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5 Ways to Refresh Your Summer Ride

By Megan Flottorp

It’s mid-season, the weather is heating up, and you might be starting to feel like your ride could use a bit of a revamp. Whether you need the motivation to get out on your bike or are looking to strengthen an existing routine, here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of the rest of your summer.

Start a training program

Even if you’re late to jump on the bandwagon, you’ve still got months of cycling ahead of you, so it’s not too late to commit to a summer training plan. Having a program in place gives you that extra push to get out for a ride and helps you keep track of your progress. You’ll get fitter, ride faster, and go further. Depending on what you’re looking to accomplish, you can find a plan that will help you increase endurance through harder blocks, more frequent changes of pace, and learn how riding at speed intervals can help you push your boundaries even further.

Get lost somewhere new

It’s easy to get stuck riding the same loop come training day. Although it’s great to have a tried and true route by which you can evaluate progress and zone out when you just want to get the legs burning, it is worth it to go against the habit from time to time. Figure out how many different ways there are to get away from traffic around your place and start trying them out. When you have the time set aside for a longer ride, use it to discover roads you’ve never been on, to leave in a different direction, or to take the risk of gravel roads. You’re likely to end up with the satisfaction of a “why didn’t I do this sooner?” feeling and you’ll probably ride even longer than if you stuck to your usual route.

Learn how to take better care of your wheels

Take care of your bike, and your bike will take care of you. Summer is a great time to get to know your ride a little bit better and to brush up on some maintenance and repair techniques. One of the biggest obstacles preventing riders from taking on longer or more adventurous rides is the fear that something will go wrong and they’ll be unable to repair their bike. Lots of community organizations offer bike repair workshops and seminars, you can also find great resources online or even stop by your local shop and ask some questions to freshen up your skills.

Take pictures! (of your surroundings)

It is great to see pictures of riders doing what they love, but the social media pressure can sometimes put a damper on reaching your own goals and feeling good about your progress. If you love documenting your rides with photos, why not try taking at least one photo a day without your face in it. Riding your bike is about the joy of being in nature and seeing new things, snapping pictures is a great way to remember those moments. Even if you don’t think you’re looking at anything extraordinary, this rule will help you rediscover a familiar route, and find something you didn’t notice before.

Treat yourself

The virtues of healthy eating are repeated often for a reason. That being said, cycling in the summer heat means that you’re burning major calories and, frankly – you deserve to compensate with a little extra something. A fun way to plan a new route is to source out a great little bakery or ice cream joint. Pretty much every small town has at least one claim to fame when it comes to finding a local delicacy. Get a recommendation, plan a ride, and reward yourself for a good session and trying something new. You’ll discover a new place, help a local business, and have recharged your energy stock for the ride home.