A mountain biking addict reflects on being okay with the off days

By Sarah Hansing

Photo: Bruce Dorman

Photog Bruce Dorman captured this epic shot of ASJ content development coordinator Michele Lamelin on an “off” day in Kernville riding the Cannell Plunge.

There are days on your bike where you feel fit. fast. amazing. practically invincible. It’s almost like all of those hours of suffering through climbs, chasing after people faster than you have finally paid off, and you are just in the ZONE.

Well, yesterday was not one of those days.

All of the ingredients were there for a perfect ride; the weather was amazing, I had plenty of time to ride, my bike had some nice fresh parts on it. I was ready to GO!

So, I put my cycling kit on, grabbed my bike, and started pedaling for the trails.

My initial thought: “uh oh.”

About 2 miles in: “ummm…”

And at mile 3.2, it just hit me: “nope.”

I just wasn’t feeling it. I tried, I really did! There was no good reason for me to NOT ride my bike… except there was. Its ok, sometimes, to not have the ride of a lifetime, or an epic ride, or even just the ride you had planned for. Mountain biking taps into some of the best things about our instincts and reactions; for better or for for worse.

So, on the days when you’re just not feeling it, be kind to yourself. It’s ok. Don’t force it. Go for a hike with a friend, or go read the book you’d rather be reading. Your bike won’t be mad, and you’ll be just that more stoked to get on it next time—there’s a big difference between “laziness” and “just not feeling it.”

Don’t worry! You won’t have lost that lovin’ feeling for your bike forever, just long enough to give yourself and your body the rest it needs.