How can one "start" to love cycling as a hobby again after losing interest in it after having bad experience(s)? — Since having a car-on-bike accident and subsequently not riding for quite some time, I've lost the love of cycling: I'm not afraid/angry/stressed when on a bike (at least not any more than before the crash, anyway), so I don't feel that I have some sort of PTSD/confidence issues. Nevertheless, I don't have a desire to cycle: It just feels like a way to get from point A to point B.

My situation is of course in no way unique (cf. CyclingTips or Sticky Bottle) and is definitely related to accident recovery, so I thought there might be common methods for "learning to love" cycling again — am I right?


Strangely enough, even before the accident, my love of riding was directly connected with riding my bike-- not just any bike. I even bought a bike which is even "cooler" (to me) than the bike I had before, thinking that it would help get me motivated to ride again, but it didn't work; Might it be possible that I actually never really had a love of cycling per se but rather a love for my bicycle?

  • Two questions: 1) Why did you cycle before, as transport (commuting), socially (with a club), competitively, or just riding around because it was fun? 2) Do you, or did you, watch or follow any cycling on TV? Like the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana, or any of th track cycling in the recent olympics? Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 8:47
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    1) it started as "transport" (saving time/money/burnt hydrocarbons/stress/health) but it developed into "riding around because it was fun", namely loving the freedom that having two human-powered wheels gives you. 2) While I respect professional/competitive riders, I was never interested in watching them: I would've rather spent time on my own bike rather than watching others. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 11:58

5 Answers 5


Since having a car-on-bike accident last year due to me performing an Idaho stop, and the driver not stopping at all, I feel like my riding habits have changed a lot, and I realized how bad other people's riding habits tend to be. I don't always put my foot down when getting to an intersection, but I usually come to a stop and do a trackstand for a split second to make sure things are safe. Commuting on roads definitely isn't as fun as it was before the accident. I'm definitely a lot more alert when riding, even though, like you, I don't really feel anxious, afraid, or stressed when riding.

This year I've altered my commuting route a bit to stay away from busy roads. Partly because I feel like getting away from traffic is safer, and partly because it's an easy way to pad my trip with extra distance, which is something I've wanted to do anyway.

I definitely recommend finding a group to ride with if you don't currently ride in a group. Seeing some friendly faces and having somebody to push you to ride faster/harder can be a great motivator. Having plans with friends to ride means that it's harder to just cancel if you don't feel like it, because they expect you to be there.

I think the best thing is to just get out on the open road, away from traffic and other distractions. Having a route where you can cycle for a long period of time without having to stop can be quite enjoyable and relaxing. The rides where I have to stop every 2 minutes for a light definitely aren't enjoyable, and I do them out of necessity. The rides where I'm not going anywhere and just riding for the sake of riding my bike are what really bring out the enjoyment in cycling.


I've had my ins and outs with riding and I've found that buying a new bike only sometimes works. What I'd recommend is maybe trying a new style of cycling or finding something to train toward. I recently started training again and didn't buy a new bike, but did get some new GPS gear to geek out over which is definitely contributed to riding/training being more fun.

Buying a new bike can work, but I think most often if it is mixed with learning or practicing a new riding style. Buying a new commuter won't necessarily help you get over being burnt out on commuting, but maybe a new road bike or mountain bike will.


I've had two slip and slides this year, one on a downhill corner and one turning on ice. The first wasn't bad. but the ice fall was a lot of bruising. The bike was okay both times, a wheel true and brake levers back into position.

Upshot is I'm now leery about downhill corners and turning fast in general. My riding has modified so I don't go quite so fast downhill, and I'm an early braker and relatively slow through corners.

I have an annual distance goal to meet, logged on strava, and that keeps me going. Next year I will switch that out for a climbing goal of X hundred metres of vertical per month. I don't enjoy climbing and am not very good at it. X remains to be decided.

Things, Items, by themselves are not motivations. Instead they're a pit of bad feelings about the cost and lack of use. Every time you see it you feel a little worse, and the bike becomes a ROPA (Ridden Once and Put Away.)

My slightly perverse streak is to ride cheap and/or old bikes, and I do a reasonable job of keeping up with the faster chaps on their expensive bikes.

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    I also noticed how my riding style changed a lot because of experiences like this (ice, gravel, parked cars opening doors, etc.). Sometimes it's pretty annoying, but in the end I think one learns from it and finds a good balance. But really, I don't know what keeps me going.
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 14:40

Do you have any biker's community where you live? Joining them might be a good idea.

I was having health issues and was mostly at home. When I bought my bicycle I was not able to cycle much. It was not about getting from point A to point B. I had bought an ordinary bicycle which would need a lot of effort on my part if it was long distance traveling.

However there was this women's biking community that started in my locality at the same time as I bought my cycle. I wanted to be a part of their weekend expeditions which gave me enough motivation to practice riding my bicycle.


Hmmm Hi! I'm certainly no psychologist, but from reading the first part of your question, for me it seems like the love that you lost is still where you left it, between point A and B. Logically it makes sense to ride for all the reasons we know, yet the joy comes from the journey. Whenever I'm learning with someone how to ride, I suggest the three rules,

1- look where you want to go (i.e anywhere except down!).

2- keep pedalling.

3- Smile.

Try a little 5 minute pre-ride breathing 4in 6out to regulate and calm your cells. For the second part of your post, I would definitely share that with a professional.

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