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Getting Lost on Purpose While Cycling

September 7, 2014 - Comment

When cycling deliberately step off your own beaten path, get lost on purpose and you may be surprised by what you discover.

Phil Keoghan, host of the Amazing Race in his book titled No Opportunity Wasted offers a number of suggestions to create the life you want. One of Phil’s thoughts is to take a “misstep” and deliberately step off your own beaten path. His suggestions regard backpacking although I have used then for bicycle touring and local cycling as well.

When cycling on a local training ride try to deliberately take a different turn on a road or bike path you have never used previously and see where it leads. I do this often and find amazing sights I didn’t know existed. When I lead cycling rides for my local bike club they are always amazed by the unusual routes I lead them along and ask how I discovered them. Now you know.

Phil, in his book suggests you plan for the trip by carrying emergency supplies. Likewise when exploring on your bike do carry a map or cycling GPS (don’t use it unless you must), repair kit, snacks as you would on any ride.

When I am planning my bicycle touring routes in destinations such as France or Italy where there are few bike paths I sometimes randomly pick roads for our route off a map and then connect the major towns.

For example picking a road with no traffic at random in southern France between the Lot River Valley and the Dordogne River our route took us past fields of sheep, quaint stone walled villages, a dog training school, a duck farm some interesting a steep hills with magnificent scenery. Maybe it doesn’t sound like much, you had to be there. My fellow cyclists still remember that bicycle tour as one of the most interesting in the entire trip and still talk about it today.

Recently I was leading a group of 15 cyclists in Montreal. They asked how I found parts of the route. Again all I did was take routes I found on the city cycling maps and joined them by roads at random. It made for a memorable trip and interesting cycle. I was not ever lost but I really did not know what to expect either. It seems I never have problems getting other cyclists to join me on these cycling adventures.

On your next local ride or bicycle tour start by taking one new turn and just see where it takes you, it may be exciting, perhaps interesting and add some fun to your training rides.


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