With the exception of the weekends, I usually pick my routes before I head out the door. For the easy days, the flat jaunt out around the airport (Reno-Tahoe International, if you ken). The harder days, up into the Caughlin Ranch area where the hills are shorter, steeper, and the views varied. For the hardest days, when I call upon the companionship of a faster friend and we go out to do big stuff like Geiger Grade or Mt. Rose.
And I make a point of avoiding rolling upon the same road twice in a ride. Sometimes it’s necessary – owing to conditions, traffic, convenience. If those considerations are of little matter, take a risk and roll back to base via something different. You’ll see different sights, hear different sounds. On my way home from a ride, I’ll make a detour to the donut shop or roll by the lake to see how the ducks are doing. If it wasn’t for a desire to avoid out-and-backing it, I wouldn’t have discovered some unusual roads and paths, some of which required certain amounts of trespassing to navigate.
Cycling is all about adventure and to feel the contour of the ground and resistance of the wind through wheeled journey. Even if the ride is an hour of power and intervals, I seek out variety to satisfy that part of my brain that craves new experiences. My legs and lungs don’t care –– they just want to be worked out and worked out well.
Tomorrow, the docket’s a ride in the foothills with a few buds. Maybe they’ll listen to me when I say, “Guys, let’s preserve our dignity and go a different way back.” I have my doubts they’ll listen.