Cycling is great. We all know this.
But motivation is a bit like a fruit fly. Something you know exists, something which pops up randomly in your life now and again, but something which when you try to grab it... is gone... maybe it teleported to another dimension? maybe it never existed in the first place? the truth is... nobody knows. Motivation for most is elusive at times. But as tricksy as it can be, there are ways to keep your proverbial motivational kettle boiling :)
You are a legend!
Get on YouTube and find something awesome to watch. Just a couple of minutes of motivational video on is usually enough to get us amped up enough to go out and do the ride we almost didn't.
Watching the cycling legends do their thing is always inspiring to the core. Watch this and call me in the morning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEmPmxYqWxM
Join the club
Joining a cycling club with regular meet-ups could be the push you need. Having to meet at a fixed time will help you get your priorities right.
Turn S.A.D. into HAPPY
A four lettered popstar once said "We are all made of stars" That's as may be, but when autumnn comes, the sun, which as we all know is a star, becomes scarcer. This affects many people quite intensely, in some cases causing depression like syptoms to surface. Getting out on your bike and taking advantage of the little light that exists COMBINED with the endorphins produced by hard excercise has been scientifically proven to diminish the feelings related to S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Yes, we all knew it but scientists say 'Riding your bike makes you happy!'
Go for gold (We have a T-shirt)
Enter an event taking place in the spring or summer, preferably one with an entrance fee. You will feel motivated to perform. In order to perform, you will have to train. As a famous philosopher once said: "I train therefore I ride"
Weather, what weather?!
It's dark outside, you have to scrape the frost of your bedroom window with your fingernails to see what the weather's like this morning... we've all been there and it's not always easy to take that step but if you have the right gear your excuses start to disappear one by one.
Some good cycling gloves are essential. Hands are bony things with no natural insulation, help them out with some decent gloves. Try toe covers too, a simple idea to keep the chill off your other other bony extremities, your feet! Check out Sigr's toe covers here.
A good cycling wind or rain jacket is an obvious must during the colder darker months. A reflective cycling jacket is a great idea especially when they look as cool as ours do.
It only takes 1.8% more
If you find yourself umm-ing and ah-ing or slightly hesitating about going out on your bike, it means you are ALMOST there! (98.2% to be precise*) Your subconscious mind is looking for a way out... but is finding it hard... You will learn to recognise this. Say no to that voice and take that very small (1.8%) step. Get out there and ride.
Splash the cash!
Buy a brand spanking new bike. You will feel obliged to ride it. Shame to waste it :)
Short and sweat(y)
A super-long endurance ride is not the easiest of things to get fired-up about on a cold and frosty morning. Try doing shorter more intense rides in the colder weather. You'll be out for less time and your body will be warmer due to the extra effort. Mixing up your training like this into intense and explosive on the one hand and endurance on the other is a recipe for maintained fitness through the colder months with less hours in the saddle to boot.
Ready player one?
Try out some new tech. Even if you're not into video games, try out something like Zwift (https://zwift.com/). Indoor training, on your own or race against others across the internet. Train inside, wear your summer gear, perhaps a Sigr cycling jersey and bibs? Of course we had to get a plug in somewhere ;)
Bring forth the GUILT CATAPULT®!
Create your very own guilt catapult®. First eat an unfeasibly large plate of doughnuts, a kilo of finest gummy bears or a large plate of [ >> Insert junk food of choice here << ] The next part is very important. Think about what you've done. Perhaps while sitting on the naughty step. Slowly but surely, you will feel the catapult materialising, you may even hear the 'pult' creaking as it loads, ready to fire.
Then it happens, you will become an unstoppable force, speeding into the distance, hedges and fields nothing but a blur in your peripheral vision. P.S. this point was a joke. We in no way condone creating imaginary mediaeval war weapons or eating too many gummy bears at once.
One way to actually remove the power of the guilt catapult is to use the carrot effect instead. Promise yourself a carrot in the form of cake, perhaps even carrot cake at the END of your ride. Maybe, the quicker you get there, the larger the piece you are allowed. The possibilities are both endless AND delicious.
P.P.S. I thought the search for an image of a fruit fly on a bike would be futile. The internet of course had other ideas! I can only link to it as it's not mine but here it is... enjoy! https://twitter.com/DaniedmundsDani/status/1019683692330012674