Motivation is an incredibly important aspect of life.  Without it, we are lifeless, listless corks floating along, at the whim of others.  Motivation is the spark that ignites desire into action.  Each of us is motivated by different goals, dreams and desires.  Whether it’s motivating yourself to train harder, get on the bike to do a session, lose weight, resist that delicious Snickers Bar, the motivating factors that actually drive you into action are incredibly important.

We love cycling, but we all have those days when it’s a struggle to get off that couch.  Other days we are eager to get out and get going.  Here are some simple ideas to keep in mind when we are tempted to give in to the siren of laziness.  

Find a Friend—Or Four

Remember how as a kid you'd bang on every door on the block or call every friend in a 5-mile radius until you found someone to come out and play? When you did, you'd tear up the neighborhood until your mom called for dinner.   You may be bigger now, but you're likely still a kid at heart and it's still more fun to play with friends.  If you’re reading this, you are probably a member in a bike club, a great first step!   Encourage friends and coworkers to join you on a bike ride, look for community events to participate in bicycling, ask at a bike shop about rides and people who ride.  Make plans or lead a ride to encourage others to get out. 

Set goals

Nothing gets you out on your bike like knowing you have a 100-mile ride to do in five weeks.  Signing up for a bike tour vacation, a big single-day ride, or a club event will give you all the more reason to get up and go when you feel like staying put.  Local bike clubs are great sources of information on races, rides, and organized cycling events throughout the year.  Set goals to go a little farther, a little faster, day after day, ride after ride.  Determine to run errands, on your bike.  Explore new roads or paths, or aim for a rewarding destination.  Riding for a worthy cause reminds us that it’s a privilege to have a healthy, able body to ride a bike.

Have a bike you enjoy

You will not enjoy riding if you’re uncomfortable.  Make sure you are fitted properly on your bike.  Spruce up your bike, maybe a new computer or a bag.  Perhaps, hiding your computer will remind you, it’s not just about the speed and miles, but about the fun and exercise!  Maybe lie to yourself, saying you’ll just go out for a 20 minute ride.  Then, once you’re out you’ll want to go further.  Prepare your bike, clothes, snacks and water bottle the night before.  It makes it much easier to just run out the door, no turning back!

Reward yourself

Many of us ride to eat, but you also have to eat to ride.  After a long or hard ride, rewarding yourself with a special treat like coffee or sweets, can be a real motivation.  Ride to that coffee shop or ice cream store.   An exciting destination like a park, a museum or a festival can be a great reason to ride.  And remember how great you feel after a good ride?  Getting in shape and looking good is an excellent reward for those miles on the bike!

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Silver Wheels Cycling Club is a 501 C(7) non-profit organization. P.O.Box 242 Vermilion, Oh 44089

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