1. Take A New Route
Coffee, Pedal, Work, Pedal, Dinner, Sleep. Rinse and repeat. If you’re locked into a daily routine and looking to break through to monotony, try searching inside your routine for variety, instead of outside. Check Google Maps for alternate routes to your destination. If it takes an extra couple minutes, who cares? I guarantee the ride will seem to fly by. New scenery, new hills, new restaurants, coffee shops and shops to scout. All of these factors will freshen up your commute, your day, and your mind.
2. Turn It Into A HIIT Workout
Pull out of your driveway, coast down the hill. Then at the light going back up, pedal faster than you ever have for 60 seconds straight, until you feel like your lungs and legs are going to explode simultaneously (okay, maybe not THAT hard). Then, opt for two minutes of gentle cruising. Repeat until you reach your destination. This is just one of many ways you can incorporate intense, fat burning workouts into your biking commute. By implementing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your daily ride 1-2 times each week, you’ll reap the cardiovascular benefits and break up the monotony that is the daily commute. You’ll focus less on the drudging 9-5 to come, and more on burning up your personal “hill from hell” at a new personal-record pace. Plus, it could even substitute for a gym session or two each week, and that’s always a plus!
3. Recruit A Riding Buddy
Whether you’re craving a little competition, camaraderie, or motivation, nailing down a commuting partner is almost always going to make for a better experience. Say for example, you get introduced a co-worker and you come to realize both of you live close to the office. You confidently exclaim that you bike to work, and they stare at the floor, half embarrassed to admit that they’re yet to ditch their car. Take this rookie under your wing and show them how rewarding bike commuting can be. Teaching someone the ropes of commuting with regards to road rules and etiquette, technique, etc, gives you a sense of gratification while working to also freshen up your own commute!
On the flip side, say you begin hearing tall tales around the water cooler about how “Jim” from Sales bikes 30 miles to the office every morning in 45 minutes flat. Your jaw drops in disbelief. You have to see this performance for yourself. Your innate competitive spirit pushing you to want to compete against the best. Approach Jim and propose you begin riding together! Who knows, you may have just found your best competition, motivation, and best friend in the process.
4. Break Up The Ride
For a large majority of the popular, commuting is best when you’re doing as little of it as possible. The most efficient route, the least traffic, these are the paths we take because we’re always in a hurry to get through our days. However, try making time to prioritize your commute once in awhile, and you may love the effects. Say for example, you take 1-2 days per week, set the alarm back an extra 20 minutes, and dedicate time to really enjoy your commute. This will give you some flexibility to peel off and oogle at the sunset for a deep breath, or stop into that new roadside coffee shop you’ve been meaning to try. Don’t allow yourself just to go straight home or to the office, make it a point to stop at least once, ideally more throughout your route. There’s so much to see in this world, even so close to home. Make exploring your community a priority in order to fully revitalize your ride.
5. Shopping Therapy
Once you’ve tried everything on this list, and still could use a little extra motivation to refresh your daily bike commute, do what every hardcore cyclist does best, and engage in a little retail therapy! Support small business by becoming a valued customer at a local bike shop. Or if you’re the online shopper, deal hunter extraordinaire type, scour the web for the best deal on a new head lamp, shoes, or fresh compression gear from great sites like Nashbar. It’s in our nature to feel motivated to have an invigorated ride when we’re strapping up with some new gear! (or at least that’s what I tell myself). Look good, feel good, simple as that.
Biking, getting outdoors, exploring community and staying fit are all values the team at Zero Gravity Racks shares with our customers. However, next time you visit a friend’s house who just returned from mountain biking in Breckenridge, or from a surf trip in Brazil, sneak a peek at their garage or home storage system. We can almost guarantee there’s work to be done. If you or a friend could use a new, innovative storage solution for bikes, surf, snow, SUP, and kayaks, let the team at Zero Gravity Racks get your gear up, out of the way for good.
Zero Gravity Racks is proud to sponsor this blog dedicated to enjoying the outdoors!