Recently I’ve been doing quite a bit of riding around the local Surrey Hills in my quest to get fitter for our trip to Wales. And I think it’s paying off in that I feel charged up and looking forward to the next ride most days now. Not that I’m getting out most days but you know what I mean. I’m enthusiastic, and the flipside of getting fitter the more you ride is that you want to ride more as you get fitter.
But life is a paradox as someone may once have said. Could have been a philosopher of Socratic stature although more likely one of my mates down the pub. Whatever, the paradox here is that the more you ride, the more familiar you become with your local trails, leading to a real danger of boredom setting in. Mike Davis on BikeMagic has just been speculating on the theme of trails being too easy, albeit in the context of people complaining that some trail centres aren’t challenging them enough and reckons it’s the rider’s fault if they think things are too easy.
I have to agree with Mike’s view, it is up to you to make things interesting, even if it means putting broken glass down your shorts (or preferably, your mates’ shorts). Local trails don’t have to be boring, especially our Surrey Hills as there’s such a wealth of routes to take.
The other night was a case in point. Rather than ride over Ranmore to Westcott and then back through Mickleham we headed up Juniper Bottom and did the long descent down to Brockham and then back up to Box Hill via the North Downs Way. We even broke the rules and rode down the grassy face of Box Hill in the deepening gloom with the London lights clearly visible on the horizon and rolling English hills around us. Fantastic.
I’ve also been giving myself the singlespeed challenge that I’ve posted about recently. Again this has made the local trails quite a different proposition with the need to attack climbs while still picking clean lines that give enough grip when I’m pedalling out of the saddle. That’s without my new bike (still frustratingly just out of reach on the horizon), new gear, new clothes, different trails, good riding company, there’s just so many things to stop the boredom setting in.
So the point is, try something different. It doesn’t really matter what you try, just make the effort. Sometimes it’s even better.