Stuck in a rut? Mid-year plateau? 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…
Swap It Up!
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.
Spin to Win
Live in a hilly area and getting worn down physically and mentally by constant road 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.
Capitalise on your fitness gained from your regular road rides by entering local inter-club races or evening 10 mile time trial. You will meet new people and have fun, in a gasping, achy legged sort of way.
Head off and do some touring! A completely new outlook on pedalling will refresh how you think about riding. So you think you are too young or too ‘Pro’ to do touring… Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens, World Tour Pro’ riders for Lotto Soudal, decided to ride home (Belgium) from their final race of 2018 the Tour of Lombardia, in Italy, in October 2018.
Top Gear Challenge
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, set yourself a ‘Top Gear’ style challenge, buy a one way train ticket, head somewhere far, far away and ride home (Check it’s not a headwind ride home first). Why not take a couple of slightly annoying mates with you? This makes it even more like ‘Top Gear’.
Try something completely different – have a week or two off, stay active (maybe more active than darts) and you won’t loose fitness but you will gain freshness. You should return to your rides with a fresh outlook and appreciation for pedalling your bike.
Listen Up Kids
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.
Embrace the New
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 (If the wind is in the right direction 🙂 ) – Nothing cheers you up like those small insignificant victories…
Find New Tarmac or Tracks
Instead of following your same local, favourite routes, 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. Check out nearby rail trails and any new bike paths – you mind might a new regular ride.
Flex Your Body-clock
Always go out at 9AM on a Sunday morning? Try 6.30 on a Wednesday night! Changing the time you do your rides can give a completely different expreience. Summer evening rides can give a more relaxed and peaceful experience. Evening winter rides are great too, with a decent set of bike lights. Just dodge the quiet road past the church-yard if you’re easily spooked or eagerly anticipating the zombie apocolipse.
Build a Ride
Why not utilise the old frame and bits in your shed by building a bike. Look out for cheap bits to complete your project online. You don’t need to go to the same extremes as Graeme Obree did a few years ago (below), but you can still build and ride something unique, but maybe not as fast as Graeme’s…
Use your bike for other duties, in casual kit – Shopping. Ride to Work. Before cars became cheap and we got lazy and pushed for time, everybody rode bikes everywhere. reconnect with your bike as transport. Why not take a backpack and get your groceries? Reducing those short journeys which are bad for your car and the environment, you could even discover a whole new riding routine. Remember to take a bike lock.
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.