There’s something incredibly exciting about exploring a city by bike – even one you’ve lived in your entire life. While midweek cycling might be confined to quick and easy transportation trips – running errands, grocery shopping, and traveling where you need to go – weekends and holidays were made for leisurely, exploratory rides.
You get to duck down backstreets and passageways, discover hidden art, and really enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.
When you’re on a bike, you’re completely immersed in your surroundings. Instead of peering through glass windows as you take the same old car journey, you’ll hear the sounds of street musicians and sidewalk cafe chatter, you’ll catch the scent of bakeries before you can even see them, and uncover local gems you didn’t know existed.
We’ve put a few ideas together on how you can blaze a new trail during your adventure rides.
- Pick a bike share station
Look at the system map and randomly select a bike share station you haven’t used yet. Not only will your route take you to a new part of town, but you can lock up and spend an hour visiting local restaurants, stores and attractions.
- Spy on Strava
Ride logging and comparison website Strava is an excellent place to see the routes that local riders in your area are taking. Users can also share digital maps of routes with other riders, which can be downloaded and will give you directions as you cycle.
- Join a group ride
Group rides allow you to explore with fellow cyclists, and range from social rides that end at a local bar to intense training rides for speed and distance. Search for local cycling clubs and bike groups (or bike operators like us) and you’ll find an array of themed rides – history, food, art – with the ride route already taken care of.
- Get lost
In the age of GPS navigation, it’s hard to get lost anywhere, but perhaps you should try harder next time you’re on a bike. Even on familiar streets and trails, allow yourself to be tempted down a side street, and then another. If you usually turn left at a particular stop light, turn right. There are few greater pleasures than unexplored paths.
ASSIGNMENT: Take the road less traveled today.
Throughout January, we’re giving tips, tricks and motivation to help you ride your bike every day. Follow the #DailyRideChallenge on Twitter and Facebook. No bike? No problem. Sign up for your $15 monthly bike share membership, which comes with 60 minutes of ride time every day.