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  1. #1
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    What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    What do you think of when you're trying to push hard on the bike?

    I know road riding is more of a 'put your head down and pedal' type of activity but even with mountain biking there are always sections of trails and roads that are boring and you are just grinding out miles with no adrenaline.

    I'm not sure if I think of anything, maybe the scenery briefly...then my pedal stroke...I usually try to actually think about how my legs feel, i.e. do they really hurt or am I thinking they hurt just cause I know I'm going hard and in theory they should hurt. I often times will fiddle around with trying different muscles, point toes, then drop heels, then focus on upstroke, then focus on quads, etc...trying to keep muscles fresh and giving my brain something to think about.

    I have non-riding friends that will ask what I thought about during some 7+ hour event and I think back and honestly can't think of much. I guess I go braindead a bit with focus on the immediate task...

  2. #2
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    boobs

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dietz31684 View Post
    boobs
    Winner!

  4. #4
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    Im usually mentally singing some song thats stuck in my head.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dietz31684 View Post
    boobs
    +1

    8)

  6. #6
    9 lives
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad andy View Post
    +1

    (.Y.)
    FIFY

    I think of anything and everything when Im riding ... when Im doing a difficult technical section, the Im hyperfocused (and kind of encouraging myself and cheering myself on )
    F*ck Cancer

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  7. #7
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    Re: What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by dietz31684 View Post
    boobs
    The great motivator

  8. #8
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    I am concentrating to minimize splash back.
    Last edited by ShinDiggity; 07-29-2014 at 04:49 PM.

  9. #9
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Hurting people who have pissed me off, techno music, catching the next person on the trail, catching air, "Oo look, DEER." Should I hit the two-track, the new Dodge Hellcat Challenger, where I want to fish next, buying property in the mountains, "Was that a chick squating behind that tree?" Football training camp starting, hockey training camp starting, my wifes cootch, cutting the grass, getting a new computer, "Damn, I'm glad I finally bought this suspension bike." What time it is, Redeemer of Souls, Landscaping the yard, next years strawberry garden, printer paper, Tenneesee whiskey, model rocketry, work, "Was that a raindrop I just felt?" Dragracing, (pause)..........................................H itting the ATM, wife's cootch, "$HIT, I think my Camelback is leaking! No it's cool." Nice carve, nice logover, nice air....YeeHah! "Damn equestrians." cleaning my bike taking a shower, riding again.
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  10. #10
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    I sing along with the McKenzies...

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  11. #11
    I didn't do it
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    Quote Originally Posted by dietz31684 View Post
    boobs
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnieron12 View Post
    Im usually mentally singing some song thats stuck in my head.
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    FIFY

    I think of anything and everything when Im riding ... when Im doing a difficult technical section, the Im hyperfocused (and kind of encouraging myself and cheering myself on )
    This is me. All kinds of things run through my head when I'm grinding away, especially when ascending.
    Let's eat Ted
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  12. #12
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    How good that growler of DIPA is going to taste when I get out of the woods.

  13. #13
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    boobs works for me. Can't go wrong.

  14. #14
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    The only thing I think when going hard on the bike:

    "Faster, faster, faster, faaster...you're not going fast enough, faster!"
    "...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
    -michaelscott

  15. #15
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    Had to check this thread just to see if Boobs made the list. Not disappointed
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  16. #16
    Jkj
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    quite random things run through my mind, but the loudest always is "push harder, if I don't die this time, I will be a better MTBer next time "

  17. #17
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    What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd View Post
    Hurting people who have pissed me off, techno music, catching the next person on the trail, catching air, "Oo look, DEER." Should I hit the two-track, the new Dodge Hellcat Challenger, where I want to fish next, buying property in the mountains, "Was that a chick squating behind that tree?" Football training camp starting, hockey training camp starting, my wifes cootch, cutting the grass, getting a new computer, "Damn, I'm glad I finally bought this suspension bike." What time it is, Redeemer of Souls, Landscaping the yard, next years strawberry garden, printer paper, Tenneesee whiskey, model rocketry, work, "Was that a raindrop I just felt?" Dragracing, (pause)..........................................H itting the ATM, wife's cootch, "$HIT, I think my Camelback is leaking! No it's cool." Nice carve, nice logover, nice air....YeeHah! "Damn equestrians." cleaning my bike taking a shower, riding again.
    That's pretty much where my brain is riding...although I'm not typically thinking about YOUR wife's cootch (but I'm sure it's lovely) :-D

  18. #18
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    My college roommate was my "cycling coach". He was wayyyyy faster than me, but he taught me how to spin, climb, sprint, etc. I taught him how to ride over a log, jump, and ride in sand.
    If I'm really hammering, all I can still hear is "C'MON YOU P***Y!!"
    THAT's motivation!

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

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dietz31684 View Post
    boobs
    and how is thes any different than when you are eating, at work, waiting for mass transit, shopping for groceries, filing your income taxes, cutting your grass, repairing stuff, getting a hair cut etc......

  20. #20
    Young, Shawn Young
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    If I am grinding it out and Im tired I think about hammering the 6 feet of trail in front of me, and then the next 6, and then the next 6.....`
    "Im just going to explore a little bit..."

    Dont make me be the bad guy...

    Do I need a pass to ride this trail?

  21. #21
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    how great it is to be alive and of course (.Y.)
    Keep The Rubber Side Down

  22. #22
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    The 4 B's; Boobs, (not to steel your thunder) butts, bacon, and beer!!!!

  23. #23
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  24. #24
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    I think of all the extra food I get to eat that day. I also look forward to landmarks I know in the climb as a motivator, and stopping for a snack after I reach my next goal. And I think of Boobs.

  25. #25
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    Nothing except that I feel like I'm about to explode and way above my ability to make sound decisions or recover to a reasonable HR.

    However, if I'm bonked, I usually get some stupid song in my head, that's a different situation, usually from pushing too hard earlier, but I'll start singing "aint nothing going to break my stride, ain't nobody going to slow me down, I've got to keep on movin"
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  26. #26
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    What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    When I have a tough section coming up I try to think of a topic that takes at least that long to think through. The less I think about riding, the better.

    As others have said, descending is a completely different story.

    Also, bewbs.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd View Post
    Hurting people who have pissed me off, techno music, catching the next person on the trail, catching air, "Oo look, DEER." "Was that a raindrop I just felt?" Dragracing, (pause)..........................................H itting the ATM, wife's cootch,
    If you are hitting the ATM before the wife's 'zone', she's got you trained pretty well !

    For me, pushing the alloy gizmo up a hill is all about; "making it to that next boulder" .....
    "make it to the big tree up there " etc.. ..
    I just keep my head down and try not to take in the idea of the entire route. Bite size chunks of it works better for me.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  28. #28
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    How close is the person behind me? Did I drop them or are they still on my ass?

  29. #29
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    In technical/fast sections, I'm usually just visualizing the next several seconds. On hard ascents, I think the words "pedal in circles, pedal in circles, pedal in circles" over and over and then I realize that I'm taking shallow breaths, then it's "brreeeeeeeaaaatthhhhe, you idiot, breeaaatthe", then it's back to "pedal in circles, pedal in circles, pedal in circles", then it's "pain is a figment of my imagination, just keep doing this and it will all be over soon".

  30. #30
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    Focus on my tunes ^^ (riding solo)...

    Keeping up O_o (riding with others)...

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    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  31. #31
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    How glad I am to live in the mountains.

  32. #32
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    I think of how much of a b itch I am being and push on.

  33. #33
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    How cool would this look on a GoPro?
    Here is the thing about equality, everyone's equal when they're dead. - Gavroche, Les Misérables

  34. #34
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    Re: What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    When I'm really cranking I've gotten into the habit to just repeat 'legs' over and over in my head or under my breath. For some reason it helps me concentrate and get through the push.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2

  35. #35
    Big John
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    Pushing hardER.
    Road, mountain, commute, CX... who cares? Shut up and ride!

  36. #36
    squish, squish in da fish
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    i think about how rewarding that beer and jib at the truck is gunna be and then the lil lady at home. most of the time the 2nd part is merely a dream, but dreams do c*m true sometimes

    just yesterday i was racing a relay and at the last major climb towards the end someone hung a sign saying, "drumsticks burning?" that really played a number on the 2nd lap. then someone threw a jager bomb shot in my mouth and i forgot about it

  37. #37
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    When I'm riding on the road I'll think of many things, as I'm not having to be that focused. That could be family, work, bike related stuff, schedules...plus the area I'm riding in with an interest in the forests and lands. When I'm mountain biking I find I'm focusing more on the trail, the upcoming section, how I'm feeling (legs and abilities).

  38. #38
    zrm
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    Keepgoingkeepgoingkeepgoingyoucandothiskeepgoing.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redmon View Post
    If I am grinding it out and Im tired I think about hammering the 6 feet of trail in front of me, and then the next 6, and then the next 6.....`
    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    ... "making it to that next boulder" .....
    "make it to the big tree up there " etc.. ..
    I just keep my head down and try not to take in the idea of the entire route. Bite size chunks of it works better for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by sperho View Post
    ...then it's "brreeeeeeeaaaatthhhhe, you idiot, breeaaatthe", ....


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

  40. #40
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    Why?

  41. #41
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  42. #42
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    What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    Feet heavy , hands light .... Feet heavy, hands light


    And boobs

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  43. #43
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    What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

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    x Infinity!!! Love me some Double Doubles Animal Style!!!!

    The person who said boobs has a point too LOL 😉

  44. #44
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    What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    Strava times
    I hope you have a big trunk... cause I'm gonna put my bike in it!

  45. #45
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    Beating my Strava personal best record. When that fails, that's where boobs comes into play!
    "By Your Command"

  46. #46
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    Old what's-her-name
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  47. #47
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    I have no idea how you guys manage to think and ride at the same time.
    Pick one and focus!

  48. #48
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    When I'm getting into that section of the trail that has a tough climb, I tend to just replay my favorite movies in my head. Sometimes, to the point where I'm reciting lines. I've been playing Top Gun in my head for the last few rides. Next one, it might have to be Big Trouble in Little China. These guys are animals, Jack!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakester View Post
    When I'm getting into that section of the trail that has a tough climb, I tend to just replay my favorite movies in my head. Sometimes, to the point where I'm reciting lines. I've been playing Top Gun in my head for the last few rides. Next one, it might have to be Big Trouble in Little China. These guys are animals, Jack!
    That's impressive...I don't know if I can combine enough lucid thoughts to try a movie snippet. Last ride I think I kept repeating "Sit'n on the dock of the bay" in my head, which is funny cause I like that song but it's way before my time.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd View Post
    Hurting people who have pissed me off, techno music, catching the next person on the trail, catching air, "Oo look, DEER." Should I hit the two-track, the new Dodge Hellcat Challenger, where I want to fish next, buying property in the mountains, "Was that a chick squating behind that tree?" Football training camp starting, hockey training camp starting, my wifes cootch, cutting the grass, getting a new computer, "Damn, I'm glad I finally bought this suspension bike." What time it is, Redeemer of Souls, Landscaping the yard, next years strawberry garden, printer paper, Tenneesee whiskey, model rocketry, work, "Was that a raindrop I just felt?" Dragracing, (pause)..........................................H itting the ATM, wife's cootch, "$HIT, I think my Camelback is leaking! No it's cool." Nice carve, nice logover, nice air....YeeHah! "Damn equestrians." cleaning my bike taking a shower, riding again.
    Nearly perfect. Post could only be better if it were supplemented with pictures!!

  51. #51
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    If it is a grind I will think as others do, in little sections: make it to the next rock, turn, etc. And try to convince myself that I am fine and the pounding in my chest is Kieth Moon on drums. I am still new enough at this that if it is a technical section I still have to think about riding. It will be nice when I don't have to think about anything just feel the ride. Slim

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnieron12 View Post
    Im usually mentally singing some song thats stuck in my head.
    Ditto. I actually breath to the tune. I think it makes the other guys think I'm going to collapse because I'm breathing so hard and irregularly. But it works for me.

  53. #53
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    I think about what a good workout I'm getting. When I feel a good pain in my legs I like to thing my legs are getting stronger so I keep going, and when i feel a bad pain I just stop for a little.

  54. #54
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    When I'm riding a grind hard I think "This seemed like such a good idea at the time."

  55. #55
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    the beer siting in the cooler.

  56. #56
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    Boats and Hoes

  57. #57
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    What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    Usually I sing or hum whatever songs I've been listening to lately.

  58. #58
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    "Just keep spinning, just keep spinning, just keep spinning spinning spinning…"

    Oh and penises. Lots and lots of penises.

  59. #59
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    Things I think about...

    1. Getting feet the right way around... For cornering
    2. Corner... To fast... BREAK!!!
    3. Can I get over that rock. Yup oh **** another!!
    4. Hmm mates pulling away. Pedal harder
    5. Sheezz I'm tired, shift down.
    6. Damn can't shake my mate. Pedal harder!!!


    Generally I'm pretty focused when riding, saying that I've had some pretty silly crashes when my mind is wandering and not on the task at hand.

  60. #60
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    My only thought is 'pain is temporary'...

    I always push myself because I know after sitting at home a hour after a ride I'd be pissed if I didn't push myself.
    2014 TREK FUEL EX8 29er
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  61. #61
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    On a long climb I'm usually thinking, "Why the $^$%# am I doing this?"

  62. #62
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    Downhill:
    Which rocks do I avoid? How much grip do I have? Go faster? Slow down?

    Uphill:
    Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Keep pushing.

  63. #63
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    I hope I don't hurt her.

    edit: oops wrong thread

  64. #64
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    Re: What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    I hope I don't hurt her.

    edit: oops wrong thread
    Not sure that would hurt her ^^

    Might pop her if she's inflatable!

    On topic: '1 &amp; 1'... up the hill to my home... 1 foot in front of the other, so to speak...

    Sent from my Kin[G]_Pad ™
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    How glad I am to live in the mountains.
    ➹➹ This ➹➹

  66. #66
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    What's my heart monitor showing!?
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  67. #67
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    Oh Shlt was there a spider on that web? how big is he and where is he? I think I can feel something on my neck no its my ear oh wait its my cheek. Wait I was going to fast if a spider was on the web it would be dead, shlt who am I kidding I feel something in my helmet.

  68. #68
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    Well, since I got back into riding the trails sometimes I think "I must be crazy for doing this" as I ride over the rocky stuff with switchbacks and climbs. But I also think about when I go through sections that used to give me trouble that I now know how to go through them without out getting stuck and falling over. Now I know where I have to put my front wheel. And when I get a little squirrely because I'm tired I can unclip on time instead of falling over. I think about how I'm getting better and increasing my endurance (just a little bit). But last weekend when I ride fresh on the trail I have my spot where I take my first rest along the trail. Well I managed to ride past that point before needing to take my first rest. I think about all those things.
    Last edited by Zomby Woof (MCM700); 09-04-2014 at 08:39 AM.

  69. #69
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    "quit being a b*tch" That's uphill and down

  70. #70
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    Re: What do you think of when you're pushing hard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuryan View Post
    "quit being a b*tch" That's uphill and down
    Was telling myself this exact sentiment on Friday during my 2hr ride when I tackled a lot of climbs... Seemed to help

    Sent from my Kin[G]_Pad ™
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  71. #71
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    Just as I checked my gps tracking on trail I frequent was thinking, S##t Yer, smashing yesterday's time. Was roughly 30 seconds later I went flying over the handlebars...

    Other times usually go something like. "ahhh!" "s##t that was close" "ouch" and general "why am I doing this to myself" as I'm struggling up a hill

  72. #72
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    Great thread. Some of us are much more scattered than others.

    Ideally i'd be in some kind of meditative zone while cranking away, perfectly at peace with my burning muscles, breathing and pedal strokes.

    Usually i'm the opposite, with a dozen random things in my head. I'm with the others here, though; downhill i'm much more focused.

    Occasionally i'll count to keep a nice cadence with my pedalling (to a hundred and then over and over). It's kind of silly but it really helps me stay with my ride.

    This all relates to the the long grinds and generally somewhat boring local riding I have. Technical riding or new territory keeps my attention much better!

  73. #73
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    I'm trying so hard...how could my wife fall asleep :-( ;-)

  74. #74
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    One of the routes I take I am in granny gear for an hour and a half. I say to myself quite often that "You are supposed to be enjoying this."

  75. #75
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I think how much I miss my Honda :P

    Attachment 947350
    “I seek only the Flow”, "27.5+ Hard Tails Rock"
    My Scooter : 2017 Scott Scale 720 Plus

  76. #76
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    I generally think about all the tips I'm going to make at the bar that night telling tourist what I did before work today. Oh and also why god did I pick this route today.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVaz View Post
    My only thought is 'pain is temporary'...

    I always push myself because I know after sitting at home a hour after a ride I'd be pissed if I didn't push myself.
    ^^^
    One of my biggest "keep going you idiot" thoughts is being afraid I'm not working hard enough. If I finish a tough climb and I have any energy left I feel a bit disappointed cause I should have likely gone harder.
    -------------
    Kona HeiHei, heavy Mongoose fat bike & some cheap Fuji road bike...

  78. #78
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    I just keep telling myself on the hard climbs for me.. Its better to ride up than walk.. Its better to ride up than walk.. Oh yeah and the girl with the nice red shorts I passed earlier running.. Yeah

  79. #79
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    I usually push hard to not walk on climbs but usually I think I'm going to die. That's the hard spot to push for me.

    I rode up a 6 mile climb with a friend who had a granny gear and was stuck using 30/36 while he just spun away. I just refused to walk unless he did after awhile I stopped worrying about the climb. Once we made the climb nothing bothered me the rest of the day though.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  80. #80
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    "Pedal Daddy Pedal!"

    ...runs through my head when I need to dig deep.

  81. #81
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    On Sunday, a friend and I were pedaling up a trail which was probably a good 3 miles up. We started talking about football and the 49ers. We're both fans and hate Colin Kaepernick. We were venting and just getting so upset. By the time we knew it, we were done with the climb.

  82. #82
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    If I'm having a good day on the bike, I really don't think about anything. I just sort of clear my head, the same way I used to when motorcycling. I usually just enjoy the scenery when I get a chance, or focus on what's ahead.

    If I'm struggling that day though, I tend to do the worst possible things. I think about how much I'm hurting, who's dumbass idea (usually mine) it was to come and do this anyway, and who the hell sucked up all the fvcking oxygen out of the air before I got here?

  83. #83
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    When I’m riding solo, during the “grind” part of climbs, I tend to analyze a current issue, stringing together some of my most lucid thoughts on the subject. It always surprises me how much better I can logically explain something in my head when I’m riding - makes me wish I could record my thoughts somehow.

    When the “grunts” come along, all my thoughts suddenly vanish...My mind quietly slips right into the moment, and I’m usually cresting the top before I know it.

    I absolutely love this about climbing.

  84. #84
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    I think about how when I'm not able to ride how much I enjoy riding. What I mean to say is I remind myself just how much I miss riding when it's too wet out or when work gets in the way.

  85. #85
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    "I shouldn't have eaten all those hamburgers over the winter."

    SRSLY

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    Wow! I can't believe I didn't crash back there.

  87. #87
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    *Newbe comments*

    "What made you think you could shift up here!!!!!!!!!"

    "My goodness, riding downhill is as hard as riding uphill!!!!"

    "Oh good, I'm back to where I turned around last time."

  88. #88
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    "This is why you're here, Kevin."

  89. #89
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    I always wish I was lighter.
    I like turtles

  90. #90
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    What goes up...must come down.

  91. #91
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    I'm sure that leaf rubbing on my rear wheel will fall out any minute now...I wonder if it's slowing me down...no, just making noise...I'm certainly not going to stop to remove it...geez that's one tough leaf...any minute now...

  92. #92
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    Thinking of my next post on mtbr.com of course...
    All bike, all the time

  93. #93
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    When I'm "pushing hard", I usually think to myself...

    "Maybe I should get back on the bike now"

    That happened right about here ("X") on today's ride.

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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by mabrodis View Post
    What do you think of when you're trying to push hard on the bike?

    I know road riding is more of a 'put your head down and pedal' type of activity but even with mountain biking there are always sections of trails and roads that are boring and you are just grinding out miles with no adrenaline.

    I'm not sure if I think of anything, maybe the scenery briefly...then my pedal stroke...I usually try to actually think about how my legs feel, i.e. do they really hurt or am I thinking they hurt just cause I know I'm going hard and in theory they should hurt. I often times will fiddle around with trying different muscles, point toes, then drop heels, then focus on upstroke, then focus on quads, etc...trying to keep muscles fresh and giving my brain something to think about.

    I have non-riding friends that will ask what I thought about during some 7+ hour event and I think back and honestly can't think of much. I guess I go braindead a bit with focus on the immediate task...
    "I must be the worst mountain biker. I'm so slow. Where's the fun in this?"

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshevilleMtBiker View Post
    "I must be the worst mountain biker. I'm so slow. Where's the fun in this?"

    Ride your bike for what makes it fun to you.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  96. #96
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    All the above. Thank you.
    Oldest daughter doesn't ride.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    Ride your bike for what makes it fun to you.
    That's what I do. I like steep hills. I gain elevation and get to go downhill. Some hills just get to me sometimes.

  98. #98
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    push HARDER, DO NOT give in....breathe... yup thats it

  99. #99
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    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pl1YU1rXuE

    I think about Chuck Mangione.
    dang

  100. #100
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    I set goals using features like a tree, shade, the top of a hill, etc. I hate walking, so I tell myself if I've done it before, I can do it again. Pushing a 1 X 10 32T 11-36, so no more bail-out gear. It's funny what you can get used to when you have no choice! Lastly, I try to push my breathing low in my torso, and focus on controlling my breathing. Now I enjoy climbing as much as descending.

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