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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    How do you guys and gals keep the motivation up?

    Hey everyone, got myself a brandy new trek 4300 in matte orange a few months ago before the start of the summer to get back into riding. I tried running and excersing that way for cardio but good god i hate the living hell out of it. So i turned to going back to bike riding which i always loved, especially Mtn. biking since it gets me out in the woods and peace and quiet.
    I am 6'2"-6'3" and weigh 260lbs. I don't look like i weigh that much but i definitley do, lol. plenty of extra fat layin around the stomach area. I realized that A LOT of my issue was with the food i was eating. Usual lunch was a wendys meal of about 1100 calories, (didnt realize it at the time) now i've switched over to a turkey sandwich (just turkey and a roll, which i love) and a sobe lifewater and a bag of baked lays, all in all like 520 calories roughly. Now i kinda slacked off with riding down to like once a week, then once every other week, then once a month. Well the fact that i dropped like $600 on the bike and gear for it really kicked my butt last week and is getting me back into it. I'd like to keep with it at least 3-4 times a week but the trails are just kicking my butt. The local place to ride up here is only about 5-10 minutes away but its very technical and very hilly. the hills are what really get ya. i'm talking like a good 20-25% grade for about 1000 feet easy.
    The forums and just reading around and looking at picutres has kept me going for a few days but what would any of you suggest to keep it going longer and stronger. Thanks for any help!!

  2. #2
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    When I first started I tried some trails that were beyond my ability and I did not have a good time so I stick to trails that I fell good on. Also riding with someone makes a hell of a difference for me. I rider harder and push myself more. I am the same size as you and new to this as well and I ride with on guy who is RUNNING in a 100 mile marathon, and another guy who puts in at least 20 miles a day on a road bike. They really push me. So my advice, which I hate to give but you asked for it, is to try an easier trail and ride with others. These two things have made all the difference to me. Also if you have a goal in mind, like training for a race, that may help as well.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! yea its hard to find any moderate trails around here, everything is very technical. i may have found one but i need some more exploring. Trying to get the GF a bike cause she'll keep bugging me to go riding with her so it will hopefully help.

  4. #4
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    One thing that I've done is to NOT drive my truck to work, 9-miles one-way. Make yourself ride as much as possible. If you need to go somewhere, drive your bike. When I need groceries, I go 3-4 times a week, putting the groceries in my backpack since I don't have a bike trailer (yet).

    I'm 30, at 185 I push myself fairly hard, and diet is a big part of the picture. If you're putting 5-10 miles on your bike a week, then you're going to continue to be a fat piece of ****. However, if you ride 100-150 miles per week then your body will burn anything you eat. Within 5-months you'll drop a noticable amount of weight. Everything after that is diet controlled, and weight-trained to a happy balance.

    Personally, I run and bike as much as I train with weights. Six out of seven days are used to make my body hate my brain. Once you train your brain to tell your body what to do then you'll see what you're really capable of. Quitting is not an option, if you vomit, suck down some water and keep going. Don't allow your body to ***** out, remain focused and push yourself to muscle failure; the hell with a certain number of reps and sets. Set goals versus excuses!

  5. #5
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    i like the no bull approach. Thanks! i wish i could ride to work but with a 54 mile round trip route including highways its not much of an option. lol

  6. #6
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    If your workplace is 54-miles away then you should put your bike on racks and drive closer, then ride your bike the rest of the way. I know I wouldn't want to ride 20-some miles (one-way) five-days per week. That would burn a MF out quick, leading to failed goals and sense of accomplishment.

    Identify a reasonable distance to ride, and drive the remainder of the 54-miles. After a few weeks, add another mile or two onto that amount. Once you ride 10-miles one-way you'll feel good about yourself.

    That's what I would do. Driving does nothing less than piss me off, since the "other guy" does a good job at irritating me, so a bike ride after a long drive would clear my mind before I had to go to work. Allowing me to have a positive state of mind, and be awake at work, versus a pissed off attitude because of something that happened behind a steering wheel.

  7. #7
    slow uphill
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    some ideas in addition to what was mentioned:
    1. put a picture of you highlighting your "fatness" on your computer background
    2. put money on it - bet a coworker. even non-overweight coworkers may be up for a body fat % loss competition.
    3. set aside dedicated riding time on a set schedule (ie every week). maybe find a new trail each time, or try to beat a previous time, or whatever. that way, even if the week/your schedule go to hell, you've got that one time to go out. (one workout a week isn't enough, but it will keep riding a positive thing if you face burnout)
    4. cross train. sorry you think running sucks. but guess what - everyone does. maybe psychotics don't mind it, but most sane people hate it. do it anyways. or mix in swimming laps. the more boring, the better it likely is for you. if you have one day dedicated to riding, set aside one day that is dedicated to running.
    5. identify what your goals really are and focus on them. keep them short term. for example, pick a race you want to do, and remember that every action you take between now and then will impact your performance. or, set a performance goal such as a certain trial in x minutes, or run a certain distance in x minutes. baby steps, bob.

    hope those ideas help.

  8. #8
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    Don't think the only place you can ride is trails. Knobby tires but not be the best on pavement but they work. A lot of my riding is mixed gravel/pavement (no trails for me at the moment) and always has been. Its the easiest way to get in the miles and not beat your body up.

    Also, like everyone else said, stop making excuses not to go. Sitting and watching TV? You could be out on your bike, even for 30 minutes, and still have time to sit and watch TV.

  9. #9
    mtbr Buckeye...in Austin
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    Definitely mix it up.
    Luckily I have a 2nd set of wheels for my 29er and I put some Vulpines on them and ride the road and climb in the neighborhoods nearby.

    You could also get a garmin, I got one for Father's Day/Birthday it's kinda fun. Kinda like a HRM. Fun to see how many calories you've burned, where you've gone, etc.

    Here's 13 hill repeats on a 10-11% grade hill I did on Monday. 2079 ft of climbing.
    Click on the player and then Satellite and you can see the houses and stuff.

    Some water in the camelbak, tunes on the Ipod and there you go. I can see and feel improvement each time I ride there. The first time up the hill, I had to stop.
    Then I was able to do 5 laps without stopping, with gears left.
    Monday, I did 13, b/c I wanted to hit 2000 ft. I felt great and could have kept going, but was running out of light and didn't bring my lights with me. (next time)

    I also have been keeping a ride log as I'm testing out some new gearing, so I'm keeping notes and ride stats. (from my Garmin and Polar HRM).

    I'm seriously toying with the roadie thing as well to mix it up even more and help get in better shape.

    I can ride solo and do when I have to, but I'd prefer to ride with a buddy or small group, 3-4.

  10. #10
    Pedaler of dirt
    Reputation: marzjennings's Avatar
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    Try and ride everyday, even if it's just for a just a short while. Go discover your local neighbourhood and streets. Some evenings I'll not want to get on the all the gear on and hit the dirt, so I don't. I'll just head straight out of the garage and just go see what I can find. After a few lefts and rights and a few dead ends down streets I don't know an hour has gone by and I've burnt a couple hundred calories.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by eokerholm
    Definitely mix it up.
    One day I may want to go for an hour, another maybe 5 (including enough breaks).

    A ride to the library, with some "shortcuts" on the way, may be enough some days. Or just a walk to the supermarket...

    It definitely helps if there's ridable places near home.

  12. #12
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    Repetition. After doing something for a while it becomes second nature. This is true for good and bad habits unfortunately. The more you go the harder it is not to go while the more you miss the easier it becomes to miss a workout here and there which snowballs into weeks and months.

    Write down what you want to do for a week or even a month. I find itís a lot easier to stick to a plan then random decisions on a made up on the spot.
    .
    Retribution Fitness: Strength, Power, and Purpose
    General fitness workouts posted daily.

  13. #13
    Clydesdale 29er
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    I live on the north side of Atlanta and work on the south side so riding to work is not even
    close to an option. I get up at 5am every weekday and try to ride at least 5 miles. The
    hilly nature of where I live used to kill me but after 6 months of near daily riding I realize
    that the hills don't scare me anymore. I no longer wheeze after walking up stairs and I
    sleep very well at night. These things are what motivate me. Every day a get closer to
    being healthy and that motivates me. A friend of mine gave me a hug the other day and
    she said "wow, I can reach all the way around you now". That really motivates me.

    Keep riding

  14. #14
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    i have to agree, the more i get out there and do it the more i'd like to keep do it. i rode monday and tuesday this week, i'm going to take today off to spend some time with the GF and have dinner, but i'm looking forward to going back out on thursday. Also changing up which route i take at the park (which trail to ride) seems to help as well.

  15. #15
    My Brain Hurts!
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    My mirror mocks me and my scale reads "one at a time"...so I keep going...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9110e
    The forums and just reading around and looking at picutres has kept me going for a few days but what would any of you suggest to keep it going longer and stronger. Thanks for any help!!
    For me, when exercising becomes a chore that I perform solely for the purpose of losing weight, I lose interest real quick. When I bought my Kona Hoss in 2006, riding it became a chore rather than a fun activity, so I started making excuses for not riding it until it sat in the back of the shed (the ultimate excuse, I couldn't reach my bike without moving things out of the way).

    Here's what I ended up doing to make biking fun again.

    a) I made the bike more comfortable. Low handlebars look "cool" and allow beter "aerodynamics"... but they hurt my back. Especially since I had a belly to bend my back around. I switched to a stem with a 30 degree angle and 110mm length (Ritchey Pro), and my riding position improved dramatically. This helped my back, my legs, and everything else. Now I could ride longer without feeling uncomfortable.

    I also tried a bunch of saddles until I found one that was comfortable. Sleek, narrow saddles are all the rage, but they tend to hurt when you're a relatively new rider. I did NOT get a super-cushy saddle, I got one that was wide enough to support my sit bones properly without pushing them apart, and that didn't squish my "love channel". Eventually, I adjusted my riding position by tiny amounts until I was always perfectly comfortable. My riding position (and my belly size) has now evolved where I can be in the classic mountain biking stance without feeling discomfort. But that took 2 years to accomplish.

    I got some biking shorts! These also helped my comfort TREMENDOUSLY! I wear them under my real shorts because I think cycling shorts look like dork shorts.

    b) I made the bike easier to ride. The original tires were way too aggressive for the kind of riding I did (which was 70% pavement at the time). It just made it harder to pedal. Maintaining my speed was exhausting. The extra work may be good for losing weight, but it's just not fun. So I switched to Continental Town & Country 2.1" tires. They're not exactly great for anything off-road-like, but they allowed me to ride much faster and longer without getting tired.

    c) I used my bike to perform some of the tasks that I used a car for. For example, when I needed to go to the bank, or get just a few groceries, I'd use my bike instead. My mailbox is about 1/2 mile from here, so I used my bike to get my mail. I didn't replace my car with my bike for everything, just some things.

    d) Riding alone in silence is boring. I bought a music player, and now I can listen to some tunes while riding. This is an improvement. Ideally, having someone ride with me is even better. When I bought my bike, my girlfriend bought one at the same time, and she rode it even less than I did. So I convinced her to start riding with me, and now we both enjoy it a lot more. When riding with her, I do not listen to my music player. That would be rude.

    e) I LOVE exploring. It doesn't have to be woods or mountains, I even enjoy exploring neighborhoods I've never looked at closely before. Instead of always riding the same route (which gets tedious and boring), I started exploring new ways to get to places, and checking out the houses of those rich people who can somehow afford to have 3 brand new Cadillacs in their driveway. A bike can get to places that a car never could, so exploring becomes a lot more fun.

    f) Just because it's a "mountain bike" doesn't mean you have to climb mountains. There's nothing wrong with riding on pavement too. It's easier, and it gives a sense of freedom. Rough trails are fun too, but they're hard work.

    g) I stopped riding just to "lose weight". Instead, I started riding for the convenience and fun of it. Getting into better shape was incidental. The better the shape I'm in, the better and longer I can ride. While getting on my bike used to be a chore, now I look forward to it everyday and I get annoyed when it starts pouring rain outside. My riding has evolved a lot, and my current bike has more aggressive tires, clipless pedals, a lower handlebar, and one of those sleek saddles that used to hurt. I also ride a lot more rough trails rather than mostly pavement, but mostly with the intention of exploring. I also built my bike exactly the way I want, and I have great pride in riding a bike that's made just for me.

    I started at 325 pounds, and now I'm at 255 pounds and dropping. I don't have a goal in mind, goals annoy me. I just want to be healthier and more efficient on my bike.

    The most important thing I learned was NOT to leap into mountain biking as if I was a seasoned veteran. That wasn't fun because I wasn't immediately good at it. Instead, I progressed through stages from simple, comfortable pavement riding to my current level, and that was a lot more satisfying.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I just convinced myself to go riding again for the 3rd time today.

  17. #17
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    Im pretty new to mountain biking, and just have a basic trek bike with no suspension, that i bought to see if i would like biking. I fell in love with it the first time on the bike, and now i go biking whenever i can. I wanted to be able to ride to work but its a steep steep hill to get to work, so i figured id get in shape before that.

    When i got the bike i couldn't make it out of my complex without getting off and walking. After several trail rides, i tried the hill again, and i made it. That little bit motivated me, and now i love going up hills to see if i can make it up faster. Pretty soon im gonna tackle the commute to work, then ill set a bigger goal.

  18. #18
    turtles make me hot
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    Over the past few years, I've been riding paved paths with my wife. I got fat. A buddy wanted me to show him some trails I used to ride. I almost freakin' died climbing hills I used to fly up. I just started riding more and more. I went from having to climb hills in the granny gear to back on the middle ring. I have about thirty pounds to go but I'm getting faster again. Almost back to where I was. You just gotta do it.
    I like turtles

  19. #19
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    Number one motivating factor. My good friend also bought a bike, Its much easier to get out there more if you have company and a set time that we both ride ( a date with my bromance, as the wife calls it)

  20. #20
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    Knowing that at 6'4" and 220lbs that my now 1 year old son is going to be kicking my ass just like I did to my dad when I was 6"4 155lbs racing expert. I have a lot of work to do!

    Also went and road with some old friends this weekend. Cat 1 roadies. They embarassed me uphill. Unfortunately for them gravity is a two way street.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoremanX
    For me, when exercising becomes a chore that I perform solely for the purpose of losing weight, I lose interest real quick. ...
    I agree with your whole general idea, but;

    I like riding alone
    I like riding in silence
    My bars are pretty low and straight, not because it looks cool, but it's comfortable. Sitting upright is not. I've ridden for many years though.

    To each his own, now I just need to ride more.

  22. #22
    Class Clown
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    When I got back into biking a few years ago I had a hard enough time just riding through the streets around town. Do what you can little by little. Eventually you'll get past the first phase of getting your body active again and things get more enjoyable. It takes awhile to wake your body up and it can be tough. The most important thing IMO is to be consistent. Get those rides in. Even if you feel tired get yourself going. You might even have a crappy ride but you'll feel better that you did it. Remember that it's a marathon, there is no rush. Keep at it and eventually you will be looking forward to those rides and find yourself going further and faster, riding for longer and pushing yourself more. Heck I can remember some of those hills that I dreaded coming to that are now a piece of cake (healthy cake)

    I'm thinking you should definitely mix things up. Technical stuff can be fun but try to get some faster trails/road riding in as well.

  23. #23
    Slave to the grind
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    log your weight daily (okay i should start doing that again).

    this board helps a lot. seeing people's before and after pics.

    right now what gets me going is my race number with my weight on it for clydesdale class. i came in about in the middle of the pack. im slow for a clyde?!! wtf?!!!

    thats motivating me to ride more and do much better next year.
    Let it flow, let yourself go, slow and low, that is the tempo.

  24. #24
    One Gear
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    I ride 6 days a week. Riding is the ultimate stress relief for me. I mostly ride alone and I just let my mind wander and look at the scenery.

    Motivation:
    I've lost 50 lbs in the last 3 years.
    Other riders think that I'm skinny now.
    I use every hill in the area as a test of my AT and try to push it longer and with more effort each time.

    The reward: I plowed past 4 skinny, young college boys that were half my age. One of them said, "Holy s^^^ this guys strong."

    Look for little victories and savor them for a while. I'm also looking at my little boys knowing that some day will want to try to put the smack down on dad. I'm training to stay ahead of them.

    Good luck, and ride on!!!

  25. #25
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    Hi all, i just started riding yesterday,,, i rode about 3 miles and smoked today i rode 8 miles and smoked one cig then said the heck with the smokes,,,i am getting ready to go out and rde some more maybe a mile or two the biggest problem i have is the seat is killing my but ,, i have a 97 gary fisher with the stock seat how long does it take to get used to a seat

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