Going out without a "planned" route vs. Going out on "planned" route
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  1. #1
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    Going out without a "planned" route vs. Going out on "planned" route

    When I am riding solo, I tend not to plan a route, or have vague idea on what i am going to do. Since this weekend was pretty much shot from car inspections, and other tasks. I only got out on 2 rides over 40 miles, with some climbing.

    46 miles and 1900 feet climb (2 hrs 50 mins) - sat
    40 miles and 2250 feet climb (2 hrs 50 mins) - sun

    In a way not planning a route and looking at the GPS afterwards, is kinda cool because then i can see a route that might be fun to try.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I am an explorer at heart. I will often head out in a general direction along a route I ride often and just veer off where whimsy takes me. This was the way I rode when I was a kid. Just go out and ride. No pset route, no group. No average pace to maintain. Just ride. I have discovered lots of cool and interesting variations this way. I might see a cloud of smoke and just see If I can find it. I know many folks who ride the same route over and over just to keep a steady track so they can focus on for training. But that is more using the bike like an exercise machine than riding in my book. Don't get me wrong, I will ride a dedicated route with goals for training purposes especially if I have a big event coming up like the Hotter N Hell 100.

  3. #3
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    when I get bored with my standard routes, I just follow the front wheel.

    sometimes it leads to interesting places, sometimes not.

  4. #4
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    I don't do that,I'd rather focusing in changing my pace while riding the same route rather than exploring new places. When I get burned out about it I take a week off on my mountainbike.

  5. #5
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    Often my route is determined by how much time I have to ride. I have several choices of 1 hour, 1.25, 1.5 hour and 2 hour rides from either my home or office. When I can leave early or don't have to be back at a specific time, then I'll go do something different (usually MTB), or go for a 50 mile ride. Another factor that controls the ride is whether it is too hot to ride in a river canyon, or too cold to ride up high in the mountains.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittcanna View Post
    When I am riding solo, I tend not to plan a route, or have vague idea on what i am going to do. Since this weekend was pretty much shot from car inspections, and other tasks. I only got out on 2 rides over 40 miles, with some climbing.

    46 miles and 1900 feet climb (2 hrs 50 mins) - sat
    40 miles and 2250 feet climb (2 hrs 50 mins) - sun

    In a way not planning a route and looking at the GPS afterwards, is kinda cool because then i can see a route that might be fun to try.

    What are your thoughts?
    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here but I am definitely a planner. I have a number of known routes of various distances. I might also download a new route from RideWithGPS to follow. I rarely just "wing it"

  7. #7
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    I like to explore too, but usually I'll scope out my options with a mapping tool before heading out. In my area, there are too many dead ends and rough country roads if you go willy-nilly. Also I've wound up on roads with too high of a pucker factor (busy roads with fast speeds and no shoulder) more often than I care.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here but I am definitely a planner. I have a number of known routes of various distances. I might also download a new route from RideWithGPS to follow. I rarely just "wing it"
    I'm a planner as well. Like others, I have days where I'm trying to shoe-horn a ride into a pretty specific time slot. In those cases, I'll usually do a route where I know how long it takes.

    I typically have a pretty rough idea of where I'll be going, regardless of time constraints: I've ridden these roads enough to know the options. I rarely just start making random turns and see where I end up, but that doesn't mean I've fully planned out my route.

    When I'm training, I'm more likely to ride out to specific climbs or drive out to do specific rides. Those rides will be more planned and structured.

  9. #9
    What the what???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    when I get bored with my standard routes, I just follow the front wheel.

    sometimes it leads to interesting places, sometimes not.

    ^^^^This^^^^
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

  10. #10
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittcanna View Post
    I only got out on 2 rides over 40 miles, with some climbing.

    46 miles and 1900 feet climb (2 hrs 50 mins) - sat
    40 miles and 2250 feet climb (2 hrs 50 mins) - sun
    41ft/mi & 56ft/mi isn't really climbing.

    In a way not planning a route and looking at the GPS afterwards, is kinda cool because then i can see a route that might be fun to try.

    What are your thoughts?
    If I have lots of free time it is fun to just hop on the bike and head out and explore. After you've been riding for a long time though you start to run out of areas you haven't explored.

    I usually like to make efficient use of my time so I tend to plan out my route. Or at least have a general idea with maybe some deviations. A benefit of doing this is you can better avoid hiways, dirt roads, and congested areas. Also excessively hilly areas, especially if you're not a strong rider, or seek out the hills if you like climbing.
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  11. #11
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    My wife likes to worry. I always plan and let her know which route I am doing. It gives her peace of mind and since I ride into areas with miles and miles of no cell service it's good for her to know which way too look if I am not back by the time I estimated I should be. It has saved some me at least 2 very long walks...

  12. #12
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    So, on a weekend that's "pretty much shot" you get in two rides of >40 miles. Huh.
    "None of us knows for sure what's out there; that's why we keep looking. Keep your faith; travel hopefully. The universe will surprise you, constantly." The 13th Doctor.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    So, on a weekend that's "pretty much shot" you get in two rides of >40 miles. Huh.

    Well early morning to mid day had to get outside in the nice weather at like 3 pm on saturday and 3:30 pm on sunday.

  14. #14
    Cooper1960
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    Sometimes when I pull onto the road from my drive I have to ride around in a circle I few times deciding which way to go. If I'm under a time constraint I have regular routes I can do depending on the time available, but mostly on a solo ride I just go out to spin the wheels without any plan.
    Miles of agony for moments of ahhh!

  15. #15
    mm9
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    OP - that's a good question. I like to explore and I like looking at Maps. For my regular weekly rides, I'm always trying to find new sections to add. If I have time, I'll go explore it on my bike. If not, I'll look at a map program when I get home.

    On the weekends, when I have more time, I'll take a look at a map of a new area to get a general feel and some options, but then take off and explore. I love it. Like someone said previously - makes you feel like a kid.

  16. #16
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    I've been putting in up to 10,000 miles per year for the last 25 years, mostly riding from home. I'm fortunate that, living in NW New Jersey, there's an extensive network of nice rural roads to choose from, but by now, there's really nothing left to explore within a reasonable distance from home. So to keep things interesting, each year I start a new map where I highlight the roads I've been on so far. When I head out on a ride I try to seek out roads I haven't been on yet this year. I usually don't plan a detailed route, but I do plan on which new roads I want to incorporate into the ride. As the year goes on, I tend to saturate all of the roads close to home and have to do longer and longer rides to get in something new.
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  17. #17
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    I steal people's routes that I'm following on Strava (strangers). I also try to best their PRs.

  18. #18
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    both. depends on the mood and if im riding with a group or not.


    with group - planned route

    with self - generally like to explore, esp if i have the time. feel like a 12yr old kid again.


    either way, its awesome. either way i get to ride my bike.

  19. #19
    I make Eagles fly
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    I plan then deviate just about every time.

  20. #20
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    I can rider harder and faster if not vacillating over the route so generally ride a pre-planned route either by memory or using the Garmin.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  21. #21
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanE View Post
    So to keep things interesting, each year I start a new map where I highlight the roads I've been on so far. When I head out on a ride I try to seek out roads I haven't been on yet this year.
    If you use Strava, you can do that with Heatmaps.
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  22. #22
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    I do both, heck a lot of the times I have a planned route and I'll deviate from it. I like to explore, in fact I don't even care if I get lost it's part of the fun, though I rarely get lost.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    If you use Strava, you can do that with Heatmaps.
    What's "Strava"?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanE View Post
    What's "Strava"?
    oh my!!!!

    say so long to your life!!!


    https://www.strava.com/

  25. #25
    Wheel Spinner
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    Whenever I have time to get on my bike is a good day, these days. I would lean more to the planned route side. I rarely have time to explore.

    Since I am mostly roadie, I use the mountain bike to change it up and even that route is planned. But it is indeed a good day when I can ride either.
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