Riding Solo - Need advice!

Any advice on Riding solo? - I find it very boring to go out without buddies and i end up hitting TR \or Zwift.

Need some advice on getting on my bike to do solo rides.

  1. During an endurance ride stay in your zone 2 even if you are riding into a headwind and going very slow. This is very important during a long ride so as the cardiac drift will be gradual and you will last longer.

  2. Wear an earphone in just one ear- it makes a huge difference and I get to listen to my songs while out on a solo ride and can sing along! I do not listen to music on a group ride FYI!

  3. If you have the luxury of having access to a car, you can drive out to different places with your bike and explore new roads which could be much quieter than what you are used to.

I also find it boring sometimes to go on a solo ride so I also join a group ride on zwift! However with the weather improving and social distancing restrictions easing, club rides over here have been given the green light and I join two group rides per week. The mid week long ride is an easy endurance ride and the weekend ride is a fast paced one. I also do outside workouts which keep me motivated and this matters when I am on a solo ride. In this way I can add more volume and also stick to the plan!

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Sweet spot is a great way to ride alone. Just mashing on the pedals

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TrainerRoad + solo rides outdoors = Outdoor workouts. Even though I don’t do a lot of outdoor workouts when I do I really enjoy how they spice up outdooor rides even if the scenery is as boring as staring at the wall. That way you get outside and get a good workout. Had a couple days where my trainer was out of commission and used outdoor workouts to keep up with my plan and also work on dodging potholes, dogs and squirrels

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Adventure gravel/off road riding or SST for me.

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Keep riding until you forget you’re bored. Then enjoy the conversation with you. :slight_smile:

I find that somewhere along a ride a switch occurs in my brain and I no longer notice I’m alone. Rather, I become super aware of my body doing its work cycling — what feels right, what’s pushed a bit too far, what it feels like when I’m in a zone and cooking with gas, how much I listen to the burn.

I also like exploring. Trying new roads. Detours. Dead ends that I’d never drive down but was always curious about.

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I listen to podcasts and the time seems to go pretty quick. I use the transparency mode on the Airpod Pros and have the Garmin Varia for safety as well as lots of lights.

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  1. Do your TR workouts outside. You’ll be busy thinking about the workout.
  2. Strava anyone? Find some segments to go and attempt. As you ride from one to the next you’ll be thinking about your task at hand, so the time should pass quicker.
  3. Listen to music or podcasts. You can get a speaker, standard headseat or what I recently purchased, aftershockz they don’t go in your ear.
  4. Build routes and go explore a bit.
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map some cool destinations - we have lots of lakes here and one is about an hour away - two hours to circle and a hour home. The to and fro are blaaa, but the lake views, curvy roads, punchy climbs are beautiful.

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Here is a pic from Saturday. The lake is not pictured - oh well.

I also like to try to go explore new roads or areas I haven’t ridden. Kamoot and or Strava heat maps (do not know if that is a premium thing now) were also nice to try to find new routes.

I will also drive to the other side of town and explore new route leaving from there as well.

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Headphone with some music makes it way more fun for me.

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Use your solo rides to explore. Download routes from Strava that friends have ridden. There’s always somewhere new to point the wheels and who knows what you’ll find…

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for longer/steadier rides, I like to include blocks where I focus on holding a specific cadence or trying to improve my technique. Breaks things up a bit and is really helpful towards the end of a long ride when I tend to get ‘sloppy’
a couple of late ride sprints also does wonders to break up the monotony without adding too much extra fatigue- or even working on basic skills like cornering and riding with no hands.

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I would just like to recommend Veloviewer https://veloviewer.com/

There are many analysis tools on there (like Eddington numbers, have you ridden 50 miles 50 times?) but my favourite is the Tile Explorer and trying to increase my Max Square of tiles visited. It has given plenty of time to plan routes and so I have ridden lots of new roads to go exploring.

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This is excellent advice.

My advice is unorthodox: get a TT bike. Faster is more fun, the speed gives you momentum that makes it easier to push the pedals, and a TT bike is very comfortable when well fitted. My rides went up 10% in speed (for the same power) when I re-activated the TT bike last week and it makes a real difference in both “being interesting” and in RPE.

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I got a Coros helmet awhile back because I ride alone a lot during the week. It’s got a built in red flashing light as well as speakers in the straps. I love it. If I’m doing a zone 2 ride I’ll turn on a podcast because I’m usually going slow enough to make out and follow the conversation. If I’m riding faster or it’s a particularly windy day, I’ll turn on some music. I highly recommend the helmet.

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Do you ever meditate?

My girlfriend got me into doing meditation every evening for about 10-15 minutes. It sucked at first but after a month or so I started enjoying it. Once I got better at it, it turns out cycling “solo” for long distances and meditation have a lot in common.

So now I consider my long solo rides long opportunities for mind clearing bliss. Certainly makes the miles fly by.

Might be something to consider.

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Most of my riding has been going places - in the old days much more touring, but nowadays more road biking. I just joined trainerroad to try out structured training to get fitter/faster (just for fun), but honestly looking briefly through these forums it almost seems like people don’t much like to ride outside! :wink: Meant more tongue-in-cheek, but for me cycling has always been about exploring and going places, rather than performance.

I prefer to ride with a friend - mainly for the stops and the shared adventure - but more recently doing longish (for me) 50-60 miles and I’ve found it good to ride alone - you can go at your own pace, stop where you want to grab a photo etc. But it helps to set a destination as a goal to reach, and to try and find a scenic route too. A half way point with a view, or historic town, cafe, somewhere you’ve never been, any thing as a good point to celebrate before the return.

I tend to pre-plan, mostly using Komoot, and detour as required - much better when not on ugly traffic filled roads. It also helps me to keep the return journey easier in terms of climbing etc. Ie try and keep the ride fun.

I guess you just get used to riding by yourself and enjoy the chance to switch off.

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I have always thought same. Even more so for LSD rowing, it has really calming effect and clears head very well.

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I always ride solo - 7,000+ miles last year, indoor and out.

I will just echo what others have said.

Use some of your time for training be it speed, endurance, breathing, pedalling technique, even fuelling.
Plan rides and explore, I use Strava’s route planner, but also export to OSMand app on my phone. I can then use overlays to map out shops, cafés etc. But I still carry too much!
3-4 times a year I will have a solo overnight stay with my bike and camping gear. Total relaxation!

What I love about riding solo is that everything is your decision. Sometimes that can be negative and you can talk yourself out of riding.
So set yourself weekly and monthly challenges, another nice Strava feature, it really motivates if the boredom does set in.

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I actually like riding alone and did so often before Covid. I find it relaxing. Gives me time to think. I can ride on my schedule and plan around family and other life activities. I can get out and back in less time AND ride at the pace and course I need to meet my training needs. I take both long road and gravel rides using Ride With GPS to map out new routes.
I do NOT recommend listening to any kind of music or podcast while out on roads with cars our trails with other riders. Just doesn’t seem safe to me. When I am on the road I want to hear what is going on around me for safety reasons.
Another tip is to make sure you have everything you need to handle mechanical issues - extra tube, CO2, mini pump, chain tool, link, etc. When alone you can’t rely on a buddy having an extra. Also have a worst case plan in mind for something you can’f fix if on a long ride - friend/family member to call or Uber/Lyft, etc.

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