|Part of my commute to work everyday.|
First, I thought that it is kind of weird that we don't think about our "own back yards" as a place to find adventure much. Oh, there are folks who do this, but I think many do not think they can have an "epic' ride unless they go to Colorado, South America, or Finland. Ya know what I mean? It's as if these certain sites and media wonks have made it so that unless you have some grandiose back drop for your bicycle ride, you can't be having a "real adventure". Now there's something all the "any bike is an adventure bike" complainers should really be getting amped up over. Forget about the bike, it's all these media sites cramming their "We went to Uruguay to ride the spine of a Piranha" crap that is dumbing down cycling adventures. I mean, we look at that stuff, realize we'll never get there, not to mention be able to afford it, and we get all down about our mundane cycling we do get to do. We don't measure up.
That's a pile of horse crap, by the way, and you can have a fantastic adventure wherever you live if you open your eyes up to it.
So I thought, hey! I have some pretty cool and varied terrain right within my city limits. So, I figured I would string together a ride to hit up a multi-terrain route and never leave the city limits of Waterloo/Cedar Falls, which blend together so seamlessly that you never know when you've crossed the border between the two. I count it as one municipality, so there!
|Some paved bike path....|
Most town/city cyclists I see do not have a clue on how to string together a route that has low/no traffic. I see so many folks riding their bikes on routes that they would drive cars on, it isn't even funny. In fact, it is down right dangerous. Invest in time to explore different, safer, and yes......more circuitous and lengthy options. It's riding a bike, for crying out loud, so if you like that, you should want the ride to take longer. That's my take, anyway.
It also leads to exploration, discovery, and yes- adventure! You know, the whole reason you probably rode away from your home when you were a kid in the first place. Relive that! Why do the county roads, same ol' training loops, and the closed loop bike paths over and over again. Take the path less pedaled, and less car driven. You'll find some cool things you never knew about your city before. I know that I do whenever I find a route, street, or path I haven't ridden on yet. Which is getting harder to do the longer I live here, by the way!
|This used to be a trolley car track. Now it is a dirt path. I hope they NEVER pave it!|
|Bushwhacking a short bit between other more open bits.|
|What amounts to a B Level Service road in the city limits that is closed to traffic.|
|Hidden gem- alleys. If you are not riding alleys you are missing out on a great amount of fun!|
So, if you have a crumbling infrastructure, rejoice and have fun with it! There are a ton of places to go have fun, even if the back drop isn't a high Rocky Mountain pass sign, or some exotic foreign landscape. Find adventure right where you live and don't let anyone say to you that it isn't as good as some far flung location with exotic names.