Unfortunately, the distance we’re allowed to cycle has been restricted once more. We must now keep our rides within a local radius but that doesn’t necessarily make them boring or monotonous. Read on for some of the many ways to keep your local rides interesting, all while still following the national guidelines.
It’s time to explore your local area fully and that means using Strava to find those tucked away segments. Check out the segment mapper on the website to find all manner of sectors that people have deemed worthy enough to time. Look for a particularly challenging segment and turn it into a key section of your ride. You could even challenge your ride mates to see if they can beat your time, become the area’s local legend or even chase the climb’s KOM crown.
Once your favourite route starts to get a little boring, how about mixing it up and riding it in reverse? Although you’re using the same roads, approaching them from a different direction can make it feel like a totally new route. You’ll see the ride from a different angle and perhaps notice things that you might have missed before. The grinding false flats become active recovery, sharp descents become challenging climbs and vice versa… It’s amazing how different this small change can make the ride, especially off-road.
Keeping it local means switching up the parameters by which you judge a ‘good’ or successful ride. So try not to get obsessed by distances and focus on something else instead, for example, time and elevation. Create an interconnecting circuit that packs in as much elevation as possible, or find a good Strava segment and do stack up some reps. This way you can start to focus on your form on the bike, quick recovery after sharp efforts and climbing style. These local reps will improve your skills over time, keep you motivated and riding hard.
Race against yourself
Getting bored without a ride partner to hold impromptu races against? Fear not, because if you have a Garmin you can create your own race experience against your toughest opponent, your own shadow. Garmin Virtual Partner allows you to race against yourself in real time when you are out on your local circuit. Simply set a pace and race against it on certain segments or for your whole ride. Your Garmin will then alert you to say if you’re ahead or behind your partner at certain intervals. Sometimes the best motivation can be found competing against yourself.
Everesting is one of the hardest ways you can push yourself on a bike during lockdown. It refers to the challenge of riding to the height of the tallest mountain in the world by doing repeated efforts on one climb. Pedalsure ambassador Francis Cade completed the challenge last year on Zwift and showed that it isn’t one for the faint hearted. You have to be well prepared, fit and ready for a long day in the saddle as you try and rack up 8,849 metres of elevation on just one climb. Alternatively, you could set yourself a different style of challenge like Chris Hall did last December with his epic trenching ride on Box Hill.
Lastly, creating a piece of Strava art on your ride will prevent you from getting bored and may help you discover previously overlooked local roads. Maybe you’ve always thought that your favourite route looks a little like an animal or some of your local routes interconnect to form the Millennium Falcon – with GPX Art there are no limits or boundaries, just get creating. There’s even an Instagram feed dedicated to this unique of artforms.
Staying motivated and keeping things interesting while in lockdown has been a goal shared by many over the past year or so. Even from afar you can still encourage and be encouraged by your ride mates who may very likely be feeling the same lack of motivation to ride. For more tips concerning lockdown cycling, make sure to check out How To Be Self-Reliant Cycling in Lockdown and 7 Ways To Keep Cycling Through Lockdown.
An even better way to make yourself more self-sufficient on the bike is by taking out one of our cycle insurance policies. Pedalsure can insure all of your bikes and accessories and cover them even in your home. The fact is, you won’t find many of the things we cover in your typical home insurance policies.
Taking out a policy with us means that your bike is protected in cases of bike theft and damage. Pedalsure can also protect you, your bike and your accessories in mass participation events and races, in cases of personal injury, personal liability and when you are travelling abroad. Getting yourself set up with a Pedalsure policy is something you only have to do once a year, but you benefit from on every ride.