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Quick Tips For Maintaining Cycling Motivation

How do you maintain cycling motivation through a season?  What about those people who seem to race season after season and still have the drive to compete?  It seems like some people are able to keep going out and riding for years on end.  Those cyclists never get tired of training and they always have an infectious enthusiasm about the sport.  Riders like that have a unique kind of cycling motivation that we all envy a little bit.

How do you grow that kind of cycling motivation?  How do you keep climbing on your bike every week and have enthusiasm about flogging yourself for a couple of hours of training?  Wouldn't it be nice to wake up every morning and be excited about the day's workout?

Just like you, I struggle with motivation sometimes.  When the mercury hits triple digits or it's drizzling outside, it's easy to sit in front of the TV with a coffee and watch racing on TV.  But if you want to become a beast, you have to train like one.  That means having the motivation to get off your sofa and onto your saddle.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your motivation levels up.

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Pinning On A Number Again – My Return To Racing Post Injury

Most of you are aware that I spent most of the last year on the sidelines after I crashed out of an early season race.  That day started like every other race I'd ever ridden.  I arrived early, checked in at registration, got help from my teammates with pinning on a number (37 it turned out), took an Instagram photo of it to share and then went about warming up.  Fast forward to a few weeks post surgery and my season was as shattered as my collarbone.

While waiting for my fractures to heal and my strength to return, I wondered how I would go about getting back in the pack.  I spent the rest of the year training solo to regain the fitness and form I had lost during recovery.  I jumped into numerous group rides in hopes of shaking my daemons.  In reality, I was hoping to be pinning on a number again soon.

I admittedly had a very hard time with those first group rides after getting back on the bike.  I got dropped on group rides with my teammates that I used to dominate.  My fitness was fine, I just wasn't holding the wheels I needed to be.  I wasn't comfortable getting in tight with a peloton, even if it was made of my own teammates.

I had lost my mojo.  And I wasn't sure how to get it back.

I had always found it easy to move through a pack of riders.  Find an empty spot and claim it.  Use your elbows to assert your claim to your little space in the group.  Don't be afraid to put your hand on someone else's hip and let them know you're there.  These are the things I not only taught fledgling racers, but the things I did every weekend after pinning on a number.

Now I was afraid to do them all.

As the winter wore on, I sat on my trainer and wondered how I was going to get back to racing a bike, an activity which I loved dearly but was now terrified of.

Then I hatched a plan…

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Cycling’s Emotional Cost

Forget the financial cost of riding a bike (which can be pricey to say the least), there's also a significant emotional cost incurred with becoming entangled with this sport we love so dearly.  See?  There's a perfect example of it right there: “the sport we love so dearly.” What is it about cycling that reaches deep down into our soul and entwines our psyche into the sport?

See?  There's a perfect example of it right there: “the sport we love so dearly.” What is it about cycling that reaches deep down into our soul and entwines our psyche into the sport?

What is it about cycling that reaches deep down into our soul and entwines our psyche into the sport?  Why do we become obsessed with the thrill of the open road, the search for fitness and the company of friends and teammates?

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Getting Back in the Saddle After a Crash

About 8 weeks ago I was post surgery for a busted clavicle and in the midst of a five day hospital stay after crashing out of the Cherry Blossom Challenge.  About 3 weeks ago I got back on the trainer for the first time since the accident, and since then I've been progressively trying to turn around 5 weeks of absolute inactivity (healing doesn't count for inactivity though…)

It's been an eye-opening experience, to say the least, and it's made me think long and hard about the process I've been going through.  Click through to read deeper into it: (more…)

Crashing Out

Crashing out is a terrifying thing to experience, but it's something that every racer, at some point in their career will experience.  I'd heard the stories, read about the pros' trials and tribulations in returning from crashes and comforted friends and teammates who suffered ill fortune and broken bones.  I've even tasted the bitter pill of defeat before: A couple  years ago I released a podcast in which I described the ignominy of DNFing a race.  Almost 2 years to the day I last DNFed a race, I did it again, but this time it was something a little bit different.

This time I crashed out, or more specifically, I WAS crashed out.

And this time, my season crashed out with it.  You can see in the video below the sequence of events that put me on the sidelines for 3 months:

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