You love riding bikes, which is different than being in love with riding bikes. It’s like any relationship really. Sometimes it burns with passion; sometimes it’s just a sort of steady companionship. And like all relationships, it requires work. That could be simple acts of faith, throwing a leg over even when you’re not sure a ride is the answer, or showing up to the group ride even when you’d rather be alone. Maybe you just need a little time apart. Maybe you need to explore new territory together. You get my point.
Inspiration and motivation become priceless over time. They’re the things that push the relationship forward, keep it fresh and new.
And so I devote a fair amount of time to seeking fresh inspiration, new ways to think about riding my bike, new reasons to head out the door, and those reasons can take a lot of different forms.
If you’ve paid any attention to our video series, you’ll see a lot of what I’m talking about. I don’t ride BMX, for example, but I get a lot of energy from seeing what people are doing on BMX bikes lately. Groups like Black Girls Do Bike bring TONS of energy to this thing we love. Even a crazy cyclocross race can get me geed up to hit the trails on my gravel bike.
My friends seem unstoppable too, and they get sick of my excuses. That’s a valuable peer pressure, especially this time of year when the New Mud Season presages the old snow season. I told my crew I wasn’t going to make Wednesday’s ride, because I had Covid. The response? “Finally, a good excuse.”
So what’s working for you lately? What’s the weirdest thing you would credit with getting you motivated to ride bikes? What’s the most reliable?