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What to do when bored with your bike routes?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What to do when bored with your bike routes?

Old 09-08-19, 02:38 PM
  #26  
caloso
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Move
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Old 09-08-19, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Move
That's kind of my strategy
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Old 09-08-19, 05:02 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Ride the same routes, but in reverse. You will be amazed how much you will see/notice.

Ride safely!
But make sure you have a good mirror and properly adjusted drive train.... Mine just spins and goes nowhere when I try that....
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Old 09-08-19, 05:15 PM
  #29  
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I have little interest in solo paved road rides. And our region is overflowing with paved trails, but that isn't interesting solo either.

So I hit gravel roads instead. More unfamiliar, quiet, and more challenging due to increased elevation changes and more surface resistance.

It's essentially the same as finding new routes.
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Old 09-08-19, 05:32 PM
  #30  
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For me it’s not about the route. It’s about objectives. One day a week I’ll time trial it as hard as I can (essentially a 1hr FTP test). Following days will be sprint drills, tempo, and a zone 2 for miles...all solo. Throw in a rest day then the weekend is for group rides for fun.
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Old 09-08-19, 05:55 PM
  #31  
eja_ bottecchia
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
But make sure you have a good mirror and properly adjusted drive train.... Mine just spins and goes nowhere when I try that....
I see what you did there.
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Old 09-08-19, 06:44 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Buy new bike crap, of course.
This is probably one of the best ideas.

Nothing freshens up an old route like riding it in a new Rapha jersey.


-Tim-
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Old 09-08-19, 07:05 PM
  #33  
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[QUOTE=downhillmaster;21113170]Not sure who is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to ride the same routes that you don’t want to...[/

Some of us ride solo and leave from our homes. It's a convenient way to stay fit. Where I live there are options but only if I go west or north. Roads to the other directions are busy and in poor shape. That limits the options. It's easy to get bored but every now and then I mix it up directionally and there are multiple options that branch off the main routes. Still, I wish there were more routes.
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Old 09-09-19, 03:34 PM
  #34  
Jim from Boston
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What to do when bored with your bike routes?
Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
After a summer of riding the same routes over and over again I am having trouble getting motivated to go for a ride. This won't be an issue much longer (hello winter!) but all the same.

As much as I enjoy getting out on my bike for a ride on the weekend or a quick ride after work, the thought of doing the same ride/route takes the joy out of it.

I cannot be the only one experiencing this, no? How are you folks avoiding having boredom setting in? Especially those of you who are fortunate enough to ride year round.
Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Ride the same routes, but in reverse. You will be amazed how much you will see/notice.

Ride safely!
I have posted on this thread, "How do you find your motivation to ride?" (link):
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
To get me out on the road, particularly since I cycle-commute as one alternative to get to work, I’m mindful of these two taglines:
Originally Posted by SammyJ
I have NEVER regretted going on a ride;I have often regretted not going when I could have!
Originally Posted by chasm54
There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.
Another disaffection, as noted above may just be boredom, and my remedy is:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm very motivated by novelty, and stymied by boredom on a bike, but I do have the motivation of commuting to work. I have found that when I drive my frequent, decades-old routes I often notice things I had not seen before. I think it’s because I can look around at more than just the road surface when driving.

So when the commute [route] is getting too familiar, I just raise my head higher and look over a wider field of view….
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
A local BF subscriber @rholland1951 who contributes hundreds of photographs to the local Metro Boston thread from the same 11-mile long MUP he rides, once commented something like that "just the lighting / time of day / day of the year makes the ride “different.”

So too does the direction, one way, or the reverse.
and
Originally Posted by GailT View Post
I find that charting my activity helps motivate me - I keep a spreadsheet calendar that I update daily with miles biked, run or hiked, my pace, and my weight.
Particularly if
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
i've never lost my motivation to ride.

I've been injured or incapacitated in some way a few times so that i've not been able to cycle. But i've always been motivated.

It does help to have goals ... Like the local century, several brevets, a cam challenge, etc.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My situation too, including weekly mileage quotas when doing a pre-determined 10 week training schedule for Centuries.

I also plot my mileage on a graph and that visual is motivating to spend the extra time from my busy life to keep up with the schedule.
And even
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Ever contemplate your mortality on the road?"

Actually, in one of my most serious contemplations of mortality, the Road served as a relief:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My magic moment when I realized what makes cycling fun (important) to me was at a lunch with two doctors about 20 years ago. We got to talking about the vicissitudes of life, like sudden death, or trival symptoms as harbingers of a serious disease. We eventually came around to that old chestnut to live life to the fullest everyday.

As we were leaving, the surgeon, a marathon runner, said, “Well, any day with a run in it is a good day for me.” I was already an avid cyclist and cycle commuter, and that clicked with me, any day with a ride in it is a good day for me.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-09-19 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 09-09-19, 04:05 PM
  #35  
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˄˄˄˄

I have been particularly intrigued by this opportunity, especially with a Significant Other:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Change it up.

Take the bike on an overnight trip to a B&B.
Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
"I'm taking off on another 2 day trip tomorrow”

I've been doing these fun rides lately... Pick a cool town about 50 or 60 scenic miles away. Book a nice room near town. Ride there (in my case, with my dog along). And then have my wife drive there to meet for a nice, romantic night on the town. It takes her an hour or two, to drive to where it takes me and my 20LB dog to get in a leisurely 6 hours or so. Some fine dining. A hike. Shopping. Maybe live music.

Next morning, charming breakfast, etc... Then I ride home, usually a different route.

It has been great. I get two days of serious riding, and she gets fun little get-a-ways close to home. We are exploring towns near us that we would otherwise never spend a night in, except that for a cyclist, it is a day's journey.

Healdsburg, CA. a few weeks ago
Halfmoon Bay, CA. a couple weeks ago
Tomorrow, Guerneville, CA. Staying at a place built in 1905. Cabins on the Russian River.

I guess you could call it short range, luxury touring with a spousal inclusion component.

Anyone else into this kind of thing? Or lucky enough to have a girl that will do the rides with you?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…A couple years ago I thought about making up such list for weekend getaways, as you described, and posting to the local Metro Boston thread. We live in downtown Boston, and can go out in all directions (except eastward into the Atlantic Ocean).

So for here on the Right Coast, counterclockwise around Boston, such destinations would be:

  • Newburyport, MA (did a mutual cycle trip there once)
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Nashua, NH
  • Lowell, MA
  • Worcester, MA
  • Providence, RI (did a car weekend trip there)
  • Plymouth, MA (one mutual cycle trip there).
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Old 09-09-19, 04:28 PM
  #36  
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For better or worse, I ride alone and pick my own "routes". I pull up Google maps, RWGPS, and pick a route and sometimes bounce them off of Strava heat maps. I mix in as much gravel and trail as I possibly can and highly prefer my road use to those with a large side beyond the white line or country roads. That is why I start with Google maps on satellite view first. One of my routes is 85-100 miles and less than 10 is on a road with cars. Most are about 50/50 and the 50 road is to get me between non road segments. Someone mentioned night riding. I do a lot myself when the days turn short but I stick to only familiar routes. I am moving into a more rural area than I live in now next month. Far more open road but less parks, trails, and MUPs. Not sure I'll have enough time to get too familiar with some new routes before winter. Hmmmmm.

I may not get as bored as others though.. I've ridden a 38 mile route for 2 years and I've done it 150+ times and some segments over 250 times. Only PR I'll get on a segment at this point would require a 40mph tail wind or being chased by a dog.

Last edited by u235; 09-09-19 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 09-09-19, 04:42 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
For better or worse, I ride alone and pick my own "routes". I pull up Google maps, RWGPS, and pick a route and sometimes bounce them off of Strava heat maps. I mix in as much gravel and trail as I possibly can and highly prefer my road use to those with a large side beyond the white line or country roads...

Far more open road but less parks, trails, and MUPs...
Not to be contrarian, and to each is own, but I have posted,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I have ridden out West in the Desert, Rockies, and vast Plains [and country roads], and while interesting and scenic, the views are [boring]unchanging for miles, and I really enjoy the intimate quirkiness of Metro Boston...
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Old 09-09-19, 04:51 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Not to be contrarian, and to each is own, but I have posted,
Fair. I prefer a change within the same ride. Some road, some trail, some technical etc. I think I need the mix during the ride to look forward to the next segment and break it up. I'm not as comfortable sharing a lane on busy roads as others are, I know this is the road cycling forum though
Long county roads are very boring, usually open to the wind too.

Last edited by u235; 09-09-19 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 09-09-19, 05:00 PM
  #39  
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I just did some reverse loops of my normal rides, and as others have said, it really is almost a different experience altogether. Also, at least for me, switching it up just a little bit, adding something different here, taking away some other part there, really can change the feel and experience of the ride. As someone said above, I'll have different objectives on the same routes. Hammer the hills, go for a target speed, target power output, etc. I only really get bored if I'm riding a very familiar route at a leisurely pace. Otherwise, having in-ride objectives helps keep my mind and body stimulated.
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Old 09-09-19, 05:13 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I have ridden out West in the Desert, Rockies, and vast Plains [and country roads], and while interesting and scenic, the views are [boring]unchanging for miles, and I really enjoy the intimate quirkiness of Metro Boston...
Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Fair. I prefer a change within the same ride. Some road, some trail, some technical etc. I think I need the mix during the ride to look forward to the next segment and break it up.
Thanks for your reply. I don't dislike scenic or rural visas, but as I posted earlier:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm very motivated by novelty, and stymied by boredom on a bike, but I do have the motivation of commuting to work. I have found that when I drive my frequent, decades-old routes I often notice things I had not seen before. I think it’s because I can look around at more than just the road surface when driving.

So when the commute [route] is getting too familiar, I just raise my head higher and look over a wider field of view
Maybe I should just look for more detail in those environs. I posted to this inquiry
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Routes in New England good for road bikes?

... as the OP, you don’t show your location, but likely outside of New England I presume, and I presume you are seeking rural routes. Your OP and the responses seem to studiously avoid Massachusetts.

Now, I am a “city slicker” and I have posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Suggestions for next epic ride”

Personally. I'm very happy cycling in Metro Boston, and have posted an informal Cycling Guide to Metro Boston that would make a nice hub and spoke tour of nine days...

It may seem parochial, but I think the cycling around here is great. One can be in scenic countryside within about one hour from downtown, while passing through an interesting, compact urban and suburban scene...
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Old 09-10-19, 06:16 AM
  #41  
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I find the beat way to keep cycling interesting is to dabble in multiple cycling varieties: paved, dirt/gravel roads, mountain biking (of which there are a few different varieties).

It allows you to buy more bikes, too
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Old 09-10-19, 08:16 AM
  #42  
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Strava heat maps still is up. Can't zoom in super far without a premium membership, but that plus Google maps can yield some new cool routes.

Consider time of day also. Your sig says Vancouver. I assume a pretty big metro area. Not sure how safe it is there, but here you can blast around like crazy on roads normally reserved for the murderous rat race vehicle commute. Going early AM on Sat/Sun often opens up some cool stuff in busy areas.

A popular one here is folks will roar through the local international airport roads on Sat/Sun mornings as there is nobody out.

Segment hunt stuff that isn't part of the "big loop" rides. Like stuff in neighborhoods or on their own. Sometimes it's a new adventure just to find it. Segment explorer is your friend also.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:23 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Strava heat maps still is up. Can't zoom in super far without a premium membership
No you don't. I have a free account only, and brought up the heatmap and was able to zoom as close as I wanted, without losing detail...
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Old 09-10-19, 08:41 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I find the beat way to keep cycling interesting is to dabble in multiple cycling varieties: paved, dirt/gravel roads, mountain biking (of which there are a few different varieties).

It allows you to buy more bikes, too
Yeah, I'm heading down this path. Looking at getting in to mountain biking in the off-season. And you're right. Good excuse to get another bike!
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Old 09-10-19, 09:38 AM
  #45  
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Check out the indoor track. https://www.burnabyvelodrome.ca I have never been bored riding the track and one can only go around the same course over and over and make left hand turns.
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Old 09-10-19, 10:02 AM
  #46  
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Personally, unless I am commuting or doing errands, I seldom go for a bike ride with a plan or a set route. I am fortunate that where I live I can go many different ways and not be all that repetitive with the routes. I also use all four of my bikes at different times and that changes things quite a bit. I do usually start out in a direction that is going to put give me the head wind most of the way out and the tailwind coming back. That often does not work out that way due to swirling/changing wind. Most rides, if I have some kind of limit, it is usually time related, and that is not very often. Also, for me, just stopping once in awhile to look at something, take a picture, stretch, or even just to sit still for a couple of minutes, helps to break up monotony, if I am feeling like that.
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Old 09-10-19, 10:05 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
No you don't. I have a free account only, and brought up the heatmap and was able to zoom as close as I wanted, without losing detail...
Say wha? Alright. Thanks.

I got a message once a few months back when I tried to zoom in really far to figure out where there was a little bandit trail cut thru that could cut serious time off my trek to and from the gravel trails.
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Old 09-10-19, 04:36 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Say wha? Alright. Thanks.

I got a message once a few months back when I tried to zoom in really far to figure out where there was a little bandit trail cut thru that could cut serious time off my trek to and from the gravel trails.
That happens to me, but only when I'm not logged in to Strava, or am using an ingognito page
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