Riding on the road is fantastic, you get to see some of the most incredible things, you see things you wouldn't normally see if you were driving along in the car at 40/50mph. Whether it be that little stream, wildlife or old building. It's gorgeous, but you can get sick of the same sights no matter how lovely they may be. If you are fed up of going on the same old roads and you are longing to find some new roads without putting the bike in the car and heading off on a road trip then we have some top tips that could help you reinvent your road ride!
Get a local map or OS map and study it
Look deep into the map and root out those little lanes and side roads. One little lane that you thought of not taking because 1, you either thought it didn't go anywhere or 2, what would be the point because it would probably only take you in a circle or something like that? Well, that lane could lead to another, where you could discover a new climb or an interesting pond or lake? Granted it may only be one mile long. But little add ons and detours can really change the dynamics of the ride.
If you don't want to take the plunge without checking it out first then get on google and use the google street view tool. This is a great way to scope out the road before you have even got on the bike! Just drop the little man onto the lane you want to look at and you can get a pretty detailed view of the lane which you were thinking about taking.
It doesn't stop there though, Are you on Strava? Chances are you are, is there anyone you are following that you think may ride a good route or do something a bit different. If so take a look at their ride. If you know them, ask them if they can share the route with you and you can upload it to your device so you are able to navigate your way along.
Try a local sportive.
Sometimes they can really find some cool new roads for you to try. Because they are organised routes and you know that you are not going to get lost 50 miles away from home they are a really good way to show you the odd one or two new roads.
Are you in a club?
The local cycling club will have a number of members that probably know the eare pretty well. Tagging along with the club run can open new roads to your bike riding. before you know it you have a comprehensive catalogue of new routes and roads. If you find some pretty cool one, don't forget to share them with your mates! they are probably looking for the same thing!
If you really just want to wing it on the day, just turn off the main road. It's as simple as that really. Take a road you have never taken before, even if you don't really know where it goes. Its got to go somewhere so just go and see! It may just surprise you. These kind of rides can also be some of the best training as you are just not sure what is coming up next!
Buy a gravel bike
This may seem like a bit of a strange suggestion. But buying a gravel bike mean you have more roads! Well.. more tracks to link to roads anyway. This can really invent your ride dramatically. Tracks you could never take on your road bike suddenly are accessible for you to explore! what are you waiting for! Get out there and ride!