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  1. #1
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    Losing Passion - How to Stop It

    Recently I have been finding it harder to motivate myself to ride. My last bike got stolen and I was off the bike for a while. I'm in my late forties and I was surprised how much fitness I had lost when I finally got back in the saddle. I forced myself out on the bike and I gained back some fitness.

    However, I have been riding pretty much the same trails for 15 years. So, I decided to go somewhere new and had a rotten time, cutting the ride short. Out of my depth skill wise and some bike issues. I had one fall leading to a bloody shin and a few near misses.

    The one positive was that fitness wasn't the issue.

    So, some tokens out of the shock, PSI reduced and rebound slowed. Just back from my local trails. Ride cut short again as I'm just not feeling it and after my experience of being in over my head, I find my confidence has taken a hit.

    Anyone else ever go through phases like this? What did you find stoked your passion again?

  2. #2
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    I seem to hit a motivation wall every year. Sometimes it just takes time for it to pass. Usually it is July for me, but this year it hit early and I skipped riding for much of March and part of April. Some things that have helped me include:

    1. Riding somewhere new. (Maybe try again, or another different place.)
    2. Riding with people who will motivate you to get out, or to push yourself. Maybe spend some time with friends sessioning technical spots to improve on confidence.
    3. Try riding something different. If you like long smooth rides, find tech and session for skills and confidence. If you like big air and jumps, try a long exploration ride on more mellow terrain.
    4. Buy something different to try: Different tires, different grips, different bike, new bikepacking bags, new shorts.
    5. Improve diet. Weird that it can be related, but I sometimes find my motivation drops when I eat poorly.
    6. Look at other parts of life. Riding helps me eliminate stress from life and from work, but when those stresses build up I often find myself less motivated to ride, even though I know it will do me the most good then.
    7. Look at the passion threads here and get some excitement from the photos and stories.
    One picture, one line. No whining. Something about YOUR last ride. [o]
    did you ride today?

    Best of luck on finding that lost motivation.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    I seem to hit a motivation wall every year. Sometimes it just takes time for it to pass. Usually it is July for me, but this year it hit early and I skipped riding for much of March and part of April. Some things that have helped me include:

    1. Riding somewhere new. (Maybe try again, or another different place.)
    2. Riding with people who will motivate you to get out, or to push yourself. Maybe spend some time with friends sessioning technical spots to improve on confidence.
    3. Try riding something different. If you like long smooth rides, find tech and session for skills and confidence. If you like big air and jumps, try a long exploration ride on more mellow terrain.
    4. Buy something different to try: Different tires, different grips, different bike, new bikepacking bags, new shorts.
    5. Improve diet. Weird that it can be related, but I sometimes find my motivation drops when I eat poorly.
    6. Look at other parts of life. Riding helps me eliminate stress from life and from work, but when those stresses build up I often find myself less motivated to ride, even though I know it will do me the most good then.
    7. Look at the passion threads here and get some excitement from the photos and stories.
    One picture, one line. No whining. Something about YOUR last ride. [o]
    did you ride today?

    Best of luck on finding that lost motivation.
    Lots of good suggestions here. Sometimes, though, it's not bad to just roll with it. Maybe just find something else to do entirely for a spell and then come back to the bike refreshed. My riding waxes and wanes throughout the year. I'll go through patches where I'm riding a lot, building good fitness, and improving skills, and then I'll go through a patch of a few weeks or a couple months where I don't ride much. Usually because I get busy doing other things. Sometimes recreationally, but sometimes stuff at the house that needs doing, or at work, or family, or whatever. I'll eventually get to the point again where I have an irresistible urge to ride again. Life's too short to fret over those ebbs and flows.

    I'm going through a patch of less riding right now. Started a job awhile ago that limits me to weekend rides. I've had a number of other things going on over many weekends that have limited ride time. I've gotten out, but for shorter, less burly rides.

    I also find it worthwhile to spend some time working on the weakest aspects of your riding. A number of years ago, my focus was improving technical skill. I took some skills clinics, and even got certified as a skills instructor. Super cool and energizing. For the past several months, climbing and general fitness has been more of a focus. I have been less picky about the length of my rides, but I've ensured that just about every ride I do includes at least one pretty good climb. There's one in particular that is close to me. It's as nontechnical as it gets, but I can be on the trail within 10min of leaving home and it's a 1,000ft climb. It's a good one to gauge myself on, and every time I've ridden it this year, I climb it faster. Just this last time (this past week), I didn't even touch my granny gear.

    I've found that attending the occasional mtb fest is a lot of fun and energizing. I try to hit one up every year now if I can. Last year, I went to the Sedona MTB fest. This year, I think it'll have to be one in the fall, but not sure which at this point. I've got some other plans that conflict with some mtb fests that were on my radar, so we'll see.

    Even outside of mtb fests, it's fun to take a trip somewhere new, or somewhere I visit infrequently. I see you've tried that, but had a rough time of it. Keys to having a great experience when you do this are being up-front with yourself about your skills and fitness, and not biting off more than you can chew. Some destinations are better suited to riders of a specific skillset or fitness level. Some destinations have a wide variety of trails for everyone, but maybe you aren't quite at the level of the biggest, most widely known trails in the area. I know that for Pisgah, which is now in my backyard, that's absolutely the case. The biggest, burliest stuff really isn't appropriate until you hit a certain level of skill AND fitness. But there's plenty of stuff out there for beginner and intermediate riders. It's just not generally the stuff that people talk about in the mtb or travel media. One place I like to visit semi-regularly is Mulberry Gap in GA. Super cool establishment that's right in the middle of a cool trail network. Can do rides ranging from huge epics to quick shuttle runs with lots of relaxing between. Great food. Hot tubs. You always meet plenty of other riders since dining is a community arrangement. Nothing there is incredibly technical. Just enough technical to be fun for advanced riders and challenging/fun/approachable for most intermediates. There's some accessible beginner stuff available, too, but again, it's mostly not what people talk about when they visit the place, so if that's your level, you'll have to seek that stuff out (some of it is right on the property so you don't have to go far). A couple years ago, my wife and I took our bikes to Vegas when she had a work conference there. I rode 6 days out of 7 that we were there, and mostly in the Red Rocks Canyon area. She skipped out on the conference one day and we went to Hurricane, UT, also. I rode solo in Red Rocks a lot and hit up different trail systems in the area. Another area with a wide range of stuff available. I went to check out some legit double black downhill at the Cowboy Trails on one of those days. I am absolutely clear with myself about my skill level and the risks I'm willing to take. So even though a significant amount of that trail was way above my head, and I was by myself on a weekday so the risk was extremely high, I still had a great time. I walked a lot of stuff, even if it was something I'd ride otherwise, simply because I was solo and consequences were too high for failure.

    A few weeks ago, I volunteered to help out at a local race for a weekend, and that was super cool and different. The promoter actually paid me a little bit for helping, but I didn't know that when I offered. It was an adventure mtb race, and I ran a checkpoint out in the middle of nowhere. I bikepacked out, camped for 2 nights by myself, checked in racers during the event, had a bear run through camp, slept in the rain one night, and had an incredible ride out on Sunday morning after the rain. Cell phone didn't work out there, so I was totally disconnected from tech all weekend. It was great.

    My wife has volunteered to do group rides with the local Little Bellas group and take little girls out on trail rides. I think that starts up this week. That sort of thing is new for my wife, so I'm pretty excited to see her get involved with something like that. There are all sorts of similar sorts of things available, too. There's a local Trips for Kids organization that gets local underprivileged kids out on mtb rides. There are a bunch of after school bike clubs. There are various adventure programs that are looking for adults to help out with various aspects on the weekends (the programs I've noticed locally are looking for ride leaders, skills instructors, bike maintenance instructors, but in other places I've lived, the common need is for ride leaders). There's the possibility of coaching for a NICA or unaffiliated high school mtb team. Granted, I'm currently in a mecca for outdoor recreation (Asheville, NC), but in the past, I've even found similar sorts of programs in the midwest (Indianapolis, IN) where outdoor rec is barely on anyone's radar. Unless you live in BFE bike desert, there's likely SOMETHING out there you can get involved with.

  4. #4
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    Buy a new bike!

  5. #5
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    Thanks folks.

    @ Harold. Good to know I'm not alone. Can I thank you for taking the time to post such a detailed response. There's an Enduro race at my local trails at the end of June so maybe just spectating and hanging out may improve my mojo.

    @ bilbo56 - bought a new bike in March.

    @sgltrak No 6 struck a chord. Lots of work annoyance with an inept manager at the moment who is causing me problems with workload. I know I am generally crankier than normal at the moment.

    On a more positive note I've made a plan to go back and ride that long black trail at the end of the month. Between now and then I plan to get a skills coaching session. Hopefully that will lead to an improvement.

    I suppose the underlying niggle is that I feel I'm not progressing and I'm going to be stuck like a hamster in a wheel due to lack of skills.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by starsky View Post
    @sgltrak No 6 struck a chord. Lots of work annoyance with an inept manager at the moment who is causing me problems with workload. I know I am generally crankier than normal at the moment.
    ...
    I suppose the underlying niggle is that I feel I'm not progressing and I'm going to be stuck like a hamster in a wheel due to lack of skills.
    I get the work thing. Work stress is probably one of the biggest things that keeps me off the bike, and one of the biggest reasons to be on the bike.

    As far as skills progression goes, more riding will usually take care of that, even if the progress is more gradual than you want.

  7. #7
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    Some good advice above. New bike speed works. Also try a different discipline. A new learning curve always improves enthusiasm.

    Also see if you can reduce pies. I changed my diet and am 10kg lighter than 2 years ago. Man it makes a difference to my riding. Hills are easier, I have way more energy..... Can ride for longer.

  8. #8
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    Also be sure you're getting enough sleep. I'm always a lot more negative when I don't. Don't look at your experience on the new trail as a negative, look at it as new challenges and keep it fun; sometimes I'll be down on my riding but then I remember that it's just about enjoying myself.

    There are a lot of fun threads on this site that you can incorporate into your rides. Take a mid ride break and look for some interesting plants to add to the Botany thread, or a nice bridge or scary tree or whatever critters you come across there.
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

  9. #9
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    Find a weekly group ride
    Enter a race and start a training program leading up to it
    Get strava or similar app and set weekly/monthly goals
    Sign up for a skills course
    Practice skills in your yard
    Think of how much fitness you will lose by your late 50"s if you don't ride or exercise regularly
    Envision the lifestyle, health, and fitness level you would like to have in your 60's, 70's or beyond

    ^just a few things to consider that may or may not be of any use. It sounds like lack of bike skills is holding back your enthusiasm so you might want to start with that. A skills course would be great but riding reasonably easy trails and progressing to harder ones as you ride more works for most people. Also finding other people to ride with helps.

    Good luck!
    I brake for stinkbugs

  10. #10
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    Ime, Knee and elbow pads can be a confidence pill.

  11. #11
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    Freaking hate bike thieves. Sorry to read that. Back in March, did you buy a bike you have been wanting for years? I didn’t see you put any superlatives in front of the word “bike” Go buy a bike that you want to ride all the time. It will be cheaper than open heart surgery from sitting on the couch and eating chips. Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Start commuting. Daily, or as much as possible. Year round, or as much as possible. It hits about 5 birds with one stone. Among many other positive attributes, your conditioning is bound to rise quickly, which you will notice on the trails. Dramatically. I appreciate you said that fitness wasn't an issue, but I find it VERY motivating when I get on a roll, fitness-wise. I enjoy riding and take in the scenery much more when I am at my peak and not struggling.

    Watch a few biking movies or videos. Buy some biking clothing you can wear casually. Start getting back into the lifestyle, even when off the bike. Plan a vacay with your significant other to Sedona or somewhere similar. Lots for both of you to do there.

    And yeah - I second buying a new bike. While we all bash the biking industry and its ever changing standards, there is no doubt that newer bikes are simply much more capable than older ones (IMHO, anyway).

    You have a ton of great years left. Now get going!

  13. #13
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    Fantastic suggestions folks.

    @ Plummet - I have lost nearly four stones in the last few years and I agree, the hills are easier. I am vigilant about my diet and try to do some weight training three times a week.

    @Bluedog03 - The bike is good. It wasn't the one I was hoping for. I wanted to go 29er (Hightower) but I was going crazy not getting out and just bought what I could afford from savings at that time. What I have is still a pretty good bike.


    @mtnbkrmike - Sedona might be a bit of a stretch for us location wise! Vacationing just outside Venice this year but might get a cheeky day trip to the Dolomites.I'm sure there would be bike hire.

    @Elwood - I agree. On that difficult trail I took an uplift. I assumed everyone else was heading to the downhill tracks from the full face helmets. My heart sank when I realised they were heading to the same black trails as me! Definitely looking at some pads and a full face - possibly with a detachable chin guard.

    @Chazpat. I hadn't thought of that but I am definitely not getting enough sleep at present. My teenage daughter has finished her exams and is on summer vacation. Her constant trips up and down stairs to the kitchen for drinks in the middle of the night waken me repeatedly.

    @JB - yup. I'm going to watch the enduro racing at my local trails 30th June and 1st July to assess speeds and to see if it's feasible for me to race.

    Finally, just got an email from a skills coach confirming a training session on Friday. Might make those sessions a regular thing -say every three months to assess progress.

    I have to say this isn't an end of the forum I usually visit but I think I will spend some time perusing the recommendations above.

  14. #14
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    I’ve hit that loss of passion in the past.
    Getting a new bike definitely helped, especially something different. Going from a HT XC bike to a FS trail bike opened up new trails and skills for me to master. It was no longer he same old thing over and over.

    Someone mentioned it above, but bike videos. Sometimes watching youtube videos of others having fun out on the trails makes me want to get out and do it too. There are a lot of YouTube “celebrities” out there to pick from. GMBN, Seth’s bike hack, BCXC, Singletrack sampler, and so on.

  15. #15
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    Spent the day watching BCPOV back catalogue!

  16. #16
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    Sometimes taking a break from it is a good thing. I love mtbing more than most things, so I always know I'll be back sooner rather than later. One thing that can keep me going is peer pressure. If you have a couple people to ride with regularly, you can motivate each other to go, even when one of you don't really feel like it.

    Once I'm on the trail, it's usually all good, and I'm glad to be there. It's just packing up, suiting up, and loading up to get out the door sometimes is a struggle when going solo.

  17. #17
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    Sounds like you're trail riding which is pretty easy and safer compared to DH or AM type riding so maybe hiking would be a better choice... A new bike definetly helps but if you don't have the passion to begin with could be a waste of money

  18. #18
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    A few weeks ago, I volunteered to help out at a local race for a weekend, and that was super cool and different. The promoter actually paid me a little bit for helping, but I didn't know that when I offered. It was an adventure mtb race, and I ran a checkpoint out in the middle of nowhere. I bikepacked out, camped for 2 nights by myself, checked in racers during the event, had a bear run through camp, slept in the rain one night, and had an incredible ride out on Sunday morning after the rain. Cell phone didn't work out there, so I was totally disconnected from tech all weekend. It was great.
    Sounds like heaven!
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  19. #19
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    I have numerous passions. I think that's pretty important. I've been away from white water kayaking for years....enough that, my first time out, I was running into stuff like branches, rocks, etc. Turns out, since I was on the water last, I've gotten to need glasses! Now, with a pair of glasses I'm doing just fine. But I'd stopped because I lost the passion for it. Now I've got it back.

    Will I lose passion for biking? Maybe, but I've got lots of backup passions. Go with the flow. Life should be a process of discovery and rediscovery. If you only have one passion, you're doing it wrong!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Find a weekly group ride
    Enter a race and start a training program leading up to it
    These two things absolutely kill my interest in riding. Even riding with unknown groups is out at this point. I find fewer things break my spirits than getting dropped, and I also find competition absolutely ruins cycling for me.

    I hope I'm not alone in this.

  21. #21
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    Looks like your change is from those trails outside your level of skill. And your bikes capability.
    Buying a new bike for those trails could help but that's expensive.
    How about going back there during a demo to see what level of bike may work for you. Costs nothing. Check with the local shops for anything scheduled.
    Second option is to rent a better suited bike and ride those trails properly equipped. Still cheaper than buying a new bike. But could lead you there.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    These two things absolutely kill my interest in riding. Even riding with unknown groups is out at this point. I find fewer things break my spirits than getting dropped, and I also find competition absolutely ruins cycling for me.

    I hope I'm not alone in this.


    I was just throwing ideas out there, don't know the op so I don't know his preferences. For some people having goals can be great motivation and scheduling a race definitely sets a goal. Lots of races (e.g. 12/24 hour endurance) have a low key party-like atmosphere.

    Group rides come in all flavors, for me it's a great way to break up the boredom of solo rides. All the ones I've been on have been great fun and no one gets dropped.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  23. #23
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    I find if I ride the same trails over and over I do tend to loose motivation to get out, so I do go out of town 2-3 times a week up to 150 miles to check out some new trails and areas that I have never ridden before. Also I do try to ride different types of trails a few times a week so that the ride is not repetitive and hopefully improve my cycling skills at the same time.

  24. #24
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    I hate typing Oman iPad, so short maybe broken English.

    Maybe just go for a slow ride. Stop and look around. Stop and look at the trail. Look at a line you’ve never considered before. Since you aren’t rushing around maybe try the line. Then you have something to think about next time you go out.

  25. #25
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    Work stress can be an issue. If you can't get it out of your head when you ride.

    Also take a look at your life in a big picture. Do you lack motivation elsewhere? At your age you should be getting your hormones checked. If they are off you will be. Might need to consider diet changes or HRT.

  26. #26
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    I really can't add to the great advice above becasue everyone has spoke very well.

    I can add that what motivates me to get back on the bike, is mostly seeing other people do something that I can't, and then wanting to try it...given my age, this is more in the area of places to ride, rather than skills/trickery. though, i still have my list of stuff I need ot get better at. I do both MTB and BMX, so that variety also helps motivate me...I ride both styles every week...and, there is a lot of skills crossover from one to the other, so being able to apply those skills is also fun. On many days in the summer, I will hit the skatepark in the morning when it is cool and empty of scooter brats , and the trails in the evening when it is cool.

    It is more places to ride for me. I find a place whereI have not ridden yet, and then start the planning stages of making the trip happen. That motivates me a TON. Being into bike packing for the most part, I am able to find many things to keep me interested. Trail planning; gear planning; physical workouts to prepare...all of this gets me thinking about biking in different ways....and then I want to ride. I am planning on doing the GAP/C&O trail next summer possibly with forum member "fleas", and that is also motivating me to stay prepared so I don't let him down. Having other people rely on you is motivational.

    Also, just researching places to ride scratches the traveler/geographer in me. Getting to look at maps, route planning, finding places to visit and camp...all of that motivates me and focuses my "daydreaming" about going to other places in the world.

    Also, helping new people learn to ride really gets me out there! I teach for a living, so it is sort of my instinct to instruct, but introducing people to the activity always sheds new light on what I do as a rider. Having to explain all of the elements of what we do always opens new doors for me to work on.

    Honestly, I never get sick of riding, but I DO get sick of things that keep me from riding...like work, life, and health
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  27. #27
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    You guys all have great suggestions.

    I've had the post-crash confidence hit...
    The "early-season fitness" hit...
    The "how-many-bike-issues-in-a-row" hit...
    The "my fitness is not improving at all" hit...
    The "it's taking forever to heal" hit...

    All I can say is that I had more fun riding with different people: an understanding buddy, or hanging with a more relaxed group; and I kept my expectations more "reasonable" - which I realize is a very subjective term - but when I was honest with myself, it usually came down to me just being impatient.
    The guys that I usually chase through the woods are pretty cool, and they would hang with me, but I felt bad slowing them down so I'd cut them loose - at least 'til they tired themselves out and came back around for me.
    That made me feel better. Then everyone gets their fix.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  28. #28
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    Can I thank everyone for their replies. They genuinely have provoked me to think about why I'm feeling this way about mtb'ing. I hadn't really thought that the jaded feeling I have about work has crossed over to my riding.

    I'm going to give some of the suggestions above a shot and I have my skills coaching booked. I ride an Intense Recluse so I don't think the bike is unsuited to black trails. However, it is a "pingy" bike and may be better suited to someone who jumps / rides park.

    Interestingly, I spotted a thread on another forum where a guy wasn't getting on with his dream bike and was having a crisis about getting rid of it. Genuinely could just be my bike I'm not suited to.

    I suppose the thought of having to invest more dough in full face helmets / pads / armor made me go "urgh!" but if I can get my skills enhanced it may be worth it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Find a weekly group ride
    Enter a race and start a training program leading up to it
    These two things absolutely kill my interest in riding. Even riding with unknown groups is out at this point. I find fewer things break my spirits than getting dropped, and I also find competition absolutely ruins cycling for me.

    I hope I'm not alone in this.
    Might be just you and me on MTBR, though it must be more common IRL.

    Never raced, never will. I'm way too slow and got no skill.
    I'm too slow for the group rides around here too.

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  30. #30
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    I'd agree with finding other things to try. I found kayaking to be a fun alternative, but at the end of the day, it just made me appreciate riding my bike ever more. I'm all for pushing yourself on trails you may not be as familiar with, but personally, nothing takes the fun out of something faster than having a bad experience (i.e. a bad crash or bouncing upside down down a river bed). Know your limitations and build slowly.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    Might be just you and me on MTBR, though it must be more common IRL.

    Never raced, never will. I'm way too slow and got no skill.
    I'm too slow for the group rides around here too.

    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk
    Nope. I have never raced either. I don't even time myself on my own rides. I do like group rides though, but always warn them that I will not be racing anyone.

    I ride to be at one with the bike, the terrain, and myself. I like riding with others who are like minded.
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  32. #32
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    I've taken time off and came back later.

    If it's getting boring and you keep going, I think you might risk burning out for good. Nothing wrong with parking the mtb for a while. Take up another active sport for a bit.

    I'm taking a break from road biking currently. Maybe next year I'll take time off the mtb.

  33. #33
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    Here's another suggestion that I don't think has been mentioned. Get involved with trail building/maintenance. I find when I do that I'm motivated to go ride the section of trail I helped with/worked on. Just doing it with other people may also be a motivator for you as well.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar View Post
    I'd agree with finding other things to try. I found kayaking to be a fun alternative, but at the end of the day, it just made me appreciate riding my bike ever more. I'm all for pushing yourself on trails you may not be as familiar with, but personally, nothing takes the fun out of something faster than having a bad experience (i.e. a bad crash or bouncing upside down down a river bed). Know your limitations and build slowly.
    Every time I go kayaking makes me appreciate how easy it is to go mountain biking: pump the tires, throw bike in back of car, water in Camelbak, grab snack, camelbak and shoes in car, GO! (helmet, etc. live in car)

    Kayaking: put kayak holder onto roof rack, move shop equipment to get to 'yaks, get 'yaks on roof, tie to rack, tie front, tie back, etc, etc, etc.

    But it is fun once you're on the water!
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Every time I go kayaking makes me appreciate how easy it is to go mountain biking: pump the tires, throw bike in back of car, water in Camelbak, grab snack, camelbak and shoes in car, GO! (helmet, etc. live in car)

    Kayaking: put kayak holder onto roof rack, move shop equipment to get to 'yaks, get 'yaks on roof, tie to rack, tie front, tie back, etc, etc, etc.

    But it is fun once you're on the water!
    I've even struggled with that before. My personal introduction to mountain biking was in college...and the campus was situated just a mile from one of the major local trailheads, so I got used to just hopping on my bike and going. It was close enough to get 4-5 miles in during the afternoon, between classes! I actually wound up taking a mountain biking elective later on, but that's not the point. For some time, after graduation, I fell out of love with biking. Why? Because of all that prep work. I couldn't *just* hop on my bike and go anymore, I had to plan an entire afternoon, pack the car up, drive 30-45 minutes to the nearest trailhead, then unpack everything again when I got back home. I got pretty heavily into roadbiking, if for nothing but the fact that I can just hop on and pedal to my heart's content...but even that's problematic because I love exploring new roads (which was the allure of biking, in college), but being back in my hometown, there's nothing that I don't know.

    It's funny how peoples'perspectives can be so different.

    To the OP: take some time off, do what you gotta do. Your bike will always be there.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    Might be just you and me on MTBR, though it must be more common IRL.

    Never raced, never will. I'm way too slow and got no skill.
    I'm too slow for the group rides around here too.
    Glad I'm not alone! Even if I was fast, I'd still enjoy recreational riding. Making it a competition just turns it into a sufferfest.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Glad I'm not alone! Even if I was fast, I'd still enjoy recreational riding. Making it a competition just turns it into a sufferfest.

    I like to go fast but I still enjoy recreational riding, one persons sufferfest is just a fun ride for others. There's no right way to do it IMO.

    I found that mixing it up with road rides made my mountain rides more fun.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    These two things absolutely kill my interest in riding. Even riding with unknown groups is out at this point. I find fewer things break my spirits than getting dropped, and I also find competition absolutely ruins cycling for me.

    I hope I'm not alone in this.
    That sounds like the wrong type of group to go riding with, I've been with road bike groups that are like that even on a ride advertised as being no dropping and I agree that kills my interest in cycling. The MTB groups I go out with are different though, there's absolutely no dropping and people just go at whatever pace they want. It's what got me into cycling and keeps me cycling all year round as the boring parts don't seem anywhere near as long when you've got company, it's a good way to be shown new trails, I find I'm more likely to push my comfort zone a bit and if you have any mechanical problems or similar, there's a bunch of people to help.

    With regards to races again for road bikes they put me off cycling as all you've really got to focus on is your speed so I'm constantly worrying about the pace I'm maintaining, am I burning too much energy etc. However on the mountain bike I really don't care and just looking forward to getting back onto the technical sections to see if I can do it better than last time. There's quite a few fun endurance races here with 10k/10 mile ish laps that are usually well designed to be a challenge to ride but not too much and the general atmosphere is people enjoying the event. While I don't bother training it's good to have somewhere new to ride and soak up the atmosphere.

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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo56 View Post
    Buy a new bike!
    X2 - The more expensive the better for motivation.

  40. #40
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    It's not unusual to loose your motivation and passion for a while. I have gone through period of times that I don't want to touch my bikes or doing anything physical. I spend years of having racing seasons that are 9 months long and I simply burnt out. It was a terrible feeling.

    I overcome the burnt out feeling by hiking on the trails that I ride on. I got my passion back after a while.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    Might be just you and me on MTBR, though it must be more common IRL.

    Never raced, never will. I'm way too slow and got no skill.
    I'm too slow for the group rides around here too.

    Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk
    Bear in mind though that everyone was too slow for the group rides at some point, I most certainly was and completely lacking any MTB skills as well. Going out with a very tolerant group massively improved my fitness and gave me my MTB skills plus got me to give racing a go as well. It's not something I would have considered as I'm not competitive or fast but it can be fun for a change.

    I'm not saying group riding is the only way to get better but at the same I feel it's a shame to be writing yourself off as not fast or skilled enough.
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  42. #42
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    Sometimes it just takes a tune up ride on fun but easier terrain. Maybe something with nice views you can enjoy.

    For fitness, try spin classes. Sure, they can suck, but then you hate spin class instead of mtb.

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    For fitness, try spin classes. Sure, they can suck, but then you hate spin class instead of mtb.
    This is brilliant!

  44. #44
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    I took a job that requires me to drive about an hour each way. As I work 18 12-hour night shifts a month those are really short days. I've given up riding on those days. If I can get to the gym or the pool ten out of those 18 days I call it a win and try to get some quality rides in on my days off.

    I'm an ER doctor. ER doctors love working 12-hour shifts because, as the thinking goes, you can get in your hours but have more days off. I used to think that but now I'd rather work five eight-hour shifts in a row and have two days off like everybody else. 14 hours off between shifts (if you take into account driving) is a lot of time and you can sleep and ride in that kind of time.

  45. #45
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    Sounds like you need a different hobby to break it up a bit.

  46. #46
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    A quick update.

    I had my coaching session today. Learned some new stuff which I'm pretty happy about.

    However, it became apparent my bike is too small for me by a shade. Makes it very difficult to get a balanced attack position for riding technical terrain. I'm either too far off the back making steering quirky or too far forward making me feel like I'm being pitched off the front.

    So, looks like the new bike suggestion might be the trick.

  47. #47
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    A new bike, especially one that fits, is a great motivator. It worked for me a couple years ago, maybe its almost time for an upgrade...

  48. #48
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    I hope you find the fix but it could take a lot of searching.

    For me road cycling got me excited about riding again. I was mountain biking for 6 years and it started getting kind of dull. I was pretty nervous about riding with traffic but that actually made it more exciting. Planning and commiting to a 60+ mile ride with no bail out felt pretty adventurous. With no technical skill to worry about I realized its just nice to be out riding a bike. It didn't need to be any deeper then that. I also built a lot more power in my legs which made mountain biking much more fun.

  49. #49
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    Thanks. I can see the attraction of road cycling and I genuinely think it's all the hassle around getting out for a ride which is killing it for me.

    1 hour round trip to my usual trail which only takes an hour to ride. At least three hours travel for anywhere more substantial.

    I can see how attractive starting a road ride from your front door is.

    I know a bad workman supposedly blames his tools but I do think the experience with my current bike is draining my enthusiasm. At 140mm rear / 150mm front it should, on paper, be able to handle anything I would be minded to ride. However, the design is weighted in favour of climbing and small bump compliance is not great. It does open up well on bigger hits.

    However, that kinda kills the motivation for doing the climbs when you know any chattery sections on the downs are going to be a boneshaker.

    In essence, the thought of having to change bikes again has prompted me to to question whether I can be bothered persisiting with this sport.

  50. #50
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    Alternatively, and potentially cheaper than buying a whole new bike, you might look into dissection your current bike and getting it tuned to your exact requirements.
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by starsky View Post
    Thanks. I can see the attraction of road cycling and I genuinely think it's all the hassle around getting out for a ride which is killing it for me.

    1 hour round trip to my usual trail which only takes an hour to ride. At least three hours travel for anywhere more substantial.

    I can see how attractive starting a road ride from your front door is.
    Riding out my front door was a big factor for me. It was only a 15 mile drive to the nearest trails but loading everything in the car can seem like a lot just to go for a bike ride. After a few months of road cycling I started riding my mountain bike 15 miles to the trails, ride 10 miles and ride the 15 miles back. The mtb is painfully slow on the road but it brought me back to the "just enjoy the ride" attitude.

    Now I live somewhere that I can't safely road bike from home but I'm much closer to a greater variety of rides for mountain and road cycling. Its only a 5min drive to park for either if its local. Within 30mins of some local legendary trails.

    Mountain bike suspension is just never going to be that smooth especially with OEM suspension. If you're pretty light like me the valving on stock suspension seems to be geared toward the heavier end of riders so it can deal with a wider range of people. On top of that the suspension does always need something to push against in order to compress. Which is of course your body weight since the bike hardly weighs anything in comparison. The most efficient form of small bump compliance is larger tires with less pressure. Maybe look into a + bike or even a fat bike.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I like to go fast but I still enjoy recreational riding, one persons sufferfest is just a fun ride for others. There's no right way to do it IMO.

    I found that mixing it up with road rides made my mountain rides more fun.

    Road riding definitely helps me as well. It mixes it up, you can ride straight from your door no hassle, and the fitness gains make MTB much more fun.

  53. #53
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    Yes, I'm going to say it...Gravel Bike time

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  54. #54
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    Almost thirty year.. have rode good bikes and bad I think you either have the mtb passion or not..

  55. #55
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    I lost my Faith for a couple of years, at least due to depression.

    You can imagine how much fitness I lost...

    For me when I first got back into it seriously, one of the most important things to avoid was going too hard too early, not measuring up to my old standards, and becoming demoralised.

    I would go out hard, then blow up or get annoyed when I wasn't in the same gear I used to ride on the same climbs, etc.

    So I learned to just take it easy and make the rides a little more about fun. And also be sure I picked "work and play" rides where the hurt would be followed by some fun.

    I also threw caution to the wind and got a new bike, going from a 100mm XC dually to a 150mm AM bike. Which I have loved in all conditions, TBH.

    For me, the key was to ride hard enough to get training benefit to get fitness back, but short enough that I was hungry for the next ride.

    It's important to remember that most of us are riding for fun - we aren't pro's and riding shouldn't be a chore.

    I tend to ride alone almost all the time but I'm lucky enough to have a lot of trails within minutes. So I mix it up as I see fit and that helps too.
    Less isn't MOAR

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    Road riding definitely helps me as well. It mixes it up, you can ride straight from your door no hassle, and the fitness gains make MTB much more fun.
    And you can ride road when the trails are closed.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by starsky View Post
    Recently I have been finding it harder to motivate myself to ride. My last bike got stolen and I was off the bike for a while. I'm in my late forties and I was surprised how much fitness I had lost when I finally got back in the saddle. I forced myself out on the bike and I gained back some fitness.

    However, I have been riding pretty much the same trails for 15 years. So, I decided to go somewhere new and had a rotten time, cutting the ride short. Out of my depth skill wise and some bike issues. I had one fall leading to a bloody shin and a few near misses.

    The one positive was that fitness wasn't the issue.

    So, some tokens out of the shock, PSI reduced and rebound slowed. Just back from my local trails. Ride cut short again as I'm just not feeling it and after my experience of being in over my head, I find my confidence has taken a hit.

    Anyone else ever go through phases like this? What did you find stoked your passion again?
    Yep, I've taken years off from MTB because of this. The first time is because I was comparing myself to everyone else in an area I just moved to (Bay Area from NC). I could ride technical stuff in NC, but there was soo much climbing in the Bay Area and I hated the attitude. I took over a year off, close to 2 because I found it pretty depressing.

    Once I found my riding crew and trails that didn't seem like a constant sufferfest or went uphill both ways, I was happy to ride again. It did take a bit for that to happen.

    Other times, I just don't feel like riding. I was ready to quit in 2016 because riding wasn't any fun anymore between overly crowded trails and I wasn't able to keep my asthma in check. And I've been riding trails for 20 years (except that time where I took a year off from moving from NC to the Bay Area). Just got burnt out. Also, no matter how long I've been riding, I suck at climbing. And when you suck at climbing, you're always alone in the back even on a group ride. I found that was killing my passion for riding.

    I found some passion again moving to Colorado, and that helps quite a bit. I also don't listen to the earn your turns crowd and prefer DH riding to trail riding any day. The DJ/DH crowd is more willing to get you to test your boundaries but everything doesn't feel like a competition to me. I also spend a lot of time working on skills at the local bike parks, because I have that luxury.

    My job for the past six months has been absolutely depressing. I haven't been as motivated to ride, and coming back from a vacation in Japan for two weeks for some reason I'm not really that motivated either. Just feeling kinda meh.

    I gave notice and got a new job (career change actually). That helped a bit, but still not 100% on feeling it. This weekend I was supposed to ride a new trail with some riding friends. But the weather killed that, and now I'm back to being kinda meh.

    If the weather is good tomorrow, I might go ride. Or I might not. If I don't feel it, I don't ride. It's just not worth it to make it feel like a commitment. If not, I might just veg, or work on a LEGO project. Either way, I'll live to ride another day.

    I am really getting excited about next weekend though. I get to ride Trestle for the first time this season, and I really like bike park season.

    I do miss my riding buddies from the Bay Area, but in all honesty, I'm much happier with a lift ticket attached to my pack and wearing a lot of protective gear and learning to bomb downhill. And I have new riding buddies here--that helps give me a fresh perspective. Some of them are even trying to get me back on the trail regularly.

    Also, injuries do NOT help. I've had both my shoulders injured in the past 6 months (one in PT, the other landing a jump badly), that it doesn't help my confidence. So I started weight training last week to get them and the rest of me strong to help my confidence and enjoyment.

  58. #58
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    The comparison thing is definitely an issue.

    For me the "doubt" about mtb started a few months back. I just didn't seem to have the same power or energy and just felt generally slower. I have picked that strength up again recently though.

    The weirdest thing is having a nice bike. You kind of feel other riders expect you to be a really good rider but you feel you're being judged as "all the gear and no idea". I'm not a complete novice but equally I'm not riding like an EWS champion.

    I spent a lot of time looking at possible new bikes yesterday. I began to realise that when I had originally decided on my currently bike, I was looking at slightly beefier builds (X2 rear, 36 on the front). When I bought, they had very little stock and had to take a smaller size and a lower build spec (Pike RC and RS Monarch). It may well be that in my head I pegged this bike as AM and plush but ended up with a more XC biased build. ie a bike more on the XC side of "trail" than AM which becomes jittery on the trails I want to ride.

    It may well be that this experience, coming after the theft of my last bike, dip in fitness, skills frustration and lots of snow blocking riding created my current level of disenchantment with mtb.
    Last edited by starsky; 6 Days Ago at 08:18 AM.

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