Author Topic: New article on mental skills for cyclists  (Read 2758 times)

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Offline marvinz

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« on: April 12, 2008, 04:28:00 pm »
Hi folks,

This one's on Managing Your Will to Succeed:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=5798&status=True

Best,
Marvin

Offline staehpj1

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 06:59:21 am »
Interesting article.  It seems to be geared more to racing than to touring riders though.  That said success or failure on a long tour is dependent more on the determination and commitment of the rider than any other factor so mental skills are important.  I just don't see much in the article that would help me finish a multi-month tour.


Offline marvinz

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 09:20:17 am »
Thanks. Note that words in blue in the article are links to other
sites/books/articles (mine and others) that you might find more
applicable to touring.

Best,
Marvin

Offline staehpj1

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 02:28:56 pm »
I will dig a little deeper and follow some of the links.  It is interesting reading in any case.

I don't think folks realize the mental challenge of a multi-month tour unless they have done one.  It is nice to see the mental aspect addressed once in a while.  To read most of the forums you would think it was all about the bike.


Offline cny-bikeman

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2008, 03:20:27 pm »
Maybe I'm missing something but I'm at a loss to understand the "mental challenge" of a long tour. I do not have better memories than those of the long tours I took, including one of 3 months and 5000 miles.

If one is going on a tour to prove something - that s/he can pedal coast to coast or go a certain amount of miles in a fixed amount of days that would indeed involve a mental challenge to keep going, as it's more like a competition than a vacation. But if the purpose is to enjoy oneself what exactly is the challenge in that? Issues of being in shape disappear in a short amount of time, and if one quits early because it's no longer fun then the part completed is still worth the effort.

My 5000 mile trip was to have been 10,000 miles, including a stop at the '76 Olympics in Montreal. Instead I was hit by a car in South Dakota and had to go home. I was sad and frustrated but I doubt I will ever duplicate the joy I had from that trip.  


Offline staehpj1

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2008, 03:53:10 pm »
I know that I never really wanted to stop when I was on the TA and I have nothing but great memories even of the hard times, but it was a grind especially because of time constraints.  I don't think it would be fun if it wasn't a challenge.  I also don't think too many people finish a coast to coast or similar tour unless they are pretty strong willed or mentally very prepared.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 4-14-08 @ 2:53 PM

Offline cny-bikeman

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2008, 04:29:29 pm »
Well, lack of time constraints was my big advantage. I was touring independently, and toured as an independent rider when on the Bikecentennial trail too. That was practical in '76 when there were so many riders. I fell in with a floating group of about 8-10 and we had a blast. All we had to do get to a camping spot by the end of the day. The single biggest mistake one can make is decide how far one wants to go and then try to fit it into the number of days available, irrespective of whether the distance is too far to be fun.


Offline MrBent

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2008, 07:44:41 am »
Yeah, the mental part does not get discussed very often.  I know that I was a little concerned about this aspect of the tour when I did my solo TransAm last year.  I'd read stories of other riders losing heart and bailing on the tour.  One woman whose journals are on Crazyguyonabike quit on her first try and regretted it and so went back a year or so later with a greater sense of resolve and finished.  We enjoy aspects of the tour, but finishing some of the really big projects is part of the challenge and reward, too.  And when the going gets tough--as it most certainly will--it's the mental part of the game the counts most.

As another poster mentioned, I never wanted to quit, but holy cow were there some low times, especially in western Kansas battling horrendous side winds, farm trucks, and a horizon forever out of reach.  Getting through those days was all about commitment.  A really neat kid was inspired by my journey when I met him in central Ohio.  He insisted that he have his picture taken with me and the bike.  Later that evening, he ran by my camp and dropped off some water and yelled, "Never give up!" as I lay sweating in my little tent.  That was my mantra whenever I faced some daunting days in the saddle.

Long tours are life in a distilled form.  To succeed, we need the same skills as in other spheres of activity--rolling with the obstacles, knowing that however unpleasant the current moment is, good times will come again.

My 2 cents.

Scott


Offline marvinz

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2008, 08:44:39 am »

Very wise words. Re avoiding "losing heart" during a tour, a couple of
other articles may be relevant:

This one on Increasing Your Tolerance for Suffering (comes up often on
long climbs, of course):

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=5176&status=True

This one on Sustaining Motivation:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=5360&status=True

and this one on Effective Self-Talk:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=4781&status=True

I'm interested in your thoughts!

Best,
Marvin

Offline staehpj1

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2008, 12:09:50 pm »
Good links thanks for sharing them.


Offline scott

New article on mental skills for cyclists
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2008, 07:25:59 am »
Hey cny-bikeman; By any chance did you visit the Mount Rushmore area? If so. Do you recall running into a couple guys from Wisconsin?