Local loops, how to keep it safe and exciting when riding on your own
Solo, local riding has very much been the order of the day lately but how can you maximise your quality of riding when you’re on your own? Here are some things to take into consideration when riding solo and an array of Specialized products that help keep these rides exciting.
Create a loop
Creating some local looped training routes is the first step to keeping solo riding interesting. Changing your focus from distance to time, elevation and on bike workouts will improve your cycling ability. Use a mapping tool and create a circuit in your local area that you can do laps of and that incorporates the areas you want to improve on such as short sharp hills, technical sections or quiet, flat straights. As a result, you may not even need to stay out for a long time on the bike if you are trying to improve things such as repeated efforts, recovery, form and climbing ability. Make a few local loops so that you do not get bored and ride them back to front for added variation. This way your motivation to ride stays high.If you’re riding for pleasure rather than form, the Aethos offers superb ride quality without the restrictions of UCI rules.
Taking it on to the loose stuff
Keeping it local doesn’t mean just staying on the same old roads, look beyond and see what riding options your area offers. By changing your mapping tools to show you any bridleways in your area, you can create loops that incorporate gravel trails and off-road routes. This variation of discipline keeps your solo rides exciting and allows you to explore more of your local area. It’s the same for mountain biking because switching up your style of riding can make a huge difference when you are on your own.
All the gear, all the idea thanks to MIPS
When it comes to staying safe on solo rides the first priority should be a quality helmet. From top of the range to cheaper models, all of our lids use the rotational force reducing MIPS technology. This is a low friction layer that separates the shell and liner and allows the helmet to slide at impact. MIPS has been proven to reduce trauma to the brain during impact. The new S-Works Prevail II Vent with Angi goes one better and uses an ultra-light exclusive version we helped develop called MIPS SL. This has integrated the technology into the helmet padding to make it more comfortable and lightweight. With a provided 10 to 15 millimetres of rotation, all the benefits of the standard MIPS tech are retained.
Light it up
No matter the time of day, on bike safety can be achieved with a quality pair of bike lights. The motto to follow here is to see and be seen. With a 1,200, 600 and 300 lumen output and a run time of one and a quarter, two and a half and five hours respectively, the FLUX 1200 Headlight is perfect to light the way when riding at night. To be seen, the 70-lumen front and 20 lumen rear of the Flash Headlight/Taillight combo or the 70-lumen front, 14 lumen rear output of the classy STIX Sport combo are perfect for day riding. Light yourself up so other road users can see you.
Staying on top of your bike’s inner mechanics can help to keep you safe while also improving the enjoyment of a ride. If you know how to get yourself out of a pickle you won't constantly be worried about puncturing. As well as the knowledge you will need the tools for the job and the ever-popular Mini Wedgie saddle pack is a great place to stow away tools, a spare tube, tyre levers and potentially ride saving energy snacks. For MTbers who need to quickly get out of a situation, the SWAT Conceal Carry MTB tool stashes an emergency multi-tool and chain breaker inside the steerer tube of your suspension fork. An ingenious way to make use of the little extra space.
Local loops don’t have to be boring, step out of your comfort zone, ride something different or simply just explore the trails in your area. To see the bikes and gear mentioned above, come down to one of our stores and speak to a friendly member of our staff to learn all about the innovations Specialized have made over the past year to make your riding more enjoyable.
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