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How can I make a road ride less boring?

chrisgachrisga Posts: 587
edited February 2009 in Road beginners
Hi there,

First post in this road section guys, so bear with me - this is a genuine question Im not trolling.
I have ridden MTB's since I was about 12 (30 now). The guys (and girls) I ride with now, including my other half have all got pretty decent road bikes, and after swearing that I would never stray I succumbed when one of my friends emmigrated and left me a box of bits that he said would make up a road bike. I built it up and can now go on the road rides with my friends. However the problem I have isnt that I dont enjoy the rides I do, its very sociable and obviously good for me, but I just find the actual act of riding a roadbike to be very dull indeed.

How do all you guys cope with riding a gizillion miles in one go without nodding off. I did 31 miles today and took to not looking too far ahead as all I could see was mile after mile of road and didnt feel like I was getting anywhere. However, I nearly ran in to the back of people 3 times so dont think I can carry on with this plan.

Any suggestions to kill the boredom would be greatfully received.... (I got told off for doing wheelies and hopping off the kerbs too so I guess thats out!)

Thanks in advance,

Chris
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Posts

  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    nothing can be done old chap - you either like it, or you don't.

    What do you do to stay awake on MTB rides - maybe the same techniques could apply..?
  • I listen to music on my Ipod though that could be controversial for some.
  • chrisgachrisga Posts: 587
    I try not to bounce off trees and keep my wheels on the ground etc etc.... Just find it more involving thats all.

    I'll stick with it and see how it goes, we signed up for the bike radar sportive thingy so I am determined to crack the 60miler even if it will completley kill me.....

    You'll be able to spot me quite easily as i'll be the one on a road bike not wearing any lycra (one step to far for me that Im afraid!)
  • chrisgachrisga Posts: 587
    I listen to music on my Ipod though that could be controversial for some.

    Ipod sounds like a good idea, might try that - thanks!
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    I can't say I ever get bored on a road ride, so I've never needed to 'entertain' myself as such. The ride itself is entertaining enough. I also ride a lot of MTB (I live close to Brechfa and Nant yr Arian) and enjoy both equally, although my preference is road.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,361
    If you're bored, you're not pedaling hard enough!

    Go faster. Either you'll start to enjoy it, or it'll start to hurt, or both. If both, then you're really getting the hang of it.. :wink:
  • AirwaveAirwave Posts: 483
    Did 80+miles today loved every minute of it.The miles just whizzed by.But it ain't everybodies cup of tea.Perhaps your starting a ride thinking you won't enjoy it.Stick with it you never know something might just click.If not you've still got your MTBing to enjoy.Good luck
  • get a heart rate monitor.

    Youll spend the first few weeks working out what all the numbers mean, then when you work out all your zones and thresholds and when your going to die you'll have fun trying to keep within them for weeks.

    Hope this relieves the boredom for maybe at least a month.
    in all honesty just push yourself quite hard and you'll soon see the draw of road riding. I cam from bmx where lycra is not cool but once i started pushing myself it got addictive.
  • on the roadon the road Posts: 5,631
    It's good to vary your routes, get the map out and look for somewhere different on it to go. Also you could plan your route so it goes through interesting places.
  • feelfeel Posts: 800
    neeb wrote:
    If you're bored, you're not pedaling hard enough!

    Go faster. Either you'll start to enjoy it, or it'll start to hurt, or both. If both, then you're really getting the hang of it.. :wink:

    and then the endorphins kick in woohh, woooohh and the world is a better place :lol:
    We are born with the dead:
    See, they return, and bring us with them.
  • get a heart rate monitor.

    Youll spend the first few weeks working out what all the numbers mean, then when you work out all your zones and thresholds and when your going to die you'll have fun trying to keep within them for weeks.

    Hope this relieves the boredom for maybe at least a month.
    in all honesty just push yourself quite hard and you'll soon see the draw of road riding. I cam from bmx where lycra is not cool but once i started pushing myself it got addictive.

    Yeah, get a nice complicated bike computer that will keep you going, just because you want to keep an average speed or whatever.

    Heart rate monitors are great because you can focus on keeping your heart rate as low as possible, whilst keeping your average speed as high as possible.
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 18,469
    I use the computer & HRM to work out how far left at what HRM %, etc. By the time I have got the answers and worked out what time I will arrive its time for the next calculation!
  • FJSFJS Posts: 4,820
    I'm surprised why nobody suggested this - only audaxers on this forum? - but why not find a group, or suggest it to your friends - that does little competitive things like one or two sprints to hilltops and towns and such each ride; the tactics of a mini-race gets rid of any boredom.
  • guv001guv001 Posts: 688
    neeb wrote:
    If you're bored, you're not pedaling hard enough!

    Go faster. Either you'll start to enjoy it, or it'll start to hurt, or both. If both, then you're really getting the hang of it.. :wink:

    +1 on that view
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Change your routes, if you can see miles ahead no wonder your bored.
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    WOW Thanks , No, honest ,Thank You. You have just reminded me how lucky I am. Out of my back door this morning picked up a mate and five minutes later we are clear of the great metropoulos of Thirsk and heading up towards Boltby Bank . No one gets bored riding to or on Boltby then a nice 4 mile down hill to Rievaulx (pure chocolate box country) round about the lanes looking at daffodils and lambs then up again past Scorton down past The White Horse , we then rode along the escarpment side looking over the Vale of York and home. 30 miles and a couple of hours of heaven, guess I must be the luckiest man alive.
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,361
    No one gets bored riding to or on Boltby then a nice 4 mile down hill to Rievaulx (pure chocolate box country) round about the lanes looking at daffodils and lambs
    You lucky B**. Still under snow where I am, contemplating a 20km climb on the indoor trainer tonight. Now that IS boring unless you're really suffering...
  • Airwave wrote:
    .Perhaps your starting a ride thinking you won't enjoy it.

    I was the same this morning created a ride 50miles and just as I set off thought I dont fancy this!!! Mind you stuck with it and got to say one of the most scenic rides I,ve been on

    FANTASIC
  • depends why your riding?... for fitness or training etc.. i'm with fjs.. you could make it a bit more fun by adding a little competition amongst your friends or even on ur own.
    time urself on a ride then try to beat it the next time. little things like that to make it more amusing... thats wot i'd do anyways

    i'm sure the more experienced ones on here will tell me if im wrong with what ive just suggested :)
  • elliebellieb Posts: 436
    Why not try riding on the wrong side of the road? I find it livens up even the most tedious ride.
  • chrisgachrisga Posts: 587
    lol thanks everyone for the responses. All seem like good ideas (apart from the wrong side of the road bit lol). I will stick with it for sure as like I said before we signed up for the 60 mile thingy at bike radar....
    I could keep you informed with how its going but will probably be boring for everyone.

    As i said before I only got a road bike as a box of parts but built this out of it for the cost of a bottom bracket. It is quite old school but I kind of like it although I think it may be a bit big for me....

    3297443877_f0ef20b943_b.jpg

    Thanks again for the support everyone!!
  • paul_orpaul_or Posts: 156
    Apart from getting a mate to ride with you and then having the advantage of conversation to pass the miles, my personal view is that (in the spring/summer/autumn, when nature has awoken) you should simply look around you and enjoy the countryside - assuming you're not doing 31 miles in a built up industrial area!

    Seriously, I find it a brilliant way of engaging with nature and you see things that you would never see if in a car - wildlife, views, etc etc. I guess it's down to whether you are one of those people, like me, who looks for such stuff and appreciates it, or whether you're the sort of person who puts one of them dreaded ipod things on and tries to shut out the outside world when exercising!

    The seasons all have their own little bit of magic - at the moment the real buzz is seeing the countryside begin to wake up for another year.
    visit my blog for more excitement

    http://www.flammerouge.co.uk
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  • Ignore getting told off, keep pulling wheelies and bunnyhopping. I've found that doing bunnyhops on my roadie, and wheelieing it has helped my mtbing massively. Makes my 456 feel like a little toy.
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    It seems to me, having done both, that the main difference between MTB and road riding is mental focus. When you are riding through a forest that is growing on the side of a rocky hill, you need to concentrate on very short term obstacles and route choices; when you are out on a metalled road, your route choices come up every 20 minutes or so and obstacles are few and far between, too.

    I can go out on my road bike and, once I'm warmed up, legs turning, breathing normally, I can ride like that for 5 or 6 hours. My conscious brain pretty much shuts down and I can relax. The endorphins keep me aware enough to react to surprises, but other than that I am in a pleasant reverie and come home chilled out.

    Last time I went mountain biking, after about an hour I was nervy, jumpy, thrilled and mentally exhausted with the effort of not killing myself! :D


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Go so fast that you want to puke - not pleasant but not boring either. Any hills round you?
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • ThoomsThooms Posts: 66
    geerfree wrote:
    get a heart rate monitor.

    Youll spend the first few weeks working out what all the numbers mean, then when you work out all your zones and thresholds and when your going to die you'll have fun trying to keep within them for weeks.

    Hope this relieves the boredom for maybe at least a month.
    in all honesty just push yourself quite hard and you'll soon see the draw of road riding. I cam from bmx where lycra is not cool but once i started pushing myself it got addictive.

    Yeah, get a nice complicated bike computer that will keep you going, just because you want to keep an average speed or whatever.

    Heart rate monitors are great because you can focus on keeping your heart rate as low as possible, whilst keeping your average speed as high as possible.

    +1. It's a great thing to play with as you go along - all manner of on-the-road geekery is possible!

    Keep pushing, soak up the scenery - just enjoy it :)
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    neeb wrote:
    No one gets bored riding to or on Boltby then a nice 4 mile down hill to Rievaulx (pure chocolate box country) round about the lanes looking at daffodils and lambs
    You lucky B**. Still under snow where I am, contemplating a 20km climb on the indoor trainer tonight. Now that IS boring unless you're really suffering...

    Try getting a set of rollers,
    First learn to balance them
    then one handed
    change gear....... all quite exiting at first
    now try no handed
    take your top off
    now put it back on again...........still bored
    now see how long you can keep your eyes closed :lol:
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • chrisgachrisga Posts: 587
    pneumatic wrote:
    It seems to me, having done both, that the main difference between MTB and road riding is mental focus. When you are riding through a forest that is growing on the side of a rocky hill, you need to concentrate on very short term obstacles and route choices; when you are out on a metalled road, your route choices come up every 20 minutes or so and obstacles are few and far between, too.

    I can go out on my road bike and, once I'm warmed up, legs turning, breathing normally, I can ride like that for 5 or 6 hours. My conscious brain pretty much shuts down and I can relax. The endorphins keep me aware enough to react to surprises, but other than that I am in a pleasant reverie and come home chilled out.

    Last time I went mountain biking, after about an hour I was nervy, jumpy, thrilled and mentally exhausted with the effort of not killing myself! :D

    Thanks pneumatic, you said the words I was looking for with my original post....
    I will try to ride on the road a bit more and see what happens. I can't wait for the light evenings to arrive as at the moment I can only seem to get out on Saturdays.
    And yey, glad the bunny hops and wheelies are ok!!!
  • get a computer and try to keep the same pace to the decimal piont :wink:
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    Do a Jan Ullrich and put a picture of a sexy woman (or man!) on your (bicycle..) stem.

    Might keep you going?

    8)
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
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