Finding New Routes in 3 Easy Steps

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery.
 
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, embedded in a routine, and feel unable to break out of this. Runners and cyclists alike have this feeling sometimes. They feel like they’re just running the same old, tired road. It saps your motivation when you start to see the same things over and over again. If you’re not working on establishing a PB on a specific route, monotony can suck.
 
There are two great advantages of running over cycling when it comes to choosing a course.

 

Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

First, runners can run just about anywhere. Urban and rural routes alike are easy to navigate for a runner. All they need to do is turn down a different side street on a given day and suddenly it’s a whole new run. Second, runners don’t typically have to worry about riding off a cliff on a turn they don’t know because they’re going to fast.

So as cyclists who want to try out a new route, how can we do it?

Get out for that ride. Just start. It'll be the beginning of something great.
Strava Heatmaps help identify where rides have happened
Strava Heatmap
We all want to discover that amazing route that no one has ever ridden. We want to be explorers. But we’ve only got so much time, and again, there’s that whole driving off a cliff thing again.
 
So don’t reinvent the wheel.
 
Apps like Strava and Trailforks let you see exactly where people are riding. Communities like ecmtb.net, Pinkbike and NSMB are let you see what rider are saying. They’ve done all the work for you. You can see how they got there and whether or not they got out. There’s lots of data, and people to help you. 
 
The apps feature simple methods to figure out if a route can be ridden because it literally tells you whether or not people are riding it.
 
If you want to head off into the woods and manage and tend to a trail, go for it. It’s fun. Trust me. 
 
If you’re looking for a trail, it’s easier to go where the people are.

 

Does Everyone Have a Riding Buddy?

Can't beat meeting new riding buddies.
There’s a good chance that there are a lot of really great riders in your area and an even greater chance that they’re good people, cyclists usually are.
 
So ask.
 
Find a local rider that you’ve seen around town, or at the shop, or at an event, or wherever and say, “hey, I’m looking for some new trails…would you mind if I tagged along with you sometime.”
 
Don’t get upset if they say no. They might be training for something specific or they might just not have time.
 
But many are going to say yes and then you have a) a new route and b) a new riding buddy.
 
Half the fun of cycling is going to be the people you get to do it with.

Can’t Beat Em? Join Em.

Instead of hooking up with just one local rider, why not absorb the mass wisdom of an entire club.
 
Join a club.
 
Not only will they take you to some pretty awesome places, but you’ll make friends; the kind of friends that will be daft enough to head off onto a brand new trail with you some time.
 
The sense of community that comes from the shared passion of cycling is infectious and it will absolutely make you a better rider. We even happen to think it will make you a better person.
 
And if you are still struggling with finding a good route for your next ride, just ask us.

 

Join a Club, and you never know where the rides will take you!

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