Stuck in a rut? Mid-year plateaux? Same old rides? Lost your mojo? It is easy to just keep riding the same routes and the same rides, it can get a little bit repetitive and you could start to feel stale.
Here are some options to give you a fresh outlook on pedalling…
Road riders – get off-road. MTB’ers – get onto a road bike. Swapping your type of rides will keep you fit while reinvigorating your outlook on riding. Those short, sharp efforts off-road could boost your road riding. Likewise those long steady efforts on a road bike could aid your MTB’ing too – It’s a win win! You could well end up happier than ever in the on / off-road hinterlands of gravel riding.
Live in a hilly area and getting worn down physically and mentally by constant climbing? Go fully compact 34 50 and a wide range cassette at the back and spin over the tougher climbs which usually slow your pedalling to quad sapping snails pace.
Race or Tour
Capitalise on your fitness gained from your regular rides by entering local inter club races, you will meet new people and have fun, in a gasping, achy legged sort of way. If you have been racing all year, head off and do some touring! A completely new outlook on pedalling will refresh how you think about riding.
Go somewhere amazing – If you are sick of sharing the same busy roads with traffic, head for somewhere where you can be virtually alone or somewhere completely different. For less than the cost of a sportive, buy a one way train ticket, head somewhere far, far away and ride home (Check it’s not a headwind ride home first).
Try something completely different – have a week or two off, stay active (maybe more active than fly fishing) and you won’t loose fitness but you will gain freshness.
Help teach a youngster to ride. Going back to basics and helping a little-one is a great way to reconnect with the bicycle and look at it from that early base view-point.
Look at trends from the last few years. Anything that has passed you by? Is there technology that has got cheaper but could improve your rides? Droppers on MTB’s, Deep Wide road rims, Zwift, fatter tyres, electronic gearing. Any of the new stuff float your boat? Upgrading with new kit can fire up the old enthusiasm and help get your mojo back.
If you have some ‘best’ or fast wheels – pop them in your bike and ride your favourite route. Get a smile back on your face and attack some local Strava segments – Nothing cheers you up like small insignificant victories…
Find New Tarmac
Instead of following your same local, favourite roads, break out and head somewhere new. If you don’t know your area that well, take a look at where local sportives go and borrow some of their route. You never know, you might find a new favourite route.
Use your bike for other duties, in casual kit – Shopping? Ride to Work? Reconnect with your bike as transport, take a backpack and get your groceries (remember to lock it up) – reducing those short journeys which are bad for your car and the environment, is also good from an environmental perspective.
Minimise the chances of getting stuck in a rut by regularly changing things around and trying new stuff, it will keep you fresh and retain your mojo.