- Remove the cyclocomputer from my bike (sacrilege!) and go for a ride just to go for a ride – for ice cream, to see the top of a local hill, to explore a new neighborhood.
- If I can’t stand the idea of losing track of my miles, I’ll cut down a Post-it note to stick over my cyclocomputer display while I ride. Depending on my mood, I’ll use one of two kinds of Post-its: a) those tiny page-saving rectangles. If I cut off all but the sticky part, it fits right over the speedometer portion of my display, but I can still view other stats – which I restrict to either total time or total miles, basic info that I can’t use to push myself too much; b) Other times, I don’t want to see any info while I ride, but I still want to track my data. At those times, I cut out a larger Post-it to cover my whole display (leaving in the sticky part to hold the note on the display). Costs nearly nothing; works like a charm. A word of warning: Just knowing that my data is being tracked can push me to ride too hard. Sometimes it's just better to leave the computer at home.
- Take a couple days -- or more -- off the bike altogether. When I first started riding last year, this seemed impossible. I had to ride my standard six days a week. These days, I ride more like four or five. (Not everyone is lucky enough to have that much riding time; I just finished grad school and still haven't found a job, so my schedule has been flexible). These days, I try to take one week out of every four or five to chill out. During these breaks, I ride less mileage on fewer days. Or I'll plan a week off around a long weekend away with my wife -- that way, we get a chunk of quality time together. (I'm often far away on the bike during her days off, or in the basement adjusting on my derailleur, etc.) As these breaks approach, I often feel apprehensive, like I will lose something precious without my riding days. But frequently I have my best riding weeks ever after a break like this. The body and mind become so refreshed by a break from my daily obsession.
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OK, so – how do you keep it fun?