The Trail Snob presents the periodic, ill-informed opinions, malformed thoughts, and inappropriate convictions of a certain Web Content Editor. Art’s Cyclery disavows all knowledge of, responsibility for, and concordance with anything that comes out of their keyboard.
I know how it is. The sun is shining, the weather is sweet. You’ve got a hall pass for a few hours, and there’s even a fresh set of tires on your bike. You should be rarin’ to go, ready to knock out some PR’s and make good on your resolution to stay out of the little ring. But for some reason, you just keep finding excuses to leave the bike in the garage: you’re out of your favorite gel flavor, your best bibs are dirty, you don’t feel like having to put on knee guards at the top of the hill, your chain is dirty, and your gloves stink.
Psychologists might call this habituation, as your usual stimulus, mountain biking, is failing to provide the usual excitement and motivation to get you out the door. While you know you need to saddle up and hit that damp, tacky trail, (it rained a few days ago and the dirt is perfect!) the thought of cleaning out the rain gutters suddenly seems imperative to your happiness. You are not alone in this confusing state, we have all experienced it, you are simply suffering from an overexcited heroism gland. The cure is simply to lower your expectations, and seek solace in the unfamiliar.
You can’t be a hero everyday. Even the most self-delusional among us needs a break from the serious schralping, hardcore charging, or heart-exploding climbs we expect to lay down during every one of our rides. Sometimes, on a nice sunny day, the most important thing is to just get out and go for a bike ride, one without body armor, heart rate monitors, and GoPros. Leave the GPS behind too, because no one but you needs to know that this ride actually happened. Do that loop that never seemed good enough, just to find out if it is or not.
Climb the trail you usually descend. Give yourself a seat-down-challenge, and ride an entire loop with the saddle lowered, forcing you to stand up the whole time. Try to double or manual every set of water bars, even if you can’t jump or get your front wheel off the ground for more than a second.
Even better, throw on the rain shell and go find some sandy trails to ride, especially if rain rides are novel in your neck of the woods. Basically, ensure that you won’t take yourself too seriously, unburdening your mind from the expected, and freeing yourself to judge the success of this ride based purely on the amusement from taking the trail less-traveled.
The Trail Snob goes by several pseudonyms, but is most recognizable as the Guy With All the Answers. He was around when the trails were so much better than they are now and is way cooler than you’ll ever be. Well, at least that’s what he thinks…