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Motivation

by Chris Cashbaugh

I have been thinking about what motivates me to ride my bike everyday. Sure I enjoy riding my bike and have for the past 15 plus years. I was an avid racer, still do regular training type rides, and an occasional race. That alone is not enough o get me out of bed every morning at 5:45 and out the door by 7:00. So what is it?

One thing is that I enjoy knowing that I will be spending less money on gas. Especially since it is now about $3.50 a gallon here in Seattle. That ends up saving me about $20 a week and the savings will only go up as gas prices continue to rise.

Another is that I seem to be more awake and alert by the time I get to work. Sure sometimes I may be 5-10 minute late but I am fully alert and ready to go and start working on my daily tasks as soon as I walk in the door. Conversely when I drive in I find myself surfing the internet and goofing off for the first 30-40 minutes of my day.

Finally, I think it is the little unexpected things that happen during my ride. Today was one of those days. I saw several Robins flying around eating breakfast. There were a lot of crows along the route and many were laughing at me. At least that is what I was telling myself. Then I ran into another commuter that I had not seen in like a year and a half. We had a great conversation to finish up the ride and made me realize that it is the little things that keep me riding everyday.

What motivates you?

 
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20 Responses to “Motivation”

  1. john t says:

    What motivates me is that I love to ride. I hardly feel like I am going to work, when I take my bike, which is always, now that I got a job within riding distance. The fuel savings are nice and the workout is a welcome benefit too. I actually look forward to going to work now. JT

  2. szavo says:

    I love my bike commute so much that it’s hard to think of something that keeps me motivated. I don’t need motivation. At least not right now. But if I ever do, I need only think of the alternative: sitting in a car in unpredictable traffic feeling my blood pressure rise in frustration.

  3. The Krow says:

    I’m motivated by a few things, the pure pleasure of man working with machine. it’s a simple old fashion machine that is a thing of art to me. I’m passionate about bikes in general. I love the alertness I have when I bike in my 9km each morning, I find I work harder, think clearer, and generally have a happier disposition. To top that off, not paying for cars, the insurance, and egad the $1.18/L of gas to merely get to work, plus I’m not polluting the environment with co2 emissions. I also love the health aspect, it keeps me active. I know slaving away at a job, snacking on bad food, and being lazy in the evenings is normal life for me, but to have that 18km ride each day (to and from work) keeps me active and in somewhat of a good shape.
    Overall motivation is as I mentioned, i’m simply passionate about bikes of any shape, type, size. (lol that 4 in my kitchen are a testament to that – God bless my wife for putting up with my addiction of bike parts).

  4. welshcyclist says:

    I agree alot with what you have said already, about what motivates me to cycle/commute, but the main reason for me is that I just love riding my bike. No matter what the weather does, and it’s constantly changing from day to day, rain, hail or shine it’s great to be out there. On top of that you are constantly learning and seeing ( perhaps noticing, is a better word ), new things about your locality, whether it be wildlife, history or seeing something different in the topography. I’m amazed at how much I didn’t “see”, but now do, while driving a car and riding a bike respectively, it’s great to feel you are part of the environment, and not just passing through.

  5. “$3.50 a gallon”

    It’s frankly astonishing that ANYONE drives anywhere here then – it’s.£1.10 a litre . . . which is roughly.£4.16 for a US Gal. . . . $8.37. And still I can ride from Whitley Bay to Newcastle (10 miles) and see no other cyclists.

  6. CU says:

    At first it was just the idea of propelling myself without depending on a complicated machinery that I wouldn’t be able to easily fix if it breaks. A bike is a marvelous idea, a simple mechanism that increases our walking efficiency. Now since my commute is 1 hour by bike each way, I discovered another thing: I am more energetic after my morning ride and I have a relaxed and positive state that last the entire day. Many times it is too positive, some people may think that I am a little bit “high” :-)

  7. Diego says:

    Besides being more alert at work, not polluting, and saving on gas, commuting to work by bike is a great cross-training activity. Since I started bike commuting to work 7.5 miles each way, I realized that when I run, play soccer or tennis, I have more stamina and intensity, thanks to the bike. Like many readers, I find it fascinating to use a machine that is much more efficient than a car as a means of transportation.

  8. Ghost Rider says:

    The only motivation I need is that I can think of no other way that puts a bigass smile on my face faster than getting on my bicycle and hitting the road.

  9. jim says:

    Aside from it being fun, there are some benefits:

    Economic: I worked out some of the economic arguments of bike commuting versus driving, ironically when gas was “only” $2.80/gallon*. Even keeping it to only quantifiable items, that is, negating any perceived health or environmental benefits, and despite my tendency to be brutal on rims, there was a measurable monetary benefit.

    Time efficiency: My office is about 11 miles away from home. Biking versus driving times average 40 and 35 minutes, respectively in the morning, 50 and 55 minutes, respectively, in the evening. [The variance for driving is much higher if there's an accident.] For the extra ten minutes a day, I get an hour and a half aerobic workout.

    Reduced stress: The one-day-a-week I drive (partly to swap out clean for dirty work laundry) is usually the most stress-laden. As svaro said, when I bike, I’m not sitting in traffic, stewing about some yackoff who doesn’t know what the “zipper merge” is.

    (*Now ~$3.50/gallon. For the non-US folks, I realize the price is a bargain. The “shock” value comes in how rapidly it’s increased.)

  10. svenny says:

    What Motivates me to ride:
    Car failed e-missions test, not worth spending 450 to fix it when I could buy a nice bicycle with that money and enjoy not paying gas or insurance.
    Doing my “green” part for the planet
    Lower heart rate
    Refreshed feeling once I get to work

    The simple love of it. Which is harder to explain, but I’m sure is the common tie that makes you choose that biking is better than buying gas, or biking is better than polluting. If we were not passionate about it, it wouldn’t seem like a viable choice.

    I love taking the corner leaned over and the weighlessness feeling that comes with the force going right down your spine rather than in a car where the force pulls you to the side and you have to fight the turn with your head and body.

    I love the sound of the rubber tires peeling at the pavement when taking a hard corner.

    I love the “oneness” feeling of the bike and me working together over terrain.

    I love the ice pellets smashing into my face so much that I can barely see…oh wait I actually didn’t enjoy that too much this morning.

    Anywho, you get the picture.

  11. Frank says:

    Gloating at people in cars.

  12. doug says:

    it’s the in-your-face interaction with the world. a sunset on the way home. stopping to pet a cat. ringing a bell at other cyclists. the guy who slowed down to ask if i was okay when i stopped to take a picture of a tree in bloom. the moments when the your body and bike become one and are replaced by pure kinetic energy. the big hills that are really giant springs designed to send you faster than you’ve ever felt in your car. the rainy days that keep you grounded. the wind that makes every mile miserable.

    pretty much everything motivates me. flat tires do no motivate me, however. assholes who accost me do quite the opposite. everything else, though, is tops.

  13. welshcyclist says:

    It’s great to read all these comments, only one problem, that is I for one would love to know where all you guys are. It’s Sunday today so I wasn’t commuting, but I went on a ride, down the Neath valley, and back, here in West Glamorgan, Wales, UK. It’s a pretty rural stretch, I take my time, looking at the wildlife etc., it took me 2 hours to do the 28 miles, I was home for breakfast, and I feel great. And it’s all down to riding a bike, which beats walking because you cover so much more ground, while riding in a car you don’t “see” anything, on the bike you are truely out there, experiencing nature full in the face, the weather, and the topography, all are there to test you, but you enjoy everything that comes up. None of this running for shelter from the wind and rain for us commuter cyclists.

  14. rick p says:

    It’s my meditation. As a graphic designer, I get most of my ideas during my commute. At the end of the day. it relieves stresses gained from dealing with crabby clients and co-workers so when I get home I am not carrying resentments with me.

    Also, commuting is a great way to keep keep me in shape so when I ride the dirt on my mountain bike on the weekends I can smoke all my friends who ride only once a week.

    And it makes attaining my personal goal of averaging 100 miles per week much easier.

  15. Jett says:

    I’ve always enjoyed my bike commute. I started about 28 years ago and keep finding new reasons I enjoy it.

    Recently, logging my miles has gotten me spending more time on the bike. By tagging the trips, I can tell if I’m running as many errands as I’d like or meeting my goals for taking trips with the family. Comparing my mileage against others also motivates me.

    Another big reason I ride is I want to be the change I want to see in the world. By riding and inviting others to ride with me, I’m getting more cyclists on the road. This is ultimately what will improve safety and enjoyment of cycling for all of us.

    So, an important question for me is “What can we do to motivate others to ride?” I’m interested to hear some of the ways we can motivate others.

  16. svenny says:

    Hi Welsh cyclist, in response to knowing where we are: Currently in Ontario, Canada riding everyday in the snow with studded tires….but….I was born in Wales and lived there as a young lad. I think my first bike owned in Wales was a Raleigh Stryka.

  17. welshcyclist says:

    Thanks svenny, what part of Wales are you from originally?

  18. JoelGuelph says:

    Are you riding today Svenny? I don’t know what part of Ontario you are in, but the foot and a half of snow we got in Guelph on Saturday and todays sub -20oC morning temp has made riding a bit ridiculous around here.

    Kudos if you rode your bike today in Southern Ontario.

  19. Fred says:

    I prefer to think of motivation as something someone else does for me.
    Inspiration is where I can move myself to new levels by changing my focus.
    I believe in simplicity. I have learned that I will always get whatever I focus on.
    Thoughts Become Things.

    I also ocassionally like to think of myself as a
    motivational posters manufacturer.
    The trouble with that is what inspires me, often won’t mean a thing to anyone else.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I just feel so alive…

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