Do you ride or drive to your ride start?

I once again met up with one of my regular ride groups on Saturday.  The ride start was a little over 5 miles from my house and it’s a pretty easy ride over there, so I rode my bike there.  The reality is that I feel a little silly driving somewhere to then ride my bike, especially if it’s close.  Why waste quality bike time?  Besides, I love finishing my cup of coffee and rolling out of my driveway on my bike.

I do have some criteria about making the decision to drive or ride.  Generally, if it’s 10 miles or less to the start, I’ll consider riding.  I won’t ride if it’s dark.  I’ve done that once or twice and I usually end up riding too fast and pay for it later in the ride.  It’s hard for me to gauge my effort level when I can’t see the readout for my heart rate monitor.  The other thing I worry about is the limited visibility.  When you ride to the start of a ride, you always run the risk of a mechanical issue, such as a flat tire and that’s harder to do when you can’t really see what’s in the road.  Then you keep your whole ride group waiting even before they start their ride.  I never want to be that guy, you know the one that shows up and even before getting out of the gate, has mechanical issues.

People are always surprised when I tell them I rode my bike to the start of a ride.  Most of the time, I think it’s because they can’t really picture a route that gets them there safely.  I consider myself fortunate because I have lots of options when I roll out of my driveway.  I know there’s a few readers out there who live in my town, so I thought I’d post some links to some of my regular routes that I can take right from my neighborhood.

I have similar options from the office where I work because my office is located right along a designated bike route in Austin, TX.   So, next time you’re heading out to your ride, ask yourself if there’s a way to get there on your bike.  You’ll get a little extra quality bike time and you’ll get an opportunity to warm up at your pace.

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2 responses to “Do you ride or drive to your ride start?

  1. This is actually one of the only bummers about living in the neighborhood that I love so much. I just can’t ride to my launches, even though often it’s right at the end of my road, like 2 miles away.

    In spite of the fact that I also feel silly driving two miles to launch a lot of my rides I just won’t take on Cuernavaca by myself. I don’t mind riding it occasionally in a group and every time I do I swear it off for a while because of some close calls with cars on the winding part of this no-bike-lane road.

    It’s awesome that you DO ride to your group rides. One of these days maybe I’ll feel better about riding Cuernavaca alone. At the moment I’m just not feeling it.

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