Ride the Rut

Riding the Baja desert this spring.

Who says “being in a rut” is bad. I say ride the rut. The trick is to be in the right rut.

I’m talking about being in the habit, aka “a rut” of getting outside and riding your bike, or whatever you like to do. Get in the habit of going somewhere every weekend. Get in the habit of always being ready to go. Get in the habit of leaving your gear in the car so all you have to do is get in and go. Get in the habit of your bike always being ready to ride. Get in the habit of getting on that bike and going for a ride. Get in the habit of having fun.

The more you go the easier it is. Make it so there has to be a very compelling reason not to go. End every outing with thoughts of how you can’t wait to get out next weekend or tomorrow. Looking forward to another fun time makes it more likely you’ll get out there and go bigger or have more fun next time.

Having fun really makes it easier to get in a rut. Most of us are more easily motivated by fun. Speaking for myself I don’t really have the mentality or discipline to train for the sake of training. Lucky for me the things I like to do for fun involve getting exercise. The more fun I have the fitter I get.

The rut life has worked well for me. At nearly 58 years old I still think like I did 40 years ago. The priority to go out into the great outdoors and hike, climb, ride ski or whatever was strong then. While the activities have morphed over the years the rut of getting out and having fun hasn’t changed and has served me well and it will serve anyone well. Exercise is the closest thing to the fountain of youth there is. Fun exercise is even better since you’re more likely to keep doing it.

Never stop riding the rut.


Photo of Dave Wonderly riding as a kid
Riding the rut many years ago.
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At 57, Dave is a longtime mountain bike rider of 35 years. He was part of the racing scene as a Team GT rider in the late ’80s to early ‘90s. Currently, he mostly rides outside of racing; adventure type rides in remote places and freeriding on the local trails in Orange County, California. Dave's favorite type of riding is remote, steep, narrow and bushwhacky singletrack. His specialty is leading rides that push people past their comfort zone. Over the years he has hosted numerous grassroots style races and rides as part of that specialty. Beyond cycling, Dave has a long history of mountain sports including rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, dirt bike riding, and hiking.


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