A guide to keeping up your enthusiasm and reaping the benefits of Mountain Biking

Motivation Tips for Mountain Bikers

It’s not just washed out roads that the rain has brought, trails have become a mess too. The thought of having to ride a muddy, slippery trail at slower than average speed, and then spending as long cleaning your bike and kit really can put many riders off coming out on the trails. During wet weather like we’ve had since December we need some motivation to make us get out there.

Watch videos! Sometimes on a cold January Sunday morning you just don’t want to go out, even the thought of a new trail centre makes you long for being on the sofa, in the dry comfort of your centrally heated house. A great way to motivate yourself is watch some great trail videos. Watching your favourite section of the classic Roam can make you want the trails again, even if you know that most of the trails they ride are extreme; you’ll still want to get out there and mimic what you can.

Keeping fit when the trails are muddy is difficult, for those days when the roads are dry, but the trails are still a mess there’s always the road bike option. We know that it isn’t as cool, and that lycra has questionable levels of fashion appeal, but it will keep your muscles strong and your cardio in check. Many pro mountain bikers also ride road bikes for this reason, their sponsor will often supply a road bike to keep them fit when they can’t get to a trail.

Book yourself into some races for the summer. Nothing motivates you more than the prospect of failure, so find some races you fancy, and make a trip out of it. If you know that in six months you’re going to be head-to-head in a timed race with other riders judging you, you’re likely to put in some hours to get your fitness and skills up-to-scratch. Mental preparation is a big part of the battle, and by booking yourself in you’re mentally preparing already. Make a trip out of it and go for the whole weekend, this way you’re more likely to enjoy it, and therefore more likely to book up another race.

When you’re sitting inside struggling to make yourself go out for a ride, ask yourself if you’ve ever regretted going out for a ride. I bet the answer is “no”. Just imagine that feeling of finishing a nice trail, and chatting to your fellow riders in the car park. Remember the elated feeling you get and the warmth you feel from those hard working muscles and lungs. The post ride pint in the warm pub by the fire is such a great feeling, and you’re never going to achieve it without going for a ride first. So cling onto that feeling of warmth and sense of achievement and use it for motivation to ride that trail.

If all else fails just remember that when the summer comes you’re going to wish you’d started riding earlier in the year because as we all well know; summer flies by when it’s here. It’s hard to stay motivated in January, but we hope that we’ve given you a few ideas which will help.

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