7 Tips for Finding Great Local Cycle Training Routes
Finding new and exciting places to ride keeps life interesting. Training remains fresh and gives you new places to explore. New routes offer the chance to ride a previously unknown pleasant stretch of road or be greeted by a fantastic view. New routes avoid exercise boredom and help to increase distance avoiding cycling laps.
Let’s discover ways to find good local cycle training routes.
Things to Consider for Good Cycle Route Planning
It is best practice to put together different routes for different types of training. With this in mind, consider:
- Safety – Where possible, you want quiet roads that are as traffic free as possible.
- Distance – Ensure that you are riding within your limits, but the distance is not too easy. You want some challenge in your riding.
- Terrain – Try and assess aspects such as climbing involved and whether certain parts of the route could be subject to high winds. You may want to use Google Street View.
- Training – Plan routes suitable for your training for the day. For example, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will be different from say fasted riding. Try and find appropriate roads.
The following ideas should generate some new routes to ride.
Route Planner Apps
There are several cycle training apps you may want to try to find a good one for you. Most work with your phone, although some, like Garmin Connect, work with a Garmin enabled cycle computer. Phone-based apps require your phone to be secured to the handlebars rather than tucked into your jersey.
This may cause speed issues, however, and for more advice on this, read our post: Wear Lightweight Gear for Cycling Speed Improvements.
You’re probably familiar with Strava. If not, it is a sport app that among other things, tracks your cycling routes and provides data on your speed, power, distance ridden and road information. You can also use it to plan routes either by looking at the provided maps of where you’ve ridden, or use the Explore tab to find local segments.
Segments are where other riders local to you have marked a stretch of road as particularly challenging or interesting. You may want to look at this and incorporate it into your route if you see something you like.
As well as using segments you can see other routes your followers are riding as well. You may want to give them a try or incorporate part of it into your next training session.
Consider taking on the challenges provided by Strada to maintain motivation.
Ride a Local Sportive
Riding a sportive is great for your cycling as you have a training goal and the event itself is often exciting. Often, there is a real buzz riding with other cyclists. The chances are you’ll be riding on new roads, and this may give you good cycling route ideas for the future.
Turn Left See What Happens
Taking an unfamiliar road and exploring where it leads is a great way to find a new route. It is pot luck what you’ll find to a large degree. You may find a fantastic view or delicious climb, or find yourself approaching a motorway, and you have to turn around. Either way, it keeps things interesting, and if the cycling gods are smiling at you, you can find a great new place to ride and explore.
Join a Cycling Club
Cycling clubs offer camaraderie, encouragement and great cycling routes to discover. Most active club know every road in your local area, and after a few rides, you’ll learn them too. The advantages of a club are many and if you don’t think one club is right for you, leave and join another.
The better clubs organise rides by distance so you’ll never be stretched too far or held back.
You can explore your area street by street by using Google Maps using specifically the Street View feature. Not only can you pinpoint good quiet roads but by using the navigation arrows, you can research the streets before you ride.
Go Old School – Use an OS Map
Despite the advances in mapping technology, there is something satisfying about spreading a paper Ordnance Survey map over a table and taking the time to study the roads around you.
Maps give a great overview of what is around every corner, and from here you can take a pencil and mark out a good cycling route. You can fold up the map and take it with you when you ride. Ensure you become proficient at folding and unfolding the map when you need to.
Enjoy finding good cycling routes.
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