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.
- The Dam Loop (maintained by the Green Mamba)
- Lime Creek Loop
- Oasis Bluff-Manfield Dam
- Sam Bass-Leander Loop
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.