There's one big hill on my commute to work that's stopping me from riding. It occurred to me the other day... get off and walk. Bikes are much faster than walking downhill, faster than walking on flat ground, but when you are old and out of shape, it's okay to declare momentary defeat and walk up hills. It won't even slow you down much.
That was my breakthrough - as much as I'm a fan, I'm not actually IN the TdF. No one will boo me if I get off and walk or alter my route when I'm gassed. As soon as I came to terms with that, I started riding at least 3-4 times a week (14 miles round trip). And the funny thing is - I never actually get off and walk. As soon as I realized I COULD, I didn't need to. Now that I've been doing it a while, I don't really even think about walking - I like the work of it.
Funny thing, the mind.
Separate question: What do you all think of belt drives? I've mangled my derailleur once and ripped my chain apart once both on that damn hill, so I'm seriously wondering about a belt drive both for the reliability and so I can keep riding as the weather starts to get bad. I've got a 3x8 gear now, but I pretty much never use the granny gears. Effectively, I'm riding it like an old-school 10-speed anyway.