Bikes are the perfect tool for looning about in whatever manner you find amusing whether that’s charging down a twisty singletrack, or flying across moortop roads with a breeze at your back.
However there are times, espescially when it’s raining as hard outside as it is here that it’s easy to forget that biking is supposed to be about having fun.
The past few weeks we’ve been banging on about how being relaxed on the bike will help you ride smoother and faster, but the same is true of keeping yourself happy.
Let a frown develop and pain will build up in your legs much quicker or you’ll fluff technical moves simply because you’re in a negative frame of mind. Keep your mind happy and you’re much more likely to hang onto that can do attitude.
This technique also gives you a massive advantage when the going gets tough on group rides. If you can crack a joke – however morbid or sarcastic it might be – when you’re on the verge of death, you’ll look and feel like you’re still in fine fettle which is often enough to pitch other riders off the deep end themselves.
To this end we’ve compiled a few cheery thoughts to remember and take with you in your head tonight. They might be cheesey but they could be what keeps your head up, as the rain comes down.
‘You’re not at work, or doing chores, you’re on your bike, slave to no one and free from every concern except battery life.”
Think of a rival rider you know who is sitting at home watching telly. Don’t envy them, but try and imagine them getting fatter and fatter until they fill their entire lounge.
Think of pain now as an innoculation for working hard later. A little suffering now, means you’ll get a whole lot less pain on the climbs come summer.
On the same note, the pain you earn with every gear you change up and every hill you attack on these winter nights will be saved in your body. When summer comes round and fair weather riders come out to play all that pain will still be there to dish out to them with interest!
The ultimate cheer up visualisation technique – imagine that big mug of tea and huge steaming pile of your favourite food you can have when you get back, and remember that the longer you stay out there the more helpings you can have when you get back.
And if they don’t work, at the end of the day, however miserable you feel ,the fact that you were stupid enough to go out there itself is pretty funny. Imagine how you must look to any innocent observers as you drag home like a drowned rat. You know you’d laugh if it was a rambler or stranded driver, so laugh yourself – it’s a whole lot better than crying.
Starting next week:
Now your head’s ready we bring you the essential training sessions and tips to make this year your fastest ever!
Or for the less competitive we’ll tell you how to go the same speed but a whole lot easier.