tricks to keep yours shining bright when it would otherwise dim. Here are a few favorites.
Find a Friend—Or Four
Remember how as a kid you’d bang on every door on the block or call every friend in a 5-mile radius until you found someone to come out and play? When you did, you’d tear up the neighborhood until your mom called for dinner. And if you didn’t? You’d mope back home and veg in front of the TV. You may be bigger now, but you’re likely still a kid at heart and it’s still more fun to play with friends.
If none of your friends ride, it’s easy enough to find some who do. Head to your local bike shop and ask around. Start going on organized group rides. Join a local bike club. Once you hook into the cycling circle in your area, you’ll find plenty of like-minded people to play with.
Sign Up for Something
Nothing gets you out on your bike like knowing you have a 100-mile ride to do in five weeks. Signing up for a bike tour vacation, a big single-day ride, or our 21-Day #RideStreak Challenge will give you even more reason to get up and go when you feel like staying put. Local bike clubs are great sources of information on races, rides, and organized cycling events throughout the year.
Do It for Charity
Name the cause and there’s likely a ride for it. I’ve pedaled to raise money for AIDS vaccines, multiple sclerosis research, diabetes funds, heart disease organizations, terminally ill children, and to find a cure for cancer. Riding for worthy causes reminds you that it’s a privilege to have a healthy, able body to ride a bike and will fuel your motivation because you know you’re doing good for more than yourself. Websites like Active.com can help you find charity events in your area.
Lie to Yourself
When you’re feeling lazy sometimes it helps to fib to yourself. Tell yourself that you’ll just go out and spin easy for 20 minutes just to do something. Once you’re out there, there’s no way you’re turning back in 20 (and deep inside you know that). But giving yourself permission to bail if you’re not having fun is often all you need to get rolling in the right direction.
Do Morning Workouts
Of course, this means leaving your soft, warm bed earlier than usual and that is anything but easy. I’m a morning person and an avid cyclist and I still wrestle the urge to roll over and get a few more zzzs when the alarm goes off. Make it hard to talk yourself out of riding by placing all your clothes in a neat pile directly in your line of sight from the pillow before you go to bed. Also prepare your water bottles and have them in the fridge ready to go. If you go to the trouble to pave the way the night before, you’ll be far less likely to let yourself down come morning.