Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tips to Increase the Chances that you will Go for a Bike Ride Today

Even for those of us who love to ride, there are times when we just don't feel like it.  For me, it's my main form of exercise so I try to ride often, if not everyday.  So, I have developed a few tricks to increase the chances that I will actually go for a ride.

The Bike Tree on Vashon Island.  Don't let this happen to your bike!  Photo from: http://tubulocity.com/?p=51

Tip 1:  Commit to Riding.

On the one hand, one of the things that's so helpful about 30 days of Biking is that you commit to ride every day for the month of April. On the other hand, you have to recommit yourself every time you go out the door. The last time Lucia and I rode Chilly Hill, it was a cold, overcast day.  As we waited for the ferry to Bainbridge Island, I asked about how we would meet up with her friends who were also riding. "Oh, they're nearby in a cafe having breakfast, but won't be coming." I said, "You seem pretty certain about that.  How can you be sure?"  Lucia answered, "Well, they met up for breakfast  in a warm cafe and I'm sure they've talked themselves out of it by now given the weather."  I laughed because I've done that before.  

Tip 2:  Just go, don't let your mind get in your way. 

There are always plenty of reasons not to ride.  Here are a few of my favorites:  
  • I have to look presentable for a meeting 
  • It's too cold or too wet
  • I'm tired
  • I have too much to carry
  • It's too far
  • I don't know where to ride  
Your mind will come up with a few of its own if these don't do the trick.  While at first glance, this may seem the same as tip one, to me it's quite different.  After you have committed to ride is when the rebellious, comfort-seeking mind can kick in.  Just ignore it and go.

I think this concept crystallized for me during a conversation with my cousin's son Jake Sakson, who is an amazing professional telemark skier and kayaker (among other things such as being in an actual Star Trek episode).  From the videos I've seen, he is often going over 50-foot jumps as a skier or waterfalls as a kyaker.  As I was driving him to the airport, I asked him for any advice he had for me about my first double century on a bike.  He thought for a moment, and said "Commit to it. Once you've committed to it, don't question it, do it." 

Tip 3:  Make it easy

If you have an understanding spouse like mine (and the room), keep your bike on the main floor of the house or where ever it is easy to just grab it and go.  My helmet, lock, and jacket are ll right there.  This is important because sometimes, the hardest part of a ride is getting out the door.  I can't think of a ride where later I regretted getting out on the road.

Tip 4: When riding with other people, agree to the details in advance.

In fact, I'd better go call Lucia--we are riding to the Pedlar's fare on Sat. and need a plan.

Let's Roll!
Seattle, WA

Late addition:  Click here for Tip 5!

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