Quitting this hobby

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Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 7:31 Quote
fr3er1d3r wrote:
Anyone else considering it?.
No way. The key for me is having multiple hobbies. I ride moto, run, and road bike when I can't mountain bike. I schedule said activities into my work week, so I always have time for them. Bike shop group rides are great places to meet like minded people and riding buddies. It sounds like you are taking yourself too seriously. Slow down and smell the roses...

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 7:35 Quote
I have quit this hobby numerous times over the years and currently have a mtb for 4 different types of riding so the moral of the story is you cant quit

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 8:26 Quote
I've "let go" of mountain biking a few times.

The first time was when I was 18. Cars, girls, college parties, snowboarding and music took my focus away from the sport I loved. I didn't replace it with anything particularly healthy, and as a result I got fat and lazy. Thankfully, I got back into the sport at age 27. I can't imagine what my life would look like had this NOT happened.

More recently, three and a half years ago, I said "f*ck this" and left my bike park job and "resort lifestyle" behind. I got into other things, like hitting the gym and playing with some business ideas. I sold my dirt jumper, but held onto my DH bike. I knew I would still use it, if not as often as I used to.

Now, at age 34, I ride a lot less than I did when I was 28 and working for peanuts at the bike park. Life is very different now. I have two small businesses, I split my time between the west coast and Pennsylvania, and on most days it's difficult to find the time to do much of anything in the way of recreation. As I'm spending this summer in Pittsburgh, I bought a season pass at the resort I used to work at, but find myself unmotivated to go and ride the same old trails over and over and over. I spent all spring frothing at the mouth over a fresh new YT Tues, but honestly, I'm glad I didn't spend the money on a bike I'd "waste" riding in PA. My bikes don't really get used much here. As it stands, this summer is likely to be the last time in the foreseeable future that I do any sort of riding in the east, as I'll be out west permanently once my girlfriend finishes med school in December.

Honestly, I love riding out west. It's faster, bigger, more wide open, and presents a different sort of challenge to someone who's used to low-speed mud and roots-style east coast riding. Once I have my bikes out there and start to automate my work a bit more (thus having more free time), I'd like to pick up where I left off in terms of the sport.

As a side note, I think maximum enjoyment of the sport has a lot to do with ignoring all of the marketing garbage that the industry bombards us with. My DH bike is from 2010, and I ride with some guys who are having an absolute blast on bikes that most would consider to be clapped-out junk. Don't get me wrong... I love having fresh, pro-level gear, but it's in no way a prerequisite to having fun. As long as your bike has modern geometry, fresh rubber and well-maintained, reliable components, it's good to go. Learning how to maintain and keep my old(ish) bike running fresh has made riding FAR more enjoyable. Shit still breaks, but I have a lot more fun when I'm not piloting an unreliable, ghost-shifting death trap that sounds like a filing cabinet being pushed down a flight of stairs.

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 14:13 Quote
I feel it! I appreciate you guys very much for the stories. I think I'm taking a good amount of time off but quitting is a strong word, I suppose. I might get a mountain bike again...it's hard to imagine I won't but I hope it's not until I relocate or something.

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 14:21 Quote
I use to be on the bike everywhere, probably wasn't what i do now, but still, I lost the edge as I grew up, because I got a car and stopped riding, that and friends went different ways so everything just split up, wasn't the same anymore.

I regret getting off the bike and letting it just die in the shed... Now I'm back I struggaling to get back to the level of performance I was at when I was young. I'm only 27 but I was riding at the age of 5+ stopped around the 16 mark. So I had a fair bit off and its taken its toll, plus my current job doesn't help.

But as I said fighting to get back into the seat again and to s standard I want to be at! I suppose the best part it I can afford a really nice bike without having to ask for one for Christmas or a Birthday, or sometimes even both! Anyone else do that combine birthday and Christmas presents to get an expensive one?

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 14:27 Quote
I've definitely done the combo present thing. Birthday and Christmas were just about 40 days apart anyhow!

Friends splitting up and losing all the local spots is what killed it for me. Now I'm just kinda rusty which is even more discouraging because the amount of riding to catch up kinda feels like it'll never happen. It's possible but I just don't see me driving 90 minutes a few days of the week, alone. Biking friends only have time once a week anyhow...new one's probably only available on the same days the others are. Too bad! Wish more people had free time and that there was a simple way to have a local spot.

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 14:49 Quote
I suppose thats one issue with living in the US everything is so far away from everything else! Razz Good thing about the UK we are all close with in an hours drive of somewhere to ride. Although I'd love to ski, fly and ride US! (yes I do all three lol).

I was going to say meeting new people on the trail or on forums is always a good thing, but it's never the same however, friends from old days are friends for life and its upsetting.

But just take some time off and see if you really miss it, if you do break back in slowly and see how you feel / get on. Best advise I can give you bud.

Ya I was lucky that my pearnts always allowed me to combine my brithday and christman as my sisters birthday was only a couple of days before chrsitmas lol. I kinda prof'd out of that.

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 at 15:06 Quote
Ah, you fly? How's that? I might go through the hoops to get my license. Flying definitely intrigues me.

I'm open to meeting new friends but around here, it's not going to change much. The drives are still far and people are about as equally available. I think relocating is the only sustainable decision towards this hobby for it to be what I want it to be. Anything less just makes me hate myself a little haha, no joke. If I'm not getting better, faster, going bigger, etc. I'm not feeling the improvement I seek to keep a hobby going.

Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 14:51 Quote
fr3er1d3r wrote:
Ah, you fly? How's that? I might go through the hoops to get my license. Flying definitely intrigues me.

I'm open to meeting new friends but around here, it's not going to change much. The drives are still far and people are about as equally available. I think relocating is the only sustainable decision towards this hobby for it to be what I want it to be. Anything less just makes me hate myself a little haha, no joke. If I'm not getting better, faster, going bigger, etc. I'm not feeling the improvement I seek to keep a hobby going.

That's a good point. Here in PA, the nearest high-quality bike park is 4 hours away, at Snowshoe. Even in San Diego, if you want a chairlift, you're driving 2-3 hours to Big Bear. Having to make a full weekend of riding doesn't make it any easier. When I worked at a bike park, it was nice being able to drive 10 minutes, jump on my bike and ride until I got tired. I definitely took that for granted.

As far as friends riding, I know the feeling. Most of the guys I rode with from 2008-2012 have moved on to other things. It's a bummer, but I have no problem going and riding by myself. 90% of my XC riding is done alone, and when I ride DH, I'm enough of an extrovert that I usually end up riding with whoever I happen to run into up there, even when I head up alone.

Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 15:05 Quote
Nice! Glad you can relate to all the bummer stuff but I am sorry to hear it's happened to you as well. That's life though, I'm told...anyway

I do kinda miss making the random bike buddies for the day on the trails. There is always that. That's probably the one thing I could do more when I go out on rides alone. I definitely do that at the resorts since enough people are around my level. That's not so much the case at the trails "nearby"

Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 19:13 Quote
I've been through the burnout, time off, riding again cycle a few times. Some personalities have a hard time not being able to give it their all and when we can't, for whatever reasons, we really burnout. Don't give yourself too much pressure, it's normal.

Take time off man. One day you will jump back on a bike and think "why did I not ride for so long? This is so fun". But you need that time off to get back to that place of stoke. For me that now means switching to the road bike more for awhile or running/yoga/hiking. Then I get back on the mountain bike and am so stoked get loose.

One thing I would say really strongly is don't fill that space with stupid $hit that young guys often do. After a huge burnout from years of racing/training I took that burnout frustration and turned it into something pretty destructive. I don't regret the time off but I do I regret spending so long putting energy into stuff that hurt me and people around me.

Finally, don't be in too much of a hurry to "figure it out". Older I get, the more I realize I will never have everything "figured out" but if I am doing positive stuff then life keeps being really good.

Enjoy life! Positive vibes.

Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 19:27 Quote
I turned 40 this year. I just started riding again. As a late teenager, early 20 year old i was a pretty solid x country racer and loved every minute of it. Work, relationships, money and life in general ate at my riding time and I eventually parked my bike...I wish i could turn back time. I don't regret the paths i took, but I regret not bringing my two wheels on the journey. Not only am i totally enjoying every minute back in the saddle but I'm reconnecting with people from my riding past. I still only get out a couple of times a week, but I appreciate each ride that much more. Speaking from experience, I get the drive, I get the worry of injury, I get the frustration of not putting in the time you want or need, but take what I'm telling you to heart...take a small step back, maybe change your approach to riding, but don't walk away. If you're anything like me, you'll want those twenty years back.

Cheers.

Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 20:32 Quote
I think taking time off is the best thing. I say I'm quitting now but that doesn't necessarily I will never get back on the bike. And these last 2 posts, thank you very much to both of you! Very wise and helpful words. I can tell you both really understand and care. Thank you!

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