Planning a Good Daily Cycle Route.

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Introduction: Planning a Good Daily Cycle Route.

About: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.

So yet another cycling 'ible from me, this one's been prompted by the fact that I've taken up having a daily cycle in my free time while the weather's good.

The idea is to get a nice daily cycle route, just for the sake of cycling, for both leisure and fitness, cycling's a great way to relax and is also great cardiovascular excercise, better than running, which is bad for your knees over time, that and it's better because you can travel further and have more variation and sceneray changes than from running...

Step 1: Thinking About Where to Go.

have a think about all the places around you that you could gor for a good cycle, think about cycle paths, parks and forests.

Along with this think of ways to get there and have some recce cycles for your ideas, try new routes for a while until you find one that you really like.

Things to consider are:
*Parks
*Forests
*Cycle paths
*Safe roads
*Distances
*Your own fitness (start simple and build up your fitness as you go along
*Free time (If you don't have alot of it then this can hamper you, making free time is always good though)

Step 2: How Are You Getting There?

Not by car.

Now that you've got an idea of where you want to go you can start thinking about how to get there.

For example I take a very indirect route, up the road, on to the cycle path for around a mile and a half, up another half mile or so, back in to the park, down through, down through another park, down the road and into stormont, rather than through a street and up the road, I end up coming down towards, it's an enjoyable route with lots of nice places to cycle along the way and everchanging scenery...

You're looking for a route that you can change as you go along to keep things interesting, mine allows me to just choose a different turn and go a completely new way...

About ways to make things more interesting...

Step 3: Change Your Scenery and Ground Often.

I use a place that has a huge variety of paths winding around it, gravel tracks, tarmac roads, grass and dirt tracks, most of which lead to the top in the end, the idea is to have lot's of variables whne you get to your place.

The place you choose should be interesting itself, I cycle up to the parlaiment buildings here which have alot of very interesting features, nice places to sit and loads of friendly people around, tourists are about often aswell which adds to the amusement...

Relax along the way at different points, stop and take the place in.

Step 4: Challenge Yourself.

You should be challenged by your route, not killed by it though, still a good challenge make you feel like you've accomplished something every time you do it.

The picture below is of where I cycle, I do that hill three times a day now, it's a really popular place for lots of cyclists, runners and the odd skater, once I saw a guy on a microscooter go down it, not that I was him...

Another great idea is to have a cyling friend or family member, someone who can have a laugh with you and not be over competitive. I generally cycle alone, though get my mum or brothers to come along once in a while, none of them are particularly fond of the big hill...

On we go...

Step 5: Thrill Yourself or Have Some Fun Anyway...

Along the way you should have some fun and thrills, coming back down that hill, well, it's amazing, going at over 40mph on a bike with zero effort, a little effort and you may take flight though...

Though you don't have to have supersonic bike runs to have fun, I also go by a track with lots of dirt jumps at it, stuff like that, even just a place where you can spoon around doing tricks.

Also a bit of friendly competition makes it interesting here...

Step 6: Enjoy It.

The whole time just relax and enjoy cycling, pop in the headphones if your good at being aware of surroundings, just chill and think about cycling... Or don't think at all...

Make sure you get a chance to stop somewhere you can go sit like a place with benches, sit catch a breath and have a drink... It always feels good getting back on the bike even after a couple of minutes just sitting...

Step 7: Good Things to Have With You...

Well on your daily cycle it's good to have in your bag:

*A jacket, for weather changes and wind
*Puncture kit
*Spare tube
*A bottle of water or juice
*A phone
*MP3 or similar
*A bite to eat

this Is a nice little kit by smart

These are just things that are good to have, a spare tube and puncture kit mean you don't have to quit if you wreck a tyre, the phone means if you crash you can always phone a lift or taxi...

Enjoy cycling and have fun.

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    45 Discussions

    If I weren't such a chubby weakling, I'd do a daily cycle, my last ride was 15 miles (plotted on Google Earth and measured through a tool online that google should have put into GE), and I felt great afterwards, well, aside from the sore backside, aching legs and sore neck (I have a poor nerd's neck (crooked, hunchback-like), looking upwards for that length of time hurts), but it was great... :D

    6 replies

    Try a daily cycle, work up from maybe a couple of miles, you'd be surprised, start with what's easy and build up...

    I could but I have other medical problems, so daily cycling can end up being too painful... :( But I do try to get out when I can, just need to get a seat that doesn't leave me feeling like a prison b*tch... :S

    Sounds like my first ride the weekend after I picked up my new bike. First ride in 20+ years. The basic seats are MURDER on the backside, aren't they? Legs & back didn't enjoy it. I found something for the sore backside - fairly cheap and should be easy to find. A gel-pad seat cover. I picked one up for A$16 the other week. Just slips right over and unless you go riding for a 7 hour session on the 4th time out since getting the bike, your backside will be much happier.
    killerjackalope has the right idea - ease yourself into it. Let your body adjust and the medical issues will have time to get used to it & not play havoc. And get the gel-seat-cover. Believe me, was worth the money.
    Oh, and maybe adjust your seat & handle bars - if you have to turn your head up too far, it's going to be agony fast.

    I tried a gel saddle cover, but it felt like I was sitting on, erm, "filled underwear", and the side-to-side movement caused a blister to form in the worst place, so, I replaced the whole seat, it's got a wider back end, there's a space for the ol' urethra (pee pipe that leads to your manhood) to sit comfortably, and it's comfortable, doesn't leave me feeling like I've been through three rounds with Mr. Big from C wing like the basic seat did... :P

    I keep adjusting things on the bike, handlebars, seat post, brakes, chain, lights, cables, and then back to the beginning again, one day I'll get the combination right, but not at the moment cos I hurt my left knee pretty bad on a long walk, so cycling's off for now... :S

    Hrm, I wonder if maybe a recumbent would be more comfortable for you? Though personally, they make me nervous just watching them. Probably because my balance sucks at the best of times. A recumbent trike, that has potential
    I guess gel seats aren't for everyone. Mine has fairly firm gel, if that makes sense. Plus my butt's well padded to start with (another reason for getting the bike in the first place). Glad you found a bike that's comfortable, at least.
    My bike wasn't adjusted correctly at the start - was hunched over. Between that and not being used to it, the first couple of rides left me almost crippled.
    Hope that knee feels better soon.

    hrm... singe person "steamroller", hand cranked - wish I had the space to make one (and post it). Ideal for leg injuries and balance challenged

    Oh I have the same bike, I've just worked on it over the past 2 years so it's tailored to fit me (despite my brother's attempts at altering it when he decided to "borrow" it and break it), and I replaced the seat of course, greased and oiled the right parts, replaced the wrong parts, fitted a more comfortable handlebar & hand grips, but I'm just one of those that can't leave things alone so I keep fiddling with it.... :)

    I like the packed food & drink idea. Recently bodged together a rear tray to ockystrap an Esky on the back of my bike. The kids & I can pack sandwiches and some cold water for a lunch break after spending the morning in the saddle.

    I noticed Google Maps and Nearmap list bike lanes now - very helpful in planning a route.

    Google Maps was used in conjunction with my state transit group to come up with a trip planner - including traffic loads, maximum grade, etc. Quite handy.

    Nearmap images are update far more often than Google Maps - gives you a better heads-up about potential closures due to construction zones.

    Also, check your local bicycling societies. The group in my state has maps of good cycling trails available and you can probably find books about it (I know over here in Australia there is a series of books with great trails near each capital city marked out)

    The bike society idea also has a bonus - club members get insurance included in annual fees.

    Hope this is help for someone

    You pack lightly. I've heard about always taking a crank puller in the bag! I find the need for it a little absurd, as if your axle breaks, you don't need a crank puller and if it gets loose, you still don't need a crank puller. It's like travelling by car with a jug full of oil to change it at any minute.

    3 replies

    I don't have a crank puller because my cranks are the kind with a big bolt jammed on top of some square axle, making things simpler, that is until the day you knocked the crank clean off because you thought it was a bit wobbly feeling for know apparent reason, wearing the corners off the box bit and necessitating the use of a bleeding allen key every 15miles...

    If that's the case, use a piece of small bolt I think they are M6, cut off the head and put two nuts on the threads, one to tighten, one to lock. :-)

    and a couple of big washers to clamp against the crank, a bit ugly, but you could make it exciting by using big coins as washers.

    I quite like "sceneray" while ridin' myself. "A bite to eat" now that is an inspired suggestion! Why the hell don't I remember to take a ruddy drink, let alone anything useful or cool? Coins (mostly small silvers knowing me) and my penknife if i'm lucky. A phone is also handy to carry in case of emergency, just turn off that irritating ringtone! That way you can hear the sounds of nature.

    my bro is ten and rides 3 mile every 3 days is it any good?

    once I saw a guy on a microscooter go down it, not that I was him...

    So, how fast did you go?
    Great instructable. Good job.

    2 replies

    good suggestions. :) out of interest, where is this?

    1 reply

    Great project. I have been trying to get in a daily bike ride out here in San Francisco. It is a great way to learn the area. I try and make each ride at least 20 miles long, which can be both energizing and exhausting. When I get back from the ride, I plot out the path I took on Google Earth. To determine what ride I should take next, I look at the area on the map that is the least densely covered in path lines, and come up with some route that covers it. The single path is the ride I did this morning, and the image with the other paths are all the rides I have taken since Instructables moved to the city.

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