Out of the Ordinary

For most of us, there comes a point in the season when our riding is more by rote than purpose. The days are long, the sunshine as plentiful as debt, and the rides have the uniformity of a white wall. That cycling can be routine within our lives is both a blessing and a curse for it is within routine that boredom attacks, that even the best elements of our lives can become dreary.

This is the first step toward overtraining.

The only answer is to break the routine, to do something unusual, maybe even something wacky. Longer rides, easier rides, shorter rides, any of those can help, but whimsy, it is within whimsy we can be refreshed and find joy.

Here’s to rides we don’t do, places we don’t go, kits we don’t wear and terrain, whether of geography or mind, terrain to make the world new.


  1. A-Trav

    Yep. I was just talking to somebody on the last holiday ride bemoaning the fact that it’s gotten way too serious lately. He said he used to take non-cyclists (gasp!) along for the ride- but not any more…

  2. dstan58

    In the 1980s, I spent several springs training and racing in Austin, TX. One of our favorite “clear the head” rides was from Austin to the Shiner brewery about 80 miles Southeast of town. We’d choose a day with a solid tailwind, someone would drive the van down & the rest of us would fly that tailwind down to the brewery and have a pop while we waited for the van. Then we’d load up (the van) and drive back North to Austin.

  3. John in Miami

    Or ride with someone new to cycling and try and motivate them to ride more. Slowing down to help other cyclists can be just as rewarding!

  4. Souleur

    I’m down with that

    when the Hi pressure system set up over the midwest like a fat lady in the circus, nothings moving and the thermometer has been set at 104 every day for what seems to be a month.

    which is not conducive to training, riding…racing

    so buddy called up and said ‘lets load up the mtn bikes and go’

    Best thing ever

    we can start early, pack water in camel packs and ride like kids without a computer

  5. J-man's Dad

    New roads. Just drove from California to Georgia & back. On the way out got to ride with my daughter in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, & Tennesee. Terrain & roads as different (& refreshing) as can be from our regular routes…

  6. jimmy

    Saturday rides with other cyclist dads and our young kids in cargo bikes, Big Dummies, or trailers to distant parks makes for satisfying well balanced adventures. And the boys dream of pedaling long rides themselves as we ride home focusing on souplesse so as not to wake them.

  7. michael

    i think we need permission to post pictures on this one. this quick hit inspired me to pull out my most hideous kit in the closet for my ride today.

  8. ben

    I feel this post definitely. A week or so ago I was feeling the results of over-training. Flat legs. Getting dropped on the group rides, etc. Not fun…though I did have some nice conversations w/ dudes in the same boat.

    Lucky for me a vacation was on the schedule. 1 week off the bike. Camping. Chasing kids around the woods. Hot springs. Beer. The only downside was drewling over all of the amazing mountain roads I wasn’t riding.

    I feel rested and looking forward to going full gas for the rest of the road racing season and then some nice long cool weather fall rides in September and October.

  9. PeterLeach

    I’m a big fan of John in Miami’s suggestion of “… ride with some-one new to cycling …” – and of hitting the single track with some kids [no matter what their ages] – as circuit breakers when it all gets too ordinary.
    Just be aware that pine forests, single track and over-excited kids [me] can mean torn rotator cuffs 🙁

  10. Tom

    just spent 9 days completely away from the bike. took the family camping for the week. rode to work this morning and the legs felt fresh AND rusty all at the same time.

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