There it is... I said it. I think I may be burned out on MTB'ing. I get criticized for getting burned out on it as quickly as I do and my friends tell me to "go ride other trails..." but believe me - I do. And even if I go to our local fun spots like Demonstration Forest, it's just all kind of "meh" to me.
I've been trying to break it down to why I get burned out on it so quickly and I have a few ideas. Don't get me wrong - I'll get out of my burn-out funk and go ride again with a grin on my face, but every couple of months I just don't want to do it. After meditating on my "problem" I've come up with a few ideas.
• Creativity is minimal. I'm coming from a BMX point of view here, so for those who don't ride freestyle BMX may not understand this aspect of it. When I ride BMX, I can look at my environment and conceive of dozens of possible ways to "play" on it. Grind it, hop it, do a combo trick on it, etc. Heck, even an empty parking lot on a BMX bike will provide hours of fun just by getting up into my head and exploring possibilities of flatland tricks.
The MTB can be confining in this aspect. Unless you're a freestyle dirt jumper, MTB'ing is pretty much up, down or flat. Jumps? Sure... Obstacles? Yeah. Technical? Why not? But then it's "keep pedaling". I think the most "creative fun" I have on my MTB is attempting to clear a very technical section of trail, failing, and then trying it until I make it. Some riders love the physical contest MTB'ing presents... but that doesn't get me too excited most of the time.
Oh, and get me the fuck away from fire roads.
• When we "ride together" we don't "ride together". Group rides have always bothered me in this respect. The problem with group rides - even when stating the very basic "no drop rule" - people disregard that completely and pedal their ass off like a bat out of hell. Since I'm not into "training" or racing, this part of MTB'ing is lame to me. I think the reason why so many enjoyed my "Team Social Pace" rides was because when I say it is a "group ride" - it truly is a "group ride". When people start breaking off into smaller groups and the "fast guys" are never to be seen again, I just don't want to be part of that.
• Why you racing? I hate to say this, but quietly the most annoying riders on the trail aren't the fast ones who simply pass you, or the slow ones, or even the nervous ones who shouldn't be within a 20 ft. radius of a MTB - it's those riders who are slow in sections, you get around, and then speed up to "catch" you.
Case in point...
Technically, I am a proficient rider. I'm an okay climber, but on my local trails, I like to rail around because I am so familiar with them. On a flowing trail, I may come up to a rider who is white-knuckling the damn thing, unable to go fast due to a psychological barrier, or maybe doesn't have the skill set to handle that section. So, I kindly say, "Rider back! I'm going to get around on your left..." and I go around.
Well, come a hill or a flat section, that mother fucker is breathing down my ass like an interstate rest stop molester. And it's so obvious he's joined a "race". The testosterone pissing - um - pisses me off. I usually just slow down and let them go by. If you're a "rabbit chaser" - STOP. You look like a dick doing it, and you're not impressing anybody but your own retarded ego.
One day, I went by a stopped rider and the idiot decided to chase me down. When I finally asked him, "You racing?" he looked embarrassed and says, "Oh no... I just wanted to get a closer look at your bike."
Fuck off, douche. I know what you're doing.
• Is cardio fun? Not for me. Sometimes I wonder if I'm riding my MTB because I love MTB'ing or because I need the cardio. Lately I've been saying I MTB because I need the cardio - and I think that has zapped the fun out of it for me. I would never substitute running on an indoor treadmill for a MTB ride, but when MTB'ing just becomes cardio and nothing else, I can feel the passion escape me. Every 2-3 months, I'll set off and do a fire road climb, but that is very rare. Bike riding for me has never been about fitness or exercise. But sometimes I feel like that's what it is - a medical obligation to keep my doctor from increasing my high blood pressure medication. I have no idea how folks can possibly ride a trainer and enjoy it.
Of course, this is my own personal beef. I never feel this way about BMX riding, but I do about MTB'ing and after digging deep I don't know why it has this affect on me at times. I say, "BMX makes me happy, MTB'ing makes me angry" and while that statement is said in jest, part of it is ironically true. Quite possibly, I just may ride too much.
This was not to say that those who are into MTB'ing for the fitness, training or racing aspect of it are lame or boring... some folks love the physical demands of it and enjoy climbing fire roads (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth) and that's pretty cool they can just enjoy it for what it is.
So... I didn't ride today. It's 75º out, the sky is clear and I had very little work to do today. But yet, the burn out kept me here posting this. Let's see how I feel tomorrow.