Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something I've been grappling with as of late is finding the motivation to keep pushing the envelope at my stage in life. I'm in my mid-40's, love to ride, but have been having a rough go of it lately. I tore the skin on my calf a year ago on my flat pedal which required 20 stitches and loads of antibiotics (I got an infection), this year I've already had two bad injuries: one bad ankle sprain and one shoulder strain within the last two months.

I was hoping to keep pushing my boundaries for another 10 years, but I find it's getting tougher and tougher to get the motivation to ride aggressively.

I have two kids and my own business, so being injured is not good. Also, injuries hurt a hell of lot more than they used to! Not sure when that happened. Plus my recovery ain't what it used to be.

Wondering how other riders with loads of responsibility deal with this. I hate to start scaling my riding back, but things seem to be moving in that direction. Life was way easier when I was in my teens and early 20's!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,819 Posts
Ride as hard as you want. If you don't want to send it then don't. Unless you are racing there are no points for being the fastest/coolest/radest guy out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
Hi eman555, why do you need to "ride hard" and "push your limits"?

Why do you ride? What do you get out of riding? Would you still ride if you didn't push the limits?

You don't have to push your limits. You could ride XC/Trail, or gravel, or road, or even BMX. You don't have to ride at all.

Why are you putting this pressure on yourself. We all go through stages in life. This might be a stage, it might be a permanent change. Go with it. Do you what you feel to.
 

·
jcd's best friend
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
I understand how you feel. I'm 39 and I have a bunch of medical issues that have been progressively getting worse for me. I'm at the point where I haven't ridden my mountain bike in a month. I've regressed from road biking 3 times a week to just one session. Plus my anxiety levels are pretty bad to where I don't feel confident in riding any trails or exploring anywhere new.

I honestly want to ride double black diamond trails but my anxiety issues are so terrible that I won't even attempt it. Sometimes we just have to accept that we do have limits (physical and/or mental) and we just have to live with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,728 Posts
I understand how you feel. I'm 39 and I have a bunch of medical issues that have been progressively getting worse for me. I'm at the point where I haven't ridden my mountain bike in a month. I've regressed from road biking 3 times a week to just one session. Plus my anxiety levels are pretty bad to where I don't feel confident in riding any trails or exploring anywhere new.

I honestly want to ride double black diamond trails but my anxiety issues are so terrible that I won't even attempt it. Sometimes we just have to accept that we do have limits (physical and/or mental) and we just have to live with them.
Hi Battery, I have some layered health issues, so the limit of my rides is ~30m a few very easy rides a week. I'm in the 'burbs, so those rides are on road....but most of the time I take a mountain bike...and find some curbs or roots to ride over, or pop off some curbs....or just bounce up and down on my nice-squisy suspension :thumbsup:

Acceptance is key.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I'm a 42yr old male, also having issues with motivation. Time always wins; it's up to you to hold out for as long as you can. I've found a few things that helped immensely:

-you're getting older, so stop blasting hard MTB rides every single day! Recovery is super important and I was ignoring that aspect for along time. The more often I ride the more dumb mistakes I make and the more injuries I sustain, while in my 20s-30s it was the opposite. Now I give it a day or 2 between hard rides, and my performance is just so much better. This was a tough pill to swallow for me but results speak for themselves. It's not just muscle recovery, your brain needs a rest as well.

-start riding different stuff! Get a road bike, BMX bike, trials bike, etc. Get a rigid bike, hardtail, whatever is the polar opposite from what you ride now. Change things up enough and you work different muscles, exercise different skills, basically keeps you out of the same-old-stuff rut. Plus it's fun as hell. Ever take a road bike on a DH trail? Dumb, yes, but also rad and super fun.

-this is the worst one: do something else besides bike riding. This was really hard for me to accept but hiking, rock climbing, gym workouts, even taking long walks instead of a similar length bike ride helped my fitness as well as motivation.

I used to ride trials every single day, 1hr minimum, for exercise and also because it's awesome. Eventually I would wreck (your calf injury sounds very familiar!) and need a week or two off to heal, and when I came back I was riding *so* much better. Switched to riding trials maybe 3x a week and my skills+desire to ride went through the roof.

Think of it like this: you are not scaling your riding back, you are fine-tuning your riding to match your life. Getting older sucks, but if you are realistic about it you can keep on rockin' pretty damn hard for quite a while.
 

·
jcd's best friend
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
Hi Battery, I have some layered health issues, so the limit of my rides is ~30m a few very easy rides a week. I'm in the 'burbs, so those rides are on road....but most of the time I take a mountain bike...and find some curbs or roots to ride over, or pop off some curbs....or just bounce up and down on my nice-squisy suspension :thumbsup:

Acceptance is key.
Definitely agree! I did buy a dirt jumper over the spring but I've found myself riding it more on pump tracks than dirt jumps which is fine for me. I did have it up for sale but I might take my ad down because I have a job interview next week which is what I sorely need right now. I actually enjoy road cycling every summer. I just need to get this pain under control so I can continue doing it. I vape CBD which as helped greatly with my physical issues and my mental health but I can still feel the discomfort throughout my body.

I wouldn't be surprised if I buy a gravel bike and just pound fire roads rather than mountain bike.
 

·
well mannered lout
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
Progress is incremental. If you're getting hurt that often, your goals have moved out past your skills. There's no short cut. Having the bravado to go big doesn't grant you the skill. It's not about finding the motivation ( or whatever), it's about doing the work. You have to get away from wanting to go big and start wanting to ride better.
 

·
Bikesexual
Joined
·
7,568 Posts
53/54 here, with a massive responsibility to deal with. I started this late, so never been or will be a shredder. Riding is just therapy, fun therapy. I ride XC, gravel and road and walk what I can't handle. I suck, but I love it.

Riding has become a great outlet for me, but I'm never chasing numbers (maybe miles) and have nothing to prove. I just want to exercise my mind, and body and usually with nature.

One day, I want to bikepack and travel by bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,558 Posts
The less pressure you put on yourself the more you will enjoy your riding. I'm at the point to where I just don't want to get hurt. 1 is to not get hurt...2 is to have fun.
 

·
Registered
Two wheels, handle bars
Joined
·
1,797 Posts
Despite having far less experience than probably anybody here, I've found that I have a lot more fun when I ride within or just above my skill level. The ride is a lot more fun when you don't bust your ass (although gracefully crashing is a good skill, too) or taco a wheel than it is when you have to take the walk of shame back, or worse. But if your thing is to absolutely rip it and go as fast as possible, then maybe you need to shift your focus and diversify your athletic hobbies. Your concerns about wanting to stay healthy for your family are 100% valid, and it's good that you acknowledge them.

Also, Battery, fire/gravel roads are a whole different (and enjoyable) beast, and can be frightening for other reasons. Not to dissuade you or anything, but bombing down a ~20% grade on a gravel road at 40 mph is a rectum clinching experience before you realize there are tractor ruts/washouts/large rocks ahead. Take it for what it is, but don't underestimate it. You may already know that, but since I don't know all of your experiences I'm just throwing it out there.
 

·
Single(Pivot)and Happy
Joined
·
1,778 Posts
Everyone is different and I only am speaking for myself. I have found that at 54 with health issues as well as a history of beating the crap out of my body, I need to understand that while my brain knows what to do, my muscles take a little longer to react. And that is a painful lesson to learn. So I learn to adjust.

I ride to have fun and just peddling around enjoying the scenery, while pleasant sometimes, is quite boring, to me. So I invest time strength training, martial arts and stretching so that when I experience unscheduled dismounts and imitate a ragdoll cartwheeling down the mountainside, I have a better chance of bouncing as opposed to the drop and splat technique.

Getting hurt hurts. The older you get, the longer the pain hangs around. If people depend on you to be healthy and make a living then you need to be responsible and ride in a manner not to fk yourself up. Regardless of age.
 

·
Cycologist
Joined
·
10,303 Posts
At 55, I'm more working on distance than speed. I'm riding further than I ever have. I notice on Strava that I'm not very high in the rankings, but I ride further than the majority of fly bys around me. And sometimes I joke that I'm faster going up hill than I am going down hill. And I agree on mixing it up, I also ride road and gravel and my newest bike is a rigid 27.5+ single speed. It's a nice change from my full suspension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi eman555, why do you need to "ride hard" and "push your limits"?

Why do you ride? What do you get out of riding? Would you still ride if you didn't push the limits?

You don't have to push your limits. You could ride XC/Trail, or gravel, or road, or even BMX. You don't have to ride at all.

Why are you putting this pressure on yourself. We all go through stages in life. This might be a stage, it might be a permanent change. Go with it. Do you what you feel to.
I think you nailed it, I do put pressure on my myself, but I also enjoy it when I hit stuff I've never ridden, or ride better than I feel like I've ridden before.
 

·
jcd's best friend
Joined
·
3,399 Posts
Also, Battery, fire/gravel roads are a whole different (and enjoyable) beast, and can be frightening for other reasons. Not to dissuade you or anything, but bombing down a ~20% grade on a gravel road at 40 mph is a rectum clinching experience before you realize there are tractor ruts/washouts/large rocks ahead. Take it for what it is, but don't underestimate it. You may already know that, but since I don't know all of your experiences I'm just throwing it out there.
Thanks! Noted for future reference! We don't have a ton of gravel roads that are that steep. I'm sure they are out there in my area but most of the ones I've found are not that bad. I'm not ready to buy a gravel bike just yet. If I do, I plan to sell my mountain bike and buy a Salsa Warbird :D
 

·
Registered
Two wheels, handle bars
Joined
·
1,797 Posts
Thanks! Noted for future reference! We don't have a ton of gravel roads that are that steep. I'm sure they are out there in my area but most of the ones I've found are not that bad. I'm not ready to buy a gravel bike just yet. If I do, I plan to sell my mountain bike and buy a Salsa Warbird :D
We don't have many, and that wouldn't be sustained here, but while it lasts, it can feel pretty wild. The way I ride a mountain bike, that gravel road scenario is way more dangerous. Those Salsa Warbirds are good looking bikes. Depending on what the gravel roads are like where you want to ride, I'd almost recommend something with wider tire clearance, like a Salsa Fargo, which is really an all-around touring bike that you probably wouldn't feel too bad about taking on some singletrack. I have a Trek 920 (the new one not the 90's bike of the same name) and it's a similar bike, although it's aluminum and not steel (lame). I did a ~40 mile gravel ride on some highly variable gravel/fire/forest service roads, and I'd say, the 43 mm tires I had on there could've used some more width. That said I've done 50 mile gravel rides where my 2.3" wide tires were overkill. Like singletrack, the best gear really depends on the roads you're riding. That's a fun part of the challenge. Whatever you decide to do, good luck!
 

·
U sayin' Bolt ?
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
I made a spinal disc explode, snowboarding on superbowl weekend when I was 23. After 4 surgeries, a lot of pain, and now 13 years of hard work later, I love cycling more than ever. Now just excercise feels euphoric. Core and stretching everyday, swim whenever possible, never touch any pill.

One of my epic rides now culminates on a long steep chunky trail, I climb it fully rigid on 35c tires, then take a 20 minute descent down a pretty darn epic paved road, then ride home. I still have fun on the nobbies, but steep and gnarly, get in attack position and hang-on, just doesn't do if for me. I never use the saddle, I focus on form, take my shot of endorphins and get home safe :thumbsup: I wouldn't have it any other way.

Seems to me all the money around mtb nowadays, is trying to pull people into dh oriented 6 inch travel bikes designed for destination location flow trails. 100% all well and good, but I have to stay mindful and keep my sphere clear of that, breath inside and really feel the blessing of pedals, bars and two wheels on the ground.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top