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Old 03-05-03, 01:56 PM   #1
MikeR
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Tricks to keep the Adventure in cycling

cycletourist said
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a recreational cyclist is someone who rides for fun, fitness and adventure.
and I agree. I want to talk about the Adventure part of it. Is all your adventure via serendipity or do you plan some of it?

No matter how much you like to do something, doing the exact same thing every day can get boring. Do you have any tricks to keep the rides varied and interesting?

For instance:
About once a month, I like to have some kind of Ďspecialí ride. It might be an organized event or a solo ride in unfamiliar territory using a cue sheet I got out of a book or off a cycle clubís web site. Occasionally Iíll pick a good looking, new area off the state map, drive the car to that area and cycle around there. Any new area that I have to be in for business or other matters is a potential for a cycle adventure. I recently had a great ride in Denver, while on business (thanks to DnvrFox).

Those ideas are pretty typical, but here are some ideas that are a little different:

I like to get Ďlostí while on my bike. Iíll follow a cue sheet half way out and then follow my nose.

In unfamiliar territory Iíll consult the map and pick out a general areaís boundaries to stay in (no farther north than RT 66, stay east of the river, and west of the mountains, etc). Then Iíll go get ĎLostí within the that 400 square miles, knowing that Iím never too far from my car.

Hereís some I want to try:
To get my loops bigger while still sleeping at home, I plan to drive my car out about 50 or 60 miles, park the car and cycle home. Iíll sleep at home and the next day cycle back to the car via a different route.

Cycle far to a friends, or relativeís house and get them to bring me home.

What tricks do you use to create the adventure?
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Old 03-05-03, 07:25 PM   #2
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I like to ride as far out as I can by a set time, usually noon, and then return by a slightly different route. I also like to get lost on my way home from work. That can easily add 20 or 30 miles. I spend a fair amount of time looking at bike maps and try to figure ways to connect various rides to make a longer ride. My current project is to try to ride from my boss's beach house in RI to ME to visit my husband's major professor on one of the harbor islands. Regular cell phone check-ins reduce familial anxiety to acceptable levels for everyone.
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Old 03-06-03, 12:10 AM   #3
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Sometimes I plan a route.. then go to my club and bring other riders...
sometimes I get lost and find my way back...
I love getting new riders into the sport.. or showing a new route to an good coffee spot or lbs
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Old 03-06-03, 12:54 AM   #4
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Well, I've got so many different rides around here to choose from, I can often go quite a while without doing a particular one. Doing a ride I haven't done for a while keeps the excitement going for me, or finding a new one...
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Old 03-06-03, 04:32 AM   #5
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I like to ride with a general direction in mind, but make the route up as I go along. With a network of small country lanes, you can do a different route each time.
I like themed rides, taking in as many steep hills, or fords, or windmills or whatever. I like exploring small tracks and trails, and riding along waterways.
In London I did a treasure hunt ride one Sunday morning, and discovered a whole new part of the city.
To me , a bike is a tool for exploration.
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Old 03-06-03, 06:35 AM   #6
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I like to go places not just ride, I ride my bike to family functions that are far from home, I ride on vacation or just do mini tours on the weekend, I never experiance bordom as long as I'm going somewhere.
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Old 03-06-03, 07:08 AM   #7
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My current project is to try to ride from my boss's beach house in RI to ME to visit my husband's major professor on one of the harbor islands.
Ya know, every place I go and every relative and friend I see any more, becomes a mental thought "How can I turn this into a bike ride"

My daughter has to be dropped off at a friends house that's 100 miles away. First thing I thought of is "OOOh that looks like a nice cycle area on the map. I'll load the bike up and take a ride after I drop her off" The family doesn't mind because I don't complain about driving them someplace like I used to.
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Old 03-06-03, 07:10 AM   #8
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To me , a bike is a tool for exploration.
Well said!
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Old 03-06-03, 07:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelW
To me , a bike is a tool for exploration.
Seconded. That's why my favourite bike is a well loaded tourer.
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Old 03-06-03, 09:37 PM   #10
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While like others I have a destination in mind I try to make the ride as spontaneous as possible and try to focus on the moment not time,distance,direction etc. or any planning of the ride in great detail.When I take off on a day or even weekend ride it is because I feel like it and usually an impulsive last minite decision .Having said that I try not to get totally lost as that can be dangerous around here.I do vary the routes usually going in a circular loop and always starting and ending at my front door.Also I combine other activities with the cycling at my destination/destinations such as hiking,lounging at the beach/outdoor cafe/picnic table or walking around the mall/store(a favorite to escape midday heat lol) etc. so as Michael mentioned the bicycle is sort of the mode of transportation or tool for adventure as it puts you in the right frame of mind.Also loading the bike even if its just extra water/food/clothes more than I will use tends to put me in the right frame of mind both due to the extra challenge and the association with past adventures.I just used a duffel bag on my back for this before I got a rear rack as this seemed to ride lower on my back than a backpack thus less stressful.
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Old 03-06-03, 11:00 PM   #11
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My latest trick for getting "lost" is to look at one of my "disposable" maps. I once grabbed a bunch of local maps from a rental car counter upon returning to SEATAC in the hopes I could use them for cycling. Sticking any paper product in my jersey pockets often results in so much damp pulp by the end of the day. Real maps are expensive and I didn't want to be bothered with ziploc bags. The maps however are so horrible that whenever I try to use them I get totally lost. For reliable routes, I now have a set of quality guide and mapbooks I use but I find a lot of times that if I pretend like I know exactly how to get some place without any aide, I'll get completely lost.
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Old 03-07-03, 12:55 AM   #12
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Can't say I ever get bored.. Always something new to see on the same old road.. Maybe a different lunch or I like to put my bike on a train and just find my way back.. With an ocean to cycle adjacent to, you are never bored.. Often on the same old route you might pull up adjacent to a new rider who remarks about your jersey and you start talking about where all you have cycled.. Make new bike friendships is easy when you share such an important common interest..
Boring, no not a concern..
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Old 03-11-03, 01:54 AM   #13
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Find a pair of roadies wearing the exact same jerseys riding their racer wannabe high zoot bikes and procede to blow by them on a climb riding a commuter converted steel MTB with a Camelbak. This works especially well after they've passed you a couple minutes ago while stopped at a light with a snide remark. (They never did catch up either. However I did here a "what tha'" as I passed)
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Old 03-11-03, 02:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Raiyn
Find a pair of roadies wearing the exact same jerseys riding their racer wannabe high zoot bikes and procede to blow by them on a climb riding a commuter converted steel MTB with a Camelbak. This works especially well after they've passed you a couple minutes ago while stopped at a light with a snide remark. (They never did catch up either. However I did here a "what tha'" as I passed)
I did a similar thing to someone in the Brisbane River Ride a few months back. Some guy on an ultra-spanky road bike thought I wasn't descending fast enough in a non-competitive ride. I just blew him away on the next climb, with a few contemptuous words of my own.
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Old 03-11-03, 06:01 AM   #15
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Some great ideas ! I have no trouble getting lost quite often I come out of that hypnotic state were your brain is busy on its own while riding ,to find Ive gone way past my turn off & my surroundings are unfamiliar:confused: I then have to ask myself where I am spost to be going !! Dumb arse old fart eh
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Old 03-11-03, 07:21 AM   #16
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My mood will vary greatly. There have been days when I thought I didn't really feel like riding, and I think - well, what the heck, I will just go a few miles, and find myself on a long ride. Other times, I think I am going for a long ride, and for some reason, find myself exhausted and come home.

I find adventure in the change of seasons, in seeing a deer or a fox, in meeting new people, in following a path I haven't tried before, in stopping at McDonalds for one of their $1.00 low fat fruit parfaits (really good with fresh strawberries), in going slow and seeing everything or in going fast and trying to beat a time record.

I also have a number of different trail rides right out my backdoor, and, if I want, I will load the bike in the car (the road is under construction and is not yet safe) and go just 4 miles north where I have a whole new set of trails, including riding a loop around a reservior, riding into downtown Denver, etc.

So, many, many choices also lead to a great variety and adventure.
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Old 03-11-03, 11:37 AM   #17
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at McDonalds for one of their $1.00 low fat fruit parfaits (really good with fresh strawberries),
Yep, the're great on a summer ride.
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Old 03-12-03, 11:41 PM   #18
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Great tips THANKS!!
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