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My Bike Outings have become a Groundhog Day Scenario

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My Bike Outings have become a Groundhog Day Scenario

Old 05-18-21, 07:23 PM
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uncle uncle
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My Bike Outings have become a Groundhog Day Scenario

So... not that it's really C&V related (though, maybe the answer lies within a C&V stable of bicycles), but my bicycle outings have become like the movie Groundhog Day. I seem to go out on the basically the same few routes, mostly because I'm pressed for time (and they are easy to access, time wise), and they are safe (mostly MUP's with very little interaction with engine-powered, road hogging, inattentive, motorists). What are your tricks to break up the same-old same-old outings? Do having numerous bicycles help, or hinder, your experiences?
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Old 05-18-21, 07:46 PM
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That's me too! I ride the same basic route day in day out. Mix it up on the weekends adding in more miles and climbs and such. I mix it up but having a lot of bikes and pretty much taking a different bike out each day.
I also realized recently that my rides were almost all about the workout and little about the joy of riding.

So I picked up a crazy, cool Pashley Guv'nor to use for fun riding where I'm just enjoying the experience out on a bike. So now I come home each day, hope on a road bike, and ride some variation of my normal base route. Then after dinner I hope on the Guv'nor and go back out for a ride not worrying about pace or anything else, just enjoying the time out on the bike.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:50 PM
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A few years ago I discovered that taking the same routes but in the opposite direction (counter flow!) adds a great deal of enjoyment.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:54 PM
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This reminds me of one of my posts from last year, route fatigue when I started the spring season with loads of enthusiasm but started to get tired of the the same routes I chose to ride on. Some great advice from fellow forum members.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:14 PM
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I change it up with some gravel rides and mtb rides.
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Old 05-18-21, 10:33 PM
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I did the 30 days of biking challenge for April and just working to get a ride in every day in Wisconsin weather kept me enthused but now Iíve also hit a wall with my routes. I think Iíll have to shuttle my bike to some new starting points to bring back some interest. Iíve also been riding and checking off some of the 120 designated Rustic Roads in WI but most I havenít biked are now more than an hour or two by car so I canít do them regularly.

Riding for a destination like a craft brewery also helps my motivation 🍺
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Old 05-18-21, 10:47 PM
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Yeah, my solo riding and jogging routes tend to be pretty much the same. It's familiar, comfortable, relatively safe and low drama. I've been hit by cars enough already, and had way too many close calls. I don't need more drama in a bike ride.

Occasionally I'll join group rides for a little change of pace, although not often the past year.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:49 AM
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Not so much my routes, but my routines.
Heavy fast bike on Tueday/Wednesday. Fun, slower paced ride the day after that (usually to a brewery). Friday's a short spin. Saturday is long distance, endurance ride.
Every week, the same routine, only broken up by weather. But, I do try to purposely find different routes, breweries, stops,
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Old 05-19-21, 11:29 AM
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Well, I smoke a lot of dope......

Seriously, I understand. It's the same loop of MUP/neighborhoods that consists of most of my rides right now. I could do more, but I'm always trying to just get in a quick therapeutic 10 miles. I'm lucky I also have groomed city mtb park that I have lots of fun "underbiking" around.
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Old 05-19-21, 11:30 AM
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Just do what I'm doing this Summer: When you've grown tired of riding the same routes day in and day out -- move to another city.

Portland, Oregon, here I come!

(ok ok, there may be other factors in deciding to move, but the change of scenery for cycling was a huge motivator for me to find enough "good" reasons to leave Chicago)
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Old 05-19-21, 11:57 AM
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I take a different bike out for each ride, the Marinoni being my favorite one to ride...


The Torpado is nice and sports that vintage feel and appeal but the gearing is hard for me to deal with at my age...


The Legnano, also with gearing issues, is another favorite ride candidate and one bike that I have kept for many years...


The Rabeneick has yet to be after build tested. I did, however like the ride quality when I took it out for test rides before I decided to restore the bicycle...

Before restoration and when test ridden...


And soon, perhaps in the next day or two, this one will be added to my vary the ride category even though it will not get the full restoration treatment until August probably...


And, by the way, all of the pictures are of my riding neighborhood, which consists of two 9.6 kilometer loops of the same places each ride...

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Old 05-19-21, 12:00 PM
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I've been avoiding the busy bike trails due to covid but my suggestion would be to load up the car, drive 45 minutes to somewhere new and then go for a ride.
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Old 05-19-21, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bear_a_bug View Post
Just do what I'm doing this Summer: When you've grown tired of riding the same routes day in and day out -- move to another city.

Portland, Oregon, here I come!

(ok ok, there may be other factors in deciding to move, but the change of scenery for cycling was a huge motivator for me to find enough "good" reasons to leave Chicago)
Cool! As soon as you get settled, I'd be happy to get some rides in with you!
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Old 05-19-21, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
I've been avoiding the busy bike trails due to covid but my suggestion would be to load up the car, drive 45 minutes to somewhere new and then go for a ride.
Or, even better, if possible, take your bike on the commuter train and start from somewhere down or up the line.
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Old 05-19-21, 12:40 PM
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Great thread. Any and all ideas posted here are happily considered.

Another idea is to ride with someone new. Do a ride that they like and vice versa. Showing a new person one of your worn, but favorite rides helps you remember why they were favorites.

Last year when riding with large groups wasn't advisable I did a couple of S24O rides that were easy to socially distance on with nice large campsites at the end of the ride.

Now that things are opening up in the US, I've planned a couple of credit card tours this summer. Just planning for that makes my "groundhog day" rides more interesting, as I'm trying to get in better form than usual so I can keep up with my fellow riders!

I'm one of those odd cats that has been working from work over the past year. The commute gets boring, sometimes I take "the long way home", which is 25-30 miles vs 9 on my normal route. I look forward to those days!
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Old 05-19-21, 02:50 PM
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Being pressed for time, as the OP states, is a huge limiting factor. When time isn’t a serious consideration, I’ll often be putting a ride together as I go and as I feel though longer rides require more planning around food and water supply. Most rides I do are planned around distance/time, but am lucky to live in an area with many options (or I can take commuter rail out and increase those options).
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Old 05-19-21, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I'm one of those odd cats that has been working from work over the past year. The commute gets boring, sometimes I take "the long way home", which is 25-30 miles vs 9 on my normal route. I look forward to those days!
I took the 17-mile route to work today and the 3-mile route home!
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Old 05-19-21, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
(...) Do having numerous bicycles help, or hinder, your experiences?
For me that works, in the sense that the same route with different bikes helps me get a better feel for the - sometimes subtle - differences between bikes.

I do have a fair amount of different routes available from my front door, but every now and then I like to put a bike in the back of the car and drive out for an hour, or two, just for a change of scenery.
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Old 05-19-21, 04:12 PM
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I think alot of us can sympathize with you uncle uncle . We get tired of the same old routines. Being pressed for time is a tough one especially.
I like what @gugie said about riding with someone new and following their wheel or introducing them to your old favorites...
Riding different bikes that are similar don't help me much personally but I do find that riding a fixed gear does blow out the cobwebs. Every other road bike being geared, it just gives me a fresh perspective and forces me to pay attention.

I sometimes try to create rides based on a 'theme".
Sometimes it involves bringing along the camera and looking out for good photo opportunities, creating a 'story board" in my head as I ride along that I can share later in the "Where did you ride today" thread.
Other themes like linking bakeries or breweries or coffee shops together on a bike route.

Pick something hard to do: Something out of your comfort zone. Try riding at night (during a full moon....even better!) , or go farther than you're used to, don't be afraid to get lost, and find your way back again.
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Old 05-20-21, 08:01 AM
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Not sure if this helps at all, but there are some ideas/options on this website that seem cool.

Lots of terrific responses already, which doesn't surprise me coming from this group.
Sometimes I get all ready to hit the road and then stand at the end of my driveway not really sure where to begin. I have a handful of go-to routes, but sometimes I'll just pick a road along the way that I haven't ridden before and see what's there. Most of my riding is done during lower traffic hours, and I feel lucky to be able to do that. There are longer rides I have been putting off because of the time constraints.

And @northbend is right. Sometimes the monotony has a lot to do with comfort zone. Each time I have pushed myself beyond my own internal boundaries it has been a worthwhile riding experience.
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Old 05-20-21, 08:09 AM
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I should also add that I've been using https://cycle.travel/ for some route planning. You can optimize it to find paths/MUPs or just stick to roads, and it's directed me to routes quite close to what I usually ride, but just different enough to be interesting.
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Old 05-20-21, 08:38 AM
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Living in central Indiana it’s the same ride every day no matter the route. All the roads are straight with intersections every mile. And nothing but corn or beans to look at. Very, very boring.
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Old 05-20-21, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
That's me too! I ride the same basic route day in day out. Mix it up on the weekends adding in more miles and climbs and such. I mix it up but having a lot of bikes and pretty much taking a different bike out each day.
I also realized recently that my rides were almost all about the workout and little about the joy of riding.
This. As well as the comment about riding the same route in the opposite directions, or finding side loops to add both ways in the mix.
It's all about how I feel as well. My structured training/periodization/heart rate/threshold power days are well behind me now. Quite frankly, I don't miss them.
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Old 05-20-21, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Living in central Indiana itís the same ride every day no matter the route. All the roads are straight with intersections every mile. And nothing but corn or beans to look at. Very, very boring.
This is mostly true in East NC, as well, except it's cotton or soybeans. But there are some nice forests and swamps remaining, here and there.
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Old 05-20-21, 09:43 AM
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Ssdd

Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
This is mostly true in East NC, as well, except it's cotton or soybeans. But there are some nice forests and swamps remaining, here and there.
This made me stop and think. It's true that for almost all of us in the "first world" we tend to stay in our little niches, and so we only see the same thing every day.

But here's what I wonder. So of course varying our routes helps. What about doing each route with a different focus? Like, today my focus will be on wildlife: animals, birds, reptiles (there ARE some in Atlanta, yes). Tomorrow, finding every steep hill and challenging it (plenty of those in Atlanta!). Sunday, speed and distance. Monday, cadence cadence cadence. Etc.

I mean, from one perspective all of life is "same s##t different day" until the day of the Great Surprise. From another perspective--and I don't claim to be this enlightened--every moment of every day is an adventure if we just keep our eyes open.
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