You know when you were at school, and there was the cool way to do your hair? And then there were school shoes which were considered cooler than other styles? And then there were trends that rippled through, like rolling your sleeves up on your sports teeshirt. It would ripple like a plague through the school, gradually spreading to everyones shoes, sleeves and hair.
It can be likened with todays super food trends. How cool is it to sit down drinking kale? Or adding stevia to your cereal, because have you seen how many calories are in honey!? And we need to be able to fit these hips into those new trendy jeans, and if we had honey it just wont work out for anyone.
When I was living up north in Yeppoon, I grew tired of limited roads to ride and run on. I got sick of looping around on a long ride, and covering the same ground several times. And I am fairly sure that the wallabies that I rode past five times, were sick of seeing me too. I was aching for variety. I was dreaming of mountains. And 5 months later, I have been back on the Sunshine Coast loving riding my old loops, soaking up the coastal vistas, and mountainous panoramas. Though after 5 months of riding back in my old stomping ground. I can be quoted saying this like… “around the next corner, when you take a right at the lights, the second intersection you come to there is a weird hole in the road… avoid it!” When you have intimate knowledge and description of pot holes, it is definitely time for a change…
I was riding with a girlfriend the other day, and we took a left hand turn. Half way along that left turn, I realised that I had taken the left hand turn, one left hand turn earlier than I should have. And that lovely flat country road that was expected and very much wanted, was actually the next left down the road. Ooopps. I had a problem, because the road was rising above before our very front wheels and a 15% climb was looming. But my girlfriend didn’t know this. I had an internal dilemma and decided to pretend this was the road we were meant to ride down (or in this case, up!) all along. I later told my girlfriend that I had made a mistake, and she didn’t even realise (though I am fairly sure in her head she was cursing me for the stinging climb). The silver lining of my navigational mistake was that we got to ride on a beautiful road that I had ridden on only once before (thanks Strava for telling me that this was my second attempt at this nasty, grinding, painful, and VERY sweaty climb!).
So this got me thinking about Yeppoon, and how I was aching for new roads and new adventures. I realised I was still yearning for the roads less travelled. There is a definite beauty in riding through the trees on a country road, climbing up into the hinterland. Riding through forests with bellbirds singing. It makes you feel fresh and rejuvenated. It can also make you a stronger, more versatile rider. You have to be more vigilant and alert, you are riding roads you might not have ridden before, who knows what is around the corner? Oh that climb we were avoiding was around the corner, oh well up we go!
My goal for the year is to find those roads less travelled. Don’t ride the same loop over and over, no matter how beautiful it is. Explore, explore and explore. Be less attached to the stats. Take the time to look around and appreciate the amazing places that we can ride to by bike. Get lost, and find your way home. Allow your breath to be taken away. Not once, but over and over and over. Chase those hills. Climb for the awesome view. Descend with confidence and grace. And drink more coffee than ever before (actually I might try and decrease my caffeine intake, its unnaturally high and I am becoming far too resilient)!
Next time you ride with a friend, why not ride somewhere different? Don’t stick to the same route simply because you have to go to work and its a safe bet to get you home on time. Don’t move through your rides like a robot set on cruise control, appreciate the beauty that is around you. Allow the new route open your eyes to hidden beauties. Be in wonderment and awe. Try not to get stuck in a rut with the route that you ride, even if you think its the trending place to ride. Don’t follow the crowd, create your own path. Keep yourself on your toes. A bike isn’t simply a piece of fitness equipment, its a tool for adventure.
I hope you get lost, and find somewhere amazing xxx