I have lot my mojo, my love of cycling. I know it’s only temporary and that, from time to time, it happens to most cyclists. Sometimes you can put it down to actual things that happen to put you off; one too many close passes, one too many soakings, or, worst of all, that you get your bike stolen. Sometimes it just kind of happens; one minute you’re planning routes and can’t wait to get out, and the next you really can’t be arsed.
I could say it’s down to having got a new car. But I’d be lying. The reason I would be lying is because it actually happened a couple of weeks before that. When I think about it, I can see that it really happened when I sold my last car. Suddenly I was free of motor vehicles and reliant totally on my bikes. It changed my relationship from being one of choice to one of necessity, and it changed how I viewed my options for escape (from anything and everything). Before, when I had had the choice, I would look at the weather and then decide to ride anyway. It didn’t matter if it was raining, I would cycle, but it was a choice. When that choice ceases to be there, then it changes the way you view it. Now I had to get wet. Now I didn’t have an alternative option, other than not going out at all.
It’s weird to think that having a car makes me cycle more, but it’s actually true. It’s just the way my brain works about lots of things – if you take away my choices, then I resent it. Perhaps it’s many years of not having those choices. I am sure there are phycologists who would love to answer this (and feel free to do so in the comments sections).
For many millions of people cycling isn’t a choice. They simply don’t have the options that I have in my life at this time. I have been in their situation and it is limiting. Everything takes more planning and organisation, and it costs more. Public transport is expensive, especially for longer journeys by rail in the UK. It’s often cheaper to fly and that’s ludicrous with climate change at the tipping point. Planning long distances in rural areas, such as the Highlands of Scotland, takes military precision and then you’re still likely to be thinking on your feet as the situation changes. Trains get cancelled and routes get diverted, it happens. It happens on the roads too, but at least then you are the master of your options.
But, for many more people in the Westernised modern world we have so many options open to us; public transport, personal cars, shared car clubs, multiple bikes, and even our own two feet. Planes, trains, and automobiles. Welcome to the West and the giants of pollution.
We take these for granted of course, all these choices. Perhaps not having option should have been good for me, but it didn’t feel it. I bought another car. But I will still probably only do 3-4k miles a year. But it will be my choice if I cycle or if I take the care. My mental ability of see a way to escape at a whim, for miles far away, is restored.
I have two options now; I can wait for my mojo to come back on it’s own, or I can drive myself to conquer it. How do you do that? Well, it’s quite simple. You get on your bike and you go for a ride, for the pure pleasure of it.
No popping to the shops, or popping out for an appointment etc. Riding your bike, without GPS mapping, without gadgets, but just the wind in your hair and the freedom of the open cycle lanes (ideally). Because this is when you recapture that feeling of what cycling is really like, what it should feel like. Not the paraphernalia of training regimes (if that floats your boat), or the necessity of having a bike as your transport. No, you go out and be a kid again. Ride your bike with no destination in mind, just see where you get too.
Go out and enjoy the feeling cycling gives you. Remember why you got a bike in the first place, and remember what it was to feel like you are a kid again.
Stops for coffee and cake are however permitted.