Defeating Training Tedium: How I keep My Riding Fresh

For anyone who knows me, this won’t be a surprise. I love to ride my bike. I ride a lot. I also get bored easily. Once I started increasing my mileage a few years ago, these two dominant character traits met head on. My motivation was waning because I was riding the same things all the time.

A heatmap of rides covering 400 square miles around my home.

I had to do something to spice up my rides and workouts.

It started with my commutes. I set out to ride every road and trail between home and the office. This quickly grew to include options that weren’t exactly on the way.

But at some point, this evolved. I don’t know the exact moment but now I have a requirement that every ride I do include something I’ve never ridden before. Sometimes it would be a completely new ride and other times, I would work a new road or trail into an old staple.

I don’t usually have a plan. I just hop on my bike and start riding with a general area and direction in mind. This haphazard approach has resulted in a lot of cool discoveries. Whether it’s a previously unknown trail, a spectacular viewpoint, or an elaborate chicken coop, I always find new and interesting things. This approach has also resulted in gaps in the heatmap. These are roads that I passed up previously that now stick out like a sore thumb when looking at my heatmap.

I didn’t set out with the goal of riding everything, but lately I’ve found myself going back and filling in gaps to get roads that I had missed.

I’ve ridden ever road and trail in my home town of Newcastle and am well on my way towards completing the neighboring cities of Renton, Bellevue, Issaquah and Mercer Island. I’ve also checked off a few tiny towns like Index and Skykomish during various adventures.

It’s getting harder and harder to find new things to ride. Because I start most rides from home, I have farther and farther to ride before I find new things. But that just adds to the adventure.

What’s next? I plan to keep this rule and keep riding new things. Though, I may need to get back into trail running to fill in some of the large voids in the map where bikes aren’t allowed.

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  1. Troy, I enjoyed reading How I keep My Riding Fresh. Have you seen - I've just signed up for it today, from what I read it seems the tool is designed to help you find every unique road, exactly like what you described in your blog you're looking for.
    Greetings from Berlin!

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