If you have kids or a stupidly hectic job - you need to read this

Middle-aged mountain bikers with families all struggle to get out on their bike.

Here are nine practical and FREE things you can put into practice to really help make that ride happen.

>>> Can your kids ride like this yet?

Write on the kitchen calendar as early as possible

You can’t moan that no-one else in the family considers your riding needs if you don’t make it clear to them. Write ‘MTB RIDE’ on the household calendar and you massively increase your chances of the ride happening.

Ride on your own

Trying to get your no-doubt-similarly-hectic riding buddies out on a ride just doubles the likelihood of the ride being binned. If you’re struggling with a busy life then you actually need the solo time anyway!

>>> How to train your brain and be a better rider

Have a route or specific trail in mind

That way, in the days leading up the ride you can be imagining the ride in your head. By the time the clock finally ticks over on to ride o’clock you’ll be gagging to hit that spot. You may wish to combine this with some sort of PB chasing or Strava KOM/QOM based ‘racing’.

Ride local

Don’t use the car to get to a ride spot. Head out right from your doorstep. Even if you live in a big city there will be fun riding spots to be had. Remember when you were a kid and you just used to jump on your bike a buzz off for a play? Do that.

>>>Watch Bernard Kerr being awesome on Surrey singletrack

Do your weekly shop online

We know it can be a real pain to do this the first time – many a person has given up and thrown the laptop at the wall after the second hour of cyber-grocerying – but stick with it. Once you’ve done it once, the next time is much easier and almost automatically done for you.

Start to get your stuff ready now

Mountain biking can be extremely faffy. The pre-ride kit sorting and bike checking/fettling can seriously impair your chances – and desire – to get out on your bike. Get your stuff ready the night before, ideally a couple of nights before. Choose your clothes, lube your chain, pump your tyres up.

Go minimal

Ditch the hydration pack handbag (leave it ready for weekend duties). Gather up: inner tube, pump or CO2 cartridge, water bottle, multi-tool and phone. Stash it all in your jersey pockets. Tape the inner tube to your frame.

>>> How to ride without a backpack

Use your 2nd bike

If you have one anyway. Your ‘proper bike’ might still be caked in dried-on mud from the weekend or it needs a bit of TLC or tweaking. It’s good to have a reliable other bike to always have primed and ready for quick blast rides. A change is as good a rest too.

Be nice for thoroughly selfish reasons

Thank your partner profusely for dealing with domestic things while you were out on your bike. Surprise them with some sort of unexpected gesture – don’t go crazy, just a cup of tea often works wonders! Offer to do one of the domestic chores that is their usually theirs. All of this fairly shameless behaviour will help when it comes to the next time that you wish to get out on your bike.