• Andy B

    Sounds like its time to take up mountain biking
    I find myself almost every time coming home with a smile
    Where on the road bike I come home wrecked

    I’ve been through waves of emotion for cycling from love to hate
    Usually its just a couple of days/weeks off the bike to forget the hate
    I rode almost everyday as a kid and not once did it for “exercise” or to get “faster” and it never ended in me disliking it

    Leave the Garmin at home, don’t watch your speed
    Just enjoy :)

    Perhaps some time apart first is the best place to start

    • James Hall

      I agree with going mountain biking. Another demoralising factor is the last year has been windy and cold in Melbourne. I found I like going riding with people who are completely non competitive just to muck around. Also going in the bush at night is more adventurous even if it is slower

      • a different ben

        I LOVE going in the bush at night! You too? Perhaps we could go in the bush together at night? Call me.

    • michael hyde

      I agree.
      I’ve been the full spectrum; in, out, in, out. In fact i once moved house and deliberately left my bikes (only two) at the old house, only for my wife to load them on the truck without me knowing. She then said, “just in case you change your mind”.
      But it’s always mountain biking that brings me back. Trails, exploring, new lands… my dad once told me that mountain bikes should never be raced, they’re “hiking on wheels”, and yeah i’ve raced MTB’s, but the sentiment is true. MTB-ing is smelling the roses, smiling and having a pie after. Not an espresso and a debrief. A beer and burger in new lands.
      Ride new roads and enjoy the ride.

    • Katie Silcox

      This is why I took up trail running. I couldn’t afford a mountain bike, so tried the next best thing. I’ve tried to get back into road riding; but I get tired of looking out for cars, when trying to get into a group, getting spat out the back on ’35-42kph fun rides’ (I’m female and just got back into it after a hiatus of 5 years and as a break from sore feet in running), trying to chart out routes to get out on at 5:40 in the morning before the inevitable horrific traffic begins and I have to dodge traffic and either blow through stop lights or be stopped for 2 minutes a pop.

      Trail running I can move at whatever pace I want, stop when I want, run through rivers and mud puddles, jump fences, climb or walk across trees as need be to get over obstacles, basically: have fun, go on adventures, explore the ‘wilderness’ and the back alleys on the way home. You can do something similar on a mountain bike of course. But if you’ve not got the cash, trail running is a brilliant alternative!

  • DrDon

    So no Strava then?

  • jules

    Justin Coulson’s article on goal orientation is relevant here, I feel. the bit that I really take away is his distinguishing between achievement and mastery goal orientation. broader than just cycling, it’s a mistake to set yourself goals that are too far away. I’m reminded of that Bill Murray/Richard Dreyfuss film where Rich’s psychiastrist character keeps talking about baby steps. I’m mastery-goal oriented. I know I will have my arse handed to me by better cyclists and I’m not even on the radar of the sort of training I’d need to do to turn that around. doesn’t bother me. I have my goals, they’re realistic – but still tough for my circumstances – and achieving them gives me a real buzz.

    I have a habit of ranting (no..) here, but I’d also mention – I fell out of love with cycling for many years. in the end I realised it wasn’t cycling, but me that was the problem. I’m back in love with it and am kicking myself for ever leaving it.

    what I didn’t realise then that I do now, is that I don’t actually always love the sensation of cycling. often on a ride I’m counting down the km to the coffee shop, or home. when I’m doing intervals, I’m certainly counting the time down, and hurting. but cycling gives me a glow that lasts beyond the ride, and new friends and riding acquaintances who I haven’t known for 20 years and still owe me $50 from ages ago :)

  • Kevo

    I think your mistake was doing an Ironman. Why spoil a nice bike ride by sandwiching it between a swim and a run?

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  • Michele

    Loved this piece. Thanks for sharing.

    I fell out of love with riding my bike 2 years ago, shortly after Froome won the TdF. Note: It had nothing to do with him.

    There were 2 reasons why:
    1. The fall out from LA’s admission (small factor), and
    2. I forgot why I loved riding my bike in the first place (major reason)

    It wasn’t Lance’s admission as such: I effectively knew he was doping for the best part of a decade. It was more to do with how most of the cycling media responded to it. Very long story, and won’t share it here, but having worked alongside some cycling media organisations, I felt the level of deceit shown by them (in going along with the scam), wasn’t much different from those riders who doped.

    The major factor though was because I forgot why I rode in the first place. I was on strava and hence became obsessed with numbers and segments. Resulted in overtraining. I actually resented getting on the bike, but would still do so, because I wanted to do more kms this week than last week. Because I had to go faster every time I rode.

    Well, I finally quit strava, took a few weeks off riding, and when I did again, I rode without my Garmin: Instead, I just used a basic speedo.

    I stopped looking at the numbers and started looking around, and found myself enjoying the scenery, the freedom it gives me. I loved riding again – without an objective in mind.

    Sorry … I ramble on.

    • jules

      I use Strava, but I’ve divorced myself from the burden of needing to do more km or earn more PRs every week.

      I also couldn’t care less about doping in pro cycling. I find it amusing when non-cyclists occasionally use that as an insult – as if it has anything to do with me.. (the corticosteroids I order off the web are purely for therapeutic reason)

      • Michele

        You’re a better person than I am Jules .. in regards to Strava [at least] :)

        Funny, in the past few months I’ve gone to using a Polar RC3 GPS setup. It provides me with all the same info as Strava – minus the segments. Not obsessed either. That said, I only use it, because I have to monitor my HR.

        I don’t care are the doping either. But when you hear journos coming out in the media saying they’re shocked to learn LA / or others had doped, but if previous conversations with them, they’ve told – almost bragged – they know these riders are on the dope, you’re kind of left with the feeling the whole sport is a façade.

        I’ve got around that issue as well .. I just don’t listen / read those journos any more :)

    • Mark McKillop

      I love strava but agree it can be a hard task master, you need to mix your goals up to stay fresh. Last year I got a mtb for the first time and so distances no longer matter that much once I am on that.

      I try to set in and out season goals so you can mix things up and change them around each year. I am in offseason for triathlon so focusing on running a marathon, with only 1 ride a week with no goals other than being on the bike a few hours on Sundays. I set a goal on strava of doing no more than 60 km a week on the bike. Over summer I’ll ramp up the bike mileage leading into some summer long distance tri events and three peaks in March.

      • Richard Bruton

        I got a cyclocross bike a couple of weeks ago and found that off road I dont want to and cant look at my garmin. But removing the tarmac every so often has made cycling way more enjoyable than before. Where before I took enjoyment in holding a long effort or staying above a certain speed/heart rate, now staying in control on mud or gravel gives me a rush. I like strava for keeping a record of km for tyres and chains but, hopefully, amnt too bothered about PRs anymore

  • Oli Brooke-White

    Hope you find the love again somehow – I’m sure you will, even if you have to reinvent your cycling persona entirely. Best of luck.

  • gusk

    I know of quite a few people who just burn out after training for a big event, 3Peaks for example. They put so much into it and place so much pressure on themselves to do it or go sub 10 etc that they forget about just riding. A lot of times the crash comes right at the start of winter, which, if you live in the south east of Australia, can really kick you in the guts. Switching off Garmin and Strava is too simplistic. Try and find the happy balance between just riding and community. Find a new route with new roads, ride regular loops backwards, stop for coffee more often, read The Rider and other books and magazines (Rouleur, Peloton) that capture the beauty of cycling more so that the lastest way of doing intervals. I took long service leave. That helped, but now I need a kick along again.

    • Michele

      Funny .. those 2 magazines are the only ones I subscribe too and read.
      That, along with this website, also helped me rekindle my love and got me thinking about why I ride in the first place.
      The exploring series of articles on here [how good was Cuba!?] are simply inspiring. As are the photo essays. How can they not help you fall in love with riding again??

    • Shiffon

      Your comment is pretty much what happened to me. Did 3 Peaks, lost a bit of the mojo while building a house and planning a wedding the next year. Got running legs together and did my first marathon the next. Had a baby the one after and now with a 5 month old at home, I’m just desperate to get back into cycling! Life just goes in cycles (pun intended). The love will come back if you give it time.

    • easytiger

      I did 3Peaks for the first time this year, rode quite conservatively, stayed too long at the rest stops, and just snuck in under 11 hours. Now that I have signed up to do it next year, and aiming to do it in just over 9 hours, I’m not sure I could be arsed doing all the training for it. I say this in light of the fact that this year I have joined a club (after a 9 year hiatus) to race cyclocross and cyclosportifs, and realise that competition (read: road racing competition) is not all it is cracked up to be. I have a new reason to train through winter, and get my brand new CX bike filthy in the rain, and have to clean it practically every time I ride it – and then turn up to races and get my arse kicked. I am racing against other people, but in truth I am racing against my self – because it is my bike-handling skills and (in)ability to suffer at threshold for 35mins that determines where I place. Spectators cheer you as you go past, and jeer you when you stack, but both in good spirit – because they understand what a hard discipline it is. The cyclosportifs I do, are glorified team time trials, but you can only go as fast/slow as your slowest team mate (not mentioning any names @gusk!) so there is absolutely no place for ego, and it is an accomplishment you can achieve as an individual getting your team over the line as fast as possible by doing measured long turns. Both “competitions” give me a sense of community greater than I ever experienced road racing, and validate the time I spend doing them.

      I am also blessed by living in Adelaide, a place that provides me opportunities to ride on the road along the beach or in the hills, or tearing around the Parklands, or seeking the serenity of the gravel roads in the Hills – a variety that would have come at a great cost of time in travel and distance if I was living in Sydney where I am originally from.

      I guess what I am saying is, from my perspective, ride for the right reasons, and if you’re not, do something different. Cycling is a pretty time-selfish activity so don’t waste your time doing it.

    • Søren Nejmann

      This is so me! Just did the La Marmotte in the summer (a great sportive in europe) and now 2 months after I havn’t really been on the bike.. But it’s so hard to get going again, it’s so hard in the start.. baaaaah…

  • sss

    I have found the best way to rekindle the love is to ride to places unknown. Take those gravel roads that you have been passing on the bitumen. Head out to somewhere there is no cafe or coffee shop. Ride by yourself without any sort of computer or Garmin. This way your not enticed to ride faster or maintain a tempo. Instead you can just settle in and enjoy the ride. The same way you did when you where 12.

  • Alex Hinds

    Your mistake was over-obsessing with competition. I used to race, once, and it was fun, for a while, but it quickly and assuredly consumed what I used to enjoy about riding. It became about eating right, and going to bed early, managing training, heart rate zones etc etc. There’s nothing wrong with any of that of course, but since I’ve stopped racing, and just riding routes I enjoy with a bunch of leisurely mates, I’ve revived the relationship with the bike I had. Forget the trappings of instagram and Strava and just go out and ride. You won’t regret it.

    • jules

      I respect your perspective there Al, but if I may – a lot of people here are discussing cycling in terms of what you should or should not do. I suspect what sometimes helps is to allow your riding to evolve. for the past few years, I’ve loved road racing. I struggle to emphastise with people who say they’re over it. but if in a while I get bored, then I might turn to more recreational riding, or MTBing. I think being prepared to try new approaches/styles of riding is important to staying in love with cycling. and if you find the type of riding you love, expect that may not be permanent.

      • CC

        While I’m suspicious to the notion that this site is fully funded by Jules, to get all his theories of life across, this one isn’t bad -:)

        • jules

          I don’t fund it, I just chew up their hosting bandwidth ;)

          • It costs us a fortune for Jules to be here. But he’s great for our page impressions, so we keep him :-)

            • jules

              I know when the money is tight as my IP gets blocked :)

        • Michele

          Nothing to be suspicious about CC.
          It’s a known fact. Just check out Cycling Tips Wikipedia page :)

      • krashdavage

        Good point Jules. I used to race and was fairly handy in my day but now family life and other priorities mean I don’t have the time to train to perform and race at the level I used to. But I still love cycling. I’ve tried MTB, touring, all road sport riding, towing the kids in a trailer…

      • Alex Hinds

        Sure. I certainly wasn’t trying to be prescriptive, just sharing my own experience. There is no ‘right way’ to enjoy anything. If you enjoy it, you enjoy it.

      • Chris

        Agree totally. This whole “you need to do what I enjoy” is just silly. Try stuff; do what you like most.

        • jules

          I wasn’t trying to criticise Al there (sorry Al), just to be clear. just adding some perspective (hopefully).

          • Chris

            Fair enough. Perhaps I’ve just read a few points of view recently suggesting people can enjoy riding their bikes incorrectly, if you know what I mean.

            • Sean Doyle

              But if you don’t enjoy it the same way as I enjoy it then you’re wrong……apparently.

  • David Bonnett

    Great piece! I’ve been going through this as well and find it a bit of a death spiral – I don’t ride frequently enough to stay in shape so when I do ride I’m slower and more tired than I like so I don’t want to ride enough to stay in shape.. My solution is to stop treating each ride as a means (training) towards an end (be faster in racing) and instead to have the ride be the goal. Also, taking the winter off and doing other things seems to help me be more excited about getting back on the bike.

  • Bart

    I have recently moved from Sydney to New York City. I realized why I loved cycling when I moved to the big apple. Its about the places you can see while you are riding and the time spent with friends while in the saddle. I loved riding in the Royal National Park, doing the Sydney to Gong ride at 6am with a friend in the middle of winter, riding up the Macquarie pass with my brother on a warm Sunday evening, climbing over the rolling hills in the Kangaroo Valley or the trips we took to the Snowy Mountains to enjoy the 25km descent along the Alpine Way into Dead Horse Gap. Here in Manhattan there is no where to ride, traffic and people congest this city and its over an hour to ride out of town. Ive slowly lost the passion for cycling as a result. I still follow all the European races and GT and I look at my bike every day wondering why I’ve lost the passion. My suggestion, take your bike and drive out somewhere you have not ridden before but always wanted to see. You will realize why you loved the sport in the first place. Good luck.

    • Cameron Fraser

      It’s sometimes a matter of perspective. Your Australian rides are longer than I would normally do. (I live in Canada but know all the areas you have mentioned.) This past June my wife and I were in Manhattan for the fist time in a long time and, having been in the State for a Fondo, had our bikes with us. It was casual riding…no visible Lycra…but we had several very enjoyable hours, saw parts of the city we had never seen before, and were surprised at how accessible the city was by bike. I can see how it would wear thin if that’s all there is to ride day afger day, and it’s not going to satisfy that long ride itch, or live up to Kangaroo Valley, but it was a good day.

  • NY’er

    My two cents worth for rekindling the love… lose all technology. No measurement whatsoever. Who cares how many k’s you do or how fast you do them. You certainly don’t need kudos on Starva (yes, that’s on purpose)
    Lift you head up and explore some new roads (without a Garmin)… you’ll re-find your love pretty quick
    (Note: I lost ALL tech off my bike about 4 years ago and have never been happier)

  • Mark Wells

    “I rode with people who were a lot fitter than me and spent a lot of time holding on for dear life.” I think that is your problem right there. Its demoralising and creates negative psychological feedback and smashes the living shit out of you making you tired and grumpy which makes you feel even worse. Its a special kind of person who does this week in week out and is still smiling ( I know of one! You know who you are!). I ride a lot with the only guy I know who is as talentless and slow as me. Its me.

  • Superpilot

    Let it go, let it go. If you miss it, you will come back. If not, then clearly your life has other priorities.

    I’m very much the same as you, I call myself the 25 percenter, aiming for 75th percentile in results etc, but never near the top. It’s always a battle. But it really isn’t. I rode a bike without a computer for the first time in 3 years this week. It was extremely disconcerting realising how often I ‘stare at stem’.

    I realize now that life is a series of stages, and you don’t always need to ride to justify to yourself that you are a cyclist. You are not cheating yourself or letting your own, formerly self identified as a serious cyclist, self down. I used to surf more than I ever rode a bike, and I feel sometimes that I am cheating myself, I identified as a surfer through and through.

    I realized I can still do that occasionally for fun, I’m not cheating anyone, it’s just not what I prioritize my time on these days.

    You are you, riding is something that you choose to do, or not to do, and you are no better or worse for it. You are just you, and what you do is up to you!

    Don’t ride if you don’t enjoy it. Do something else you enjoy instead!

  • kamoteQ

    I like to say, I train to the best of my mediocrity. Guess that’s what keeps me riding for health and fitness since the mid-’70’s. Yes, there was a time my interest waned for a while because cycling in my city #BaguioCity was getting to be dangerous due to the increase of motor vehicles. But there’s a new highway with moderate to low traffic volume that encouraged me to make it my primary form of workout again. Running takes a backseat for now.

  • 42x16ss

    After spending my late teens/early 20’s in a serious attempt to go pro, then spending a few seasons racing NRS I found myself falling out of love with the sport completely. I had a period of about 5 years where I didn’t even own a bike. I didn’t want to know about it. Results, races nothing. If the TdF came on I’d change the channel.
    I gradually got back into it when I started working with an old friend I used to race with. He talked me into having another go and loaned me his spare bike to see if it rekindled the flame. It did :). At this time I decided that if I was going to ride again I’d do all the stuff I never got to do on the bike when I was younger, because I was always training. Choose my riding partners because of what they were like off the bike, not on it. No riding the same route twice in a 2 week period. Only racing once a month. No more TTs. Volunteer to help the juniors at the local club. Find charity rides somewhere interesting you’ve never ridden before. I don’t train anymore, I just ride my bike.
    Think about the stuff that you wish you did on the bike rather than chasing wheels and chewing stem every day. Ride for yourself. These days I don’t even own a basic computer – the only thing I use is an analog watch, and I love riding more than ever.

    • Michele

      Nice comment ..
      I especially agree with your point … ‘choosing my riding partners because of what they were like off the bike’.

  • ed

    I too can relate to this article – after a 3 week holiday in the Swiss Alps with some riding & a grand fondo in between family time getting back on the bike in Dubai has been a real struggle. the heat, same roads, sick of flat kms or tired from work – all reasons for giving it a miss. it is made worse by loosing your fitness and not being able to ride to your previous level. a wise euro pro once told me that velo excellence requires dedication – im trying to find a level of velo excellence I am happy with given the other priorities in my life. having a new goal helps with the motivation so too a cracking vuelta.

  • JJ

    Nice, really nice piece Chris.

    Have been there, a few times. Then out of nowhere on Sunday in the AGGF I found myself on a fast downhill, tucked in thinking I was Sagan, scooting away from the lads and feeling great. Right back to why I loved riding, right then.

  • DeanL

    Chris, I was reading the article and thought this could be me. I then got to the end and almost fell off my chair, Macedon! I am trying to work out if I have fallen out of love of cycling or has the cold of Macedon or the flu, or work or what ever I can think of have has kept me off the bike. Well like you I am trying to find the motivation.

  • OverIt

    Look, not to discredit how you feel, but with all due respect stories like this kind of have me torn between..
    1. Me reading them as a tongue in cheek view of oneself and should be worded to really convey that message.
    2. Or me thinking you should take a plane to Syria and hang out there for a day, before returning home and going for a nice ride in the country and never complaining about your love of cycling ever again.

    • Chris Riordan

      Yeah fair enough. I can certainly see that when put up against what’s happening in Syria (or any of the myriad other places that are dealing with the horror of war) that my piece smacks of ‘First world problems’. But to be fair, I was never framing it as such. If I could write with the eloquence of Waleed Aly or the biting satire of the Onion, on matters of genuine gravity I would…but I can’t. Slightly snide musings about my life is all I’ve got.

    • jules

      observing others less fortunate than yourself doesn’t help make you happier/more satisfied.

      • OverIt

        No I’d hope not, that would be rather sociopathic. What it should do is encourage one to find perspective.

        I don’t dismiss Chris’s feelings entirely, (i apologise if that’s how it came across), and perhaps the lack of humour i sought, would indeed indicate he does feel a bit ‘down’ on this topic. Hence the importance i feel in gaining perspective, on ones emotions. Life is what you make of it after all, and in cycling there are so many different ways to derive ‘love’ from it. Mind you there are plenty of people directly or indirectly taking the love out of it for some of us at times too. (Errant drivers for us daily commuters being once of them!!)

        Safe and happy riding to all :)

    • Lanterne Rouge

      Pls confine guilt tripping comments to Facebook.

      • OverIt

        Apologies LR, rather than asking for a “LIKE” I was trying to engage in a somewhat meaningful conversation.

  • Tim Cheshire

    This article is apt timing. I’m just going through the same emotions. I’ve done some Cat4 races in the UK and got spat out after a few laps, why I started at 43 is anyone’s guess, but I rather enjoyed the challenge along with the chain gangs, it’s the pushing myself as hard as I can scenario. I’m not too fused about strava and am probably only on it as my club posts information on it. What I now find is that I need a new challenge so I may well dust off the Mtb and hit the trails or have a go at cyclocross, as I’ve become a tad bored or road riding, a change is as good as a rest.

  • Marc

    While reading your story it looks to me like your falling out of love was simply unavoidable. It seems you pushed both your body and your mind way over the limit. It’s the most common mistake cyclists make. Thinking that training harder and training more will make them faster and stronger. But it doesn’t work that way. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster, well at least cycling disaster. Just take 2 months of the bike. I’d even suggest to take 2 months off altogether. No exercise at all. May be go for a walk if you feel like it, but that’s as far as you should go. And if you’re still feeling the same after 2 months, take another 2 off. Give your body the time it needs to recover, it will most definitely need it after pushing yourself so hard. I can almost guarantee you that the love will come back if you take the appropriate rest.

  • velocite

    My adult, as distinct from schoolboy cycling started 35 years ago because I lost my driving licence, but continued for health reasons, both mine and the environment’s. These days it is part of the structure of my life and the basis upon which I spend time with friends, most of whom are a decade or more younger and at least two minutes quicker than I up the 1 in 20. Built in to the transaction between me and my friends is that I get more exercise than they do. I regularly get Strava suffer scores of ‘extreme’ and seldom less than ‘tough’. I usually ride with a hrm and power meter because it adds interest, even though it tells me I’m ageing and and not genetically gifted. I love the time I spend with friends over coffee and fruit toast in The Piggery Cafe in Sherbrooke. I am not attracted to ‘travel’, walking around gawping at things, but I have more than thoroughly enjoyed cycling trips both here and abroad. Cycling is an immersion experience. But I don’t think of myself as loving cycling as such – that seems to me to be quite an odd idea. I wonder if the idea that you should love cycling might be problematic. ‘Cycling’ is an abstraction I’m thinking, and maybe loving an abstraction is bound to end in disappointment.

    On a more constructive note, and I wouldn’t presume to offer a ‘solution’, but I watched a video yesterday about French and world track champion Francois Purvis
    and the effect upon him of his involvement in Keirin racing in Japan. I got to it via a link to a Shane Perkins interview in yesterday’s Digest – thanks CT. It’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GWw31J60cM. It goes to the relationship between enjoyment and performance, and is brilliant.

    Speaking of love, I am quite fond of my bikes, but that’s perfectly all right!

  • Cameron Fraser

    I’m on my bike because I fell out of love with running. I had just completed my fifth half-marathon in a new best time (which was not fast, I assure you…just fast for me) and thought “that was a great day and I never need to do it again”. What struck me was that I hadn’t pushed myself too hard in training. I’d cut down on the number of days a week I was running making it easier on my body. I didn’t train with a group as I had done with previous seasons so there wasn’t the same pressure to stay on schedule. And I had not felt beaten up at the end of the event like I had in my first couple of halves. It really was a good experience getting ready and being in the event. It’s just that it was enough.

    I have run a couple of events since but, over a two year period, I think I’ve put my running shoes on four times. In fact it just occurred to me that it will be one year this weekend since I last ran in an event. When I do run it’s because of the event, not because it’s a run.

    I will admit I am having some cycling issues these days. Last summer (Northern Hemisphere) my wife and I did a lot of riding together. It was great. The difficulty is I am self employed and can go for a ride almost anytime I want. She can’t and squeezing a ride in around her workday can be a challenge. After last summer’s experience I’d much rather go with her than ride alone. So, perhaps it’s time for something else, whether that be a different type of cycling, or something altogether different. We’ll see.

  • Derek Maher

    Best of luck Chris with finding a solution that suits your life style.
    I gave up road racing years ago was getting to old (53)to even hang in with the bunch without nearly killing myself.
    After that I kind of lost my way with the bike,Would just use it for local shopping and found just going out for a spin of no interest.
    Anyway as the Kgs mounted and the muscles shrank plus my ticker started acting up as well as my vascular system,I knew I had to do something to avoid a quick path to a zimmer frame.
    So the bike and I are once more on the road,Nothing mad to start with an easy 10 K at first to get the feel of the road once more then building up the miles over months at a nice steady pace. I ride alone as I don’t feel ready or the need to get involved with competition training spins,My racing days are over so from now on its just for fun and fitness and learning to relax as I spin along.If guys or ladies pass me on the road with the sweat flying off them I salute them and continue my sedate pace.

  • stefanrohner

    just enjoy your couch and cycle when you feel like, no drama.

  • Andrew Feary

    I was exactly the same; raced throughout high school, achieved good race results but couldn’t keep up the pace, gave it up, and went mountain biking instead but that soon made me broke (but happy) and gave that up when lifes responsibilities took hold. Fast forward 15 years, bought a cheap steel bike and now take it out on the country roads, gravel and New Zealand pavè (rough chip sealed roads) around South Canterbury. My wife keeps pestering me to join a club but I have no interest in bunch rides with Contador wannabes and I’m too slow to enjoy racing. All I want to do is enjoy the ride, find some nice roads and countryside, reminiscence about riding in Europe and appreciate New Zealand’s quant lifestyle. It’s all about the thrill of the ride.

    • Lanterne Rouge

      You would be surprised at the range of people at local clubs. I’m sure you’d find a kindred spirit or two.

  • Thad Pasquale

    I would just advise to simply ride your bike to ride. No training, no worrying about what other people are doing. Ride when you want, never when you don’t want to. I think you probably still have the passion, it’s just for a different kind of cycling.

  • Neuron1

    Sounds like you are in a state of “non-functional overreaching” or maybe even to the point of “overtraining”. This is due to too long a period of hard training without adequate active recovery periods. There is a significant published literature on this topic. See “Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Overtraining Syndrome: Joint Consensus Statement” in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2012 page 186-205. This is thought to be one of the reasons for professional athletes developing adrenal suppression during the run-up to major cycling events along with depressed immune response.

  • DNF

    Here’s some unsolicited advise:

    it seems that you are falling out of love with cycling because you are only thinking of cycling in terms of racing and competitiveness, comparing yourself to others… in short, the worst thing to do!

    I call it the “roadie’s disease’ (or, more pejoratively, the mamil’s disease.). Some of the symptoms are: The roadie has to be faster, greater than everyone, the roadie doesn’t accept that someone passes him, or is faster than him, etc.

    Have you tried riding just for yourself, for fun, oblivious if someone on a commuter bike passes you climbing a hill, have you tried not buying into the roadie’s commodities culture of expensive carbon bikes, matching kits, shaved legs and trying to pretend all of this makes a difference ? That might be your salvation.

    You can thank me later!

    Best of luck!

  • juzb

    Do something totally different for a while. Wait until you feel like riding- don’t be afraid to put the bike away entirely- preferably avoid putting on 20kg, but allowing yourself to put on a few kgs is probably good for your mental health. If you don’t get back to riding, it is likely to be because you are doing something else that makes you feel good, and when it comes down to it that is what it is all about.

  • Alan Doughty

    Maybe we all listen to the coaching narrative too much. This idea that if you follow a structured program, every ride has a training purpose, etc, somehow you will achieve your goals. The reality is probably 80% of our performance we were born with then another big chunk is our time and training opportunities. I ride for the fitness, friendship and I just like riding my bike fast in races.

  • Lanterne Rouge

    Have tried talking to your bike? Tell it how you’re feeling. Why not spice up the relationship and wear something alluring. Try some long walks together on lonely beaches. Perhaps an oil massage or if the mood is right watch some a romantic comedy. If that fails put a deposit on that Harley you’ve had your eye on.

  • chiwode

    Take some time off and then do a ride for me, because I can’t anymore. I’ve degenerative arthritis in my neck and pinched nerves as a result, and I can’t even reach the brake hoods without being in searing agony. I’ve seen multiple surgeons, chiropractors, etc, and had a few cortisone injections in my spine. No luck. My last ride was almost a year ago now. I had just put a whole new drivetrain on – rings, chain, cassette, cables and housings. And it all sits there in the work stand staring at me wondering why I’ve let the tires go flat. My bikes actually have dust on them, which is something that’s never happened in 25 years of riding. I miss it so much. I miss my riding buddies. I miss racing, even when I had my a** handed to me. I even miss drivers yelling stupid stuff at me. And I miss the quiet of a country lane, the only sounds a chirping bird, the rubber on tarmac, the click of a crisp shift. I’m 30 pounds over my racing weight. Please go for a ride for me and enjoy it like it might be your last.

    • Karl

      That’s pretty harsh. I’m almost never sick but have had some gastric issues the last 6 weeks or so, and even something that minor was driving me nuts. Have you ever thought about or tried a recumbent?

  • PT

    Will never bore of watching the professional races, but riding myself eventually proved too expensive, and the enjoyment has been hugely undermined by road rage and an accident. Maintenance and parts were costing a fair wedge each year, got dragged along the road after getting brake checked, and an inexperienced rider crashed into my rear – leaving me with a dental bill of several thousand pounds.

  • Sean parker

    fell out of love with competitive cycling years ago. Yep that’s me on the cannondale r1000 with mudguards, 28mm tyres, mtb pedals and non slammed bars.
    Hairy legs, baggy shorts and a grin.
    And there’s nothing more fun than going to the cafe with all the cervelos and velomonati enslaved roadie drones. The sharp intake of breath is louder than the blast of steam from the espresso machine.

  • Tawny Frogmouth

    Ride to work you twat

  • 900Aero

    Its important to remember the difference between training and going for a ride. Both have their place, just don’t lose sight of “going for a ride”.

  • CC

    When you escape becomes your master, you’re in for trouble.

  • Flash

    Life is all about the journey and the people you meet along the way.
    I took my computer etc off all my bikes a few yrs ago, and simply ride how I feel, sometimes slow and sometimes a bit quicker.
    It’s more about how I feel, my ride is not governed by speed, Strava, vertical metres climbed, HR, VO2 Max, HR training zones, Distance etc etc.
    The mtn bike is a great way just to cruise along, I sometimes have the footy/radio commentary in my ear, and its amazing how quickly time can go by when a good game is on the radio.
    Another good ride is the ride the Alphabet, eg Street name’s starting with A, then B, then C etc to Z. The focus is not on the km’s.
    Good luck, hope you find the joy again.

  • VT3

    Chris, do you read all these comments? Great article. It certainly generates a lot of chatter! I read the second half of your article and kept smiling and nodding while reading. But it wasn’t about cycling, it was about running. I’m a bad runner at best. Despite applying myself considerably, I was still terrible. I never looked forward to running, hated it while I did it, but felt great after. One from three isn’t good. So I got back on the bike, and found I wasn’t awful at it. I still look forward to riding, still enjoy it while doing it, and feel great after. I’m sure one day this will wane (maybe), but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

    • Chris Riordan

      Yep…I’ve read them all! I can’t thank you all enough for all your ideas, tips and understanding. I’m going to put some off road tyres on my CX commuter, and hit the trails. I look forward to complaining bitterly about my newfound injuries!

  • Francis R

    I’ve been going through those motions up until the last week of losing the love of the bike. I thought after the Transcontinental Race a couple of weeks off the bike would be all I need but it’s been a good 5-6weeks now that I’m finally riding again, and feeling healthy (physically & mentally). A combination of knowing I needed to walk away from the bike (all things bikes, but indeed back on the mtb was fun for a bit) and not actually realising / understanding how long my body needed for recovery / to what I thought would be ok. This leads to the mental strength of riding, there had been a couple of times, it’s either just straight to the coffee shop or I’ve had a break down mid 30km loop because I’ve either just plain sick of riding the same roads but it was more that I came home after the TCR to go back to work but being told I’d temporarily have no work to go back to (for a few months, the big stress) hit hard the most as probably like everyone else here, if I’m riding well, I’m working well / motivated, vice versa. So I turned back to some old passions of skateboarding and kiting to keep me occupied and started the building blocks of riding again, from cruising the streets on my old BMX bikes, to the trails on the mtb, riding / training with my gf on her roadie to my first long 170km ride yesterday, since Istanbul.

    And I’m feeling great again!!


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