You’ve been logging big kilometres all spring and into the summer but the urge to go ride is diminishing. Your feeling tired and less excited to hop into the saddle. Some days it even feels like a chore and that’s beginning to frustrate you. The outdoor riding season in Canada is short and cyclists need to pace themselves to take advantage of all of it. If you feel a little guilty you don’t want to ride when the weather is nicest here are some tricks that could once again get you excited about riding this summer:
1) Diversify your outdoor physical activities
Cycling doesn’t need to be the only thing that lets you take advantage of summer. If it is, that’s when the pressure is on to ride a lot. While it may be your foremost passion, pursuing other outdoor interests throughout the summer can help you keep a more balanced riding schedule without making cycling feel like the only thing you are doing. Keeping a healthy balance between the sport you love and the rest of your life is important even when the riding is best.
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2) Make cycling fun again
The thrill of spring is often finally getting into the saddle, seeing friends who you’ve been out of touch with for a few months, and feeling the warm fun on your face and in the wind in your hair. It’s the beginning of the race calendar too so you’re motivated to get fit. Now you are relatively fit, you have been riding a lot but it’s lost some of its thrill from earlier in the year. Try mixing things up to rediscover the joy of riding. Go on rides with friends who aren’t into or are just getting into cycling to show them the ropes. Pack a light lunch into a pack and head to a nearby park for a picnic instead of doing an easy training ride or just find new people to ride with who are just focused on having a good time together. Even just going out with your family instead of your riding friends could be just the change up you need.
3) Set an ambitious goal for yourself
Having a midsummer event to target can help keep you motivated. While this won’t work for everybody, a good challenge can really get some people focused. If there isn’t an event that suits you, find a big ride you want to do. Whether that be something like breaking a century for the first time, doing an intense day of climbing or doing a big local ride with some friends. Set the date on your calendar and commit.
4) Try cyclo-touring
What better way than to change things up than using your bike in a different way. Find a destination you’d like to travel to and make the journey by bike. Pack everything on your trusty steed and head out. If you are going to the cottage, don’t sit in traffic on Friday leaving the city, instead take the afternoon off work and ride there. Get a family member, spouse or friend who is driving to take your stuff.
5) Take a break now before fatigue sets in
Yes, a little time off the bike may be the solution. To avoid a full on burn out give yourself some rest now. Do this during a scorching hot week when riding would be especially taxing or if there is rain in the forecast. Sometimes a bit of time off the bike is exactly what you need to reset. If you are going on vacation don’t feel compelled to fit riding in. Take the time to relax with your friends or family and spend some time away from the bike. If the pressure is on, some people will really benefit from taking a step back for a little while.
6) Remember some of the year’s best riding is in the fall
As beautiful as the summer can be, fall riding can be quite rewarding as well. With the leaves turning beautiful colours and cooler temperatures, a sunny fall day is second to none when it comes to amazing riding conditions. There is plenty of time to take advantage of your bike.
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7) Don’t forget how far you have come
Look back on how much you have already ridden this year and the progress you’ve made. Perhaps you have significantly increased your mileage or structured training and your body is just sending you signals it’s time for a little break. You have done your big race, gran fondo or charity rides you were focused on and that is something to feel happy about. Don’t feel discouraged or guilty you don’t feel the urge to ride as much now. You’ll hopefully come back from a break stronger than before.