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How do you plan your rides?

supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
edited February 2013 in Road beginners
My longest ride is 50 miles, I'll be looking to do 50+ this weekend and I'm currently plotting my route (I'll most likely get lost but that's another issue), I tend to head for something specific, a particular climb maybe, but in general I aim for a place far enough out to allow my planned mileage to be covered. I live in Derbyshire so flat rides have never really been an option unless I head into Nottinghamshire (I'm on the border of both), my rides are normally around Matlock, Ashbourne, Peak district etc so as a relative newcomer I always tend to factor in the climbs and not being over familiar with the area I always check the roads on Google street view. I use Garmin Connect, sometimes gmap-pedometer and also MapMyRide as that gives the elevation too.

As I go further I'm also trying to factor in where a garage might be or shop to replenish water etc. I wondered how others did their planning.

Thanks

Posts

  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,109
    Check the weather reports and follow the sun as a first consideration.

    If im riding by myself I usually head off with a cafe in mind and then meander over throwing in or taking out diversions along the way.

    With company its usually up for debate but I really don't mind as long as it's hilly, smooth and light on traffic.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • Slowmart wrote:
    hilly, smooth and light on traffic.

    Certainly nice to find that combo. I've heard others talk about wind direction, it always seems to be in my face!! I'll live with that as I've enough to contend with, seriously, directional sense is terrible!!
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Slowmart wrote:
    Check the weather reports and follow the sun...with a cafe... as long as it's hilly, smooth and light on traffic.

    I only go out when it is sunny, I'm out a lot :D (evil grin)
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Look at the weather forecast. Plan a route that's into the wind on the way out. If possible, hills early on rather than right at the end. I either look at the OS map, or do it on the 'puter using Mapometer.com. Take the OS map with me in case I get lost / want to alter the route. Sometimes I have a particular distance in mind, sometimes it's a place I want to go, sometimes it's just to find as undulating a route as I can. Occasionally when it's really windy I just like to see how far I can get cycling into the teeth of the wind, then turn around for a wind-assisted blast of a return leg!
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    Look out the window. Get my gear on and head out - seldom do I have a plan or specific destination. I like exploring the area and can pretty much head in any compass direction.
  • Calpol wrote:
    Look out the window. Get my gear on and head out - seldom do I have a plan or specific destination. I like exploring the area and can pretty much head in any compass direction.

    I guess we all have different reasons for getting out on the bike and the type of experience we are after, I admire your approach.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    I live on the other side of Derbyshire, I tend to head up in to the Peak because you're generally heading down on the way back, I'll also check the wind to see if the wind will be behind me when I'm hitting the bigger climbs, I'll tend to make the ride as comfortae as possible.
    In time you should be able to make dozens of routes in different directions, you'll be able to customise the routes to suit the conditions and how you feel on the day. We're spoilt for choice for routes and it's really hard to get lost in Derbyshire.
  • Bozman wrote:
    I live on the other side of Derbyshire, I tend to head up in to the Peak because you're generally heading down on the way back

    I try to make sure that's the case. Rowsley Bar climb will appear at 38 miles, then its pretty much downhill home for 12 miles.

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  • My longest ride is 50 miles, I'll be looking to do 50+ this weekend and I'm currently plotting my route (I'll most likely get lost but that's another issue), I tend to head for something specific, a particular climb maybe, but in general I aim for a place far enough out to allow my planned mileage to be covered. I live in Derbyshire so flat rides have never really been an option unless I head into Nottinghamshire (I'm on the border of both), my rides are normally around Matlock, Ashbourne, Peak district etc so as a relative newcomer I always tend to factor in the climbs and not being over familiar with the area I always check the roads on Google street view. I use Garmin Connect, sometimes gmap-pedometer and also MapMyRide as that gives the elevation too.

    As I go further I'm also trying to factor in where a garage might be or shop to replenish water etc. I wondered how others did their planning.

    Thanks

    Pretty much in the same way as you do.

    To help when I first starting doing longer rides & stop the getting lost part I would use a looped route that I know and add another small part say 5 miles in. Look it up on the map and just remember where the junction off was and what road sign I was looking for & then follow that. After a few rides you get to know the extra parts and learn all the back roads and where they connect. If you do this enough you should get a better understand of how the outlying villages run into each other & you can very easily build them into a new loop and start learning over again.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    I'm pretty jealous on those who have to plan their rides. I live on the end of a small peninsular, and there is only a couple of options of getting off it. Means that most of my rides have the same start and finish 12mi slog, but different middle section. Normally plan my rides on the wind/weather. I wish i lived somewhere more hilly though and that there was more variation from my doorstep.
  • That's great advice Dan, not thought of that approach.
  • Do it all the time. Is pretty old school but its how I grew up as kid ridding MTB's and planning how to go somewhere to ride and getting home.

    Been doing it on the road now for about 3-4 years and still finding new places. Plus I generally know where I am so if I need to call a ride off early or feeling pretty good and want to extend it I;m less worried about it as I know quite a few different ways of doing it.

    Plus me and a few guys are always looking for that one perfect bit of road where it rolls fast no cars good scenery. Plus you can always come back and use for a bit of sprint/hill training whatever takes your fancy.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • http://bikehike.co.uk/index.php

    this is what i plan with, and i like the way i can see the distance and elevation on it

    i luckily already use the wind ideas to help me home.
    i live in manchester so can ride the flats to cheshire or hills of peak district, been hiding away from hills if im honest but now like the challenge they bring. but do want to venture further out this year..
    never go on a big ride without a little planning
    Specialized S Works SL2 . Campagnolo Record 11spd. rolling on Campag Zonda wheels

    http://app.strava.com/athletes/881211
  • Probably should add that I do have a Garmin GPS (plus my iPhone too if I need it) but I don't tend to use the Garmin for anything other than speed/distance/time and then only at a glance.

    But when I get home is always good to compare the route once uploaded to others I have done and see where area's are close together so I can easily add bits together next time.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
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