As summer is now in full swing and most of you have been on the bike solidly for months now, the buzz maybe wearing off to get out? Motivation is a key component of progression and excitment to ride. Whether it be for an event or a local ride or even for a bike trip, the excitement to ride where and how you want can help keep the fire stoked!
Having the confidence to ride harder trails safely or tackle a big backcountry loop are some motivators that come to my mind when I think progression. Recent bike advancements have definitely helped progression also. Dropper seatposts, big grippy tubeless tires, better suspension, and geometry have changed the way we ride. Assuming you have a reasonably modern bike here’s my advice to remain excited to ride it!
5 Ways to Progress and Maintain Excitement to Ride
1) Travel beyond your backdoor trails. Everyone is different but this is my #1 way to progress and stay excited to ride my bike. No matter how many neighborhood trails you have, the stoke to get out on the same trails day after day eventually wears off. Progression also dissolves as you are able to ride on autopilot or nearly ride blind. Travel and explore. Chances are there is something you have not yet ridden within a short driving distance of home. Plan a bigger trip at least once a year to ride a big bucket list destination.
2) Ride with people better than you. It can be a humbling experience but its always good to see how other riders take different lines or able to ride a piece of trail that you may have issues with. It’s fun to push your limits and open your eyes to what is possible on a bike
3) Try a different riding discipline, bike or even a different bike setup. XC, enduro, singlespeed, gravel…heck even road bike. Riding a different bike will likely introduce you to some different terrain or at least feel like it on a different bike. It will also push you out of your comfort zone and help to make you a more versatile cyclist.
4) Pick some events – races, clinics, festivals or organized rides. Races can be fun even if you’re not competitive. They are also excellent ways to improve your fitness and riding style. Meeting new people will expand your horizons and may even lead to some other trips to explore by bike.
5) Ride with others and introduce someone new to the sport of mountain biking. Shared experiences are what make life so cool. Getting someone new into riding or getting others excited about riding will lead you to more enjoyment of the trails as well. Remember that feeling when you first found mountain biking, the freedom, the unknown? Share that with someone and spread the stoke.