Keeping It Fresh

c/o bobcatnorth

If you’re like me, it’s that time of the cycling season when the regular bike routes start getting a little stale. I’ve been out on my favorite roads, mixing things up by altering the combinations, and adding a few additional routes to my training….but the scenery is starting to get a little old.  So, what can be done to keep things fresh?

  1. Explore – I’ve repeatedly done every single main highway in my area, but I know there are countless paved country roads that I’ve never touched.  It’s time for me to check some of these out.  If the same can be said for where you live, give it a shot.
  2. Training Mix-Up – Another way to make the same old roads more interesting is to mix up the type of training you’re doing.  Hill repeatsinterval trainingpaceline, or any other technique training is a great ways to help improve your riding and keep your mind busy.
  3. Biking Babes –  As mentioned in last week’s biking babes post, the girls of cycling are definitely something that keeps my interest.  Why not take along a biking babe cycling partner to help stimulate your ride?
  4. Break a Record – If your longest ride ever is 90 miles, set a goal to smash it with a longer one.  Shoot for a new, all-time high, average speed.  Climb that hill that you’ve never been able to get to the top of. Whatever it is, use your record breaking challenge as a way to keep the ride fresh.
  5. Destination – It’s all about Enjoying the Ride, but sometimes focusing on a new destination can be a good thing as well.  Choose a surrounding town that you’ve never cycled to and make it your mission to ride out there and check it out.
  6. Drive - If you’ve tried all of this and you still desperately need to find some new surroundings to create a nice fresh ride for yourself….jump in the car and drive.  Head out to a location that you’ve never cycled before and rip it up.
  7. Dream – One step above doing point number 6 would be to fly off to somewhere like Italy or France to do some dream cycling.  I’m not sure about you, but that is definitely on my wish list right now.  I’ve been lucky enough to cycle many parts of the world, but some nice European cycling would be so cool and fresh for me.

What do you do to keep it fresh?

  • bikerly

    Great suggestions, Darryl. Here’s a few of my favorites:

    1. Sneak a shot of vodka in the water bottle and go for a sunset ride… gives the trail a whole new perspective.

    2. Bring a camera, take a picture.

    3. Buy an inexpensive bike, do some wrenching and use for 1 and 2 above. Bonus: learn something new about bikes.

    4. Make a list of stuff you can combine with biking and do them all (a few ideas below).

    5. Take your fashionable biking babe on a picnic :)

    6. Make your own duathlon. Bike somewhere (like a track, football field, off road trail), run, and bike back. Probably do not want to combine with vodka ride described in #1.

    7. Go off-road or gravel for a spin.

    • Darryl

      Thanks for adding in your “fresh” ideas. You’re one crazy dude, bikerly….love it.

  • Pedalman

    If you can’t change routes try something a little different. I’ve start taking some keen employees out once a week. The routes were a little boring for me until they started looking around and pointing things out that I either missed or took for granted. In other words- ride with fresh eyes. My other trick from last year is take a map, close your eyes and touch. Wherever your finger lands, plan on riding there and then taking a different route back.

    • Darryl

      Good to see you again, Pedalman. I think having fresh eyes is a good way of thinking for everything we do. It’s so easy to start taking life for granted….fresh eyes will help prevent that from happening. Cheers.

  • VitaminLee

    Another well timed blog!! I actually joined a Cycling Meet-Up Group here in Connecticut about two weeks ago and must say I wish I’d thought of this sooner. It’s awesome to ride with company, keeps me motivated and gets me out of my comfort zone. My first ride with the group was just a tour of one of the smaller water communities and that’s something I wasn’t comfortable doing solo (actually thought of backing out at the last minute, but made myself stick with it and I’m proud I did).

    I like your suggestion for Breaking a Record, I think I’ll try this when I get back home. I have a few things that I want to treat myself to sooooooooo maybe I’ll use them as rewards for Breaking a Record. I’m getting so buzzed writing this – Life is AWESOME!!! I Break a Record and I get a treat yeeeeees!!

    • VitaminLee

      Oh yeah – I think driving out to a new location can be super awesome. This is what I use to do before exploring my own surroundings. It may sound silly but I did all my riding in another state for a very long time and still have preferred trails that are miles away from home. It’s great when you want to dedicate an entire day to the bike and the outdoors.

      • Darryl

        Good to hear that you got out there with some riders….I know you’ve been sweating it for a while now. Watch out now, right?

  • egggman

    I don’t seem to get the bike funk. I ride 2 bikes one Singlespeed 29er and one Fixie. I basically do my communing fixie ride or my commuting trail ride. On lunch similar routine altho on the 29er I am always fighting the clock and trying for a new personal best. It is however a neat mix of road/singletrack/doubletrack/ and 4 cros course on lunch with the 29er. If you find you need to ride the same route regularily a goal like personal best keeps it exciting. Evening rides can be anywhere and new trails or roads always welcome!! I can not however think of a time I was ever bored on the bike… Just me…

    • Darryl

      Hey Eggman,

      I wouldn’t really call it boredom….just sometimes in need of a shake up or change of mind frame. It’s like they say “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”. Keeping it Fresh will keep things moving in the right direction.

      Thanks for your comments.

  • http://marijolamarche.wordpress mari-jo Lamarche

    “Take along a biking babe cycling partner” Ahah Darryl, but make sure to ask the wife first!!
    Driving to new location with Pat is a must for me. I’m spoiled because he has a special talent for discovering new country side roads with great climbs!

    • Darryl

      Hahahaha, she knows that I’m harmless. I really hope to ride with you guys soon.

  • Clive Chapman

    The bit about keeping routes varied is massive, especially if you commute by bike like me. I find myself going off exploring just to keep the routes and the experience fresh. I’ve probably got about a dozen routes in to work and about the same on the way home.

    What I do is look at the map, roughly work out where the new route goes and have a couple of escape routes pencilled in just in case it all goes wrong!

    Boredom is the enemy of weight loss biking.

    • Bike Noob

      I went through a phase like this last year at this time, and got out of it by making a point to vary my routes more. This summer, I haven’t had the bike funk, but I’ll be out looking for more new routes, and I’ll probably be driving to some of them.

      • Darryl

        Yeah, I really think new routes help a lot. If it means sometimes driving out to get them, it’s worth it.

    • Darryl

      Great to hear your viewpoint on this, Clive. Man, you’ve really got things under control and with this kind of motivation and planning it is no wonder you’ve had such great success.