By Kate Amos We all dream of a summer vacation spent sipping mai tais on the beach. But with work and family commitments many of us need to stick closer to home. The good news is that staying local does not have to mean being stuck in the same old routine. Rather, it can be an opportunity to get creative and explore new possibilities.
Create a Theme Ride
Bring your riders up the famous 21 hairpin bends of the Tour de France’s Alpe d’Huez climb, go for a leisurely jaunt along New York’s Coney Island Beach Boardwalk, or complete the bike leg of the Kona Ironman triathlon—the only limit is your imagination. Theme rides can bring novelty and excitement to the same old intervals, reminding even the stateliest of adult riders of just how much fun it can be to turn the pedals of a bicycle.
Use Lighting, Music and Video
So you’ve planned out an awesome theme ride based on the day’s stage in the Tour de France, plotted a meticulous class profile backed up by a killer playlist, and your riders are saying “Tour de what now?” Incorporate some video to really bring the ride to life! You can also use lighting, music, and even smell to set the tone for your ride. If your goal is to replicate the feeling of an easy ride along a flat beach bike path, dim the lights, put on some relaxing instrumental music, and light a surf-wax scented candle. If the day’s ride is bringing you to the resort night climb turn up some electronic music and experiment with colored lighting. Even small changes can make a big difference!
Create a Ride Series
Go beyond a single theme ride and offer a multi-week summer series. These rides can all be based around one theme, or they can be progressive in nature. Riding with the same people every week can help to build camaraderie in your training sessions, and it gives riders something to look forward to. Establishing a series of rides also helps instructors to track and facilitate rider progress, and for riders to get regular feedback from an instructor with whom they have an ongoing relationship. Summer is a great time to create a ride series as the time pressures of school and work are often lessened, and the longer days can make it easier to get motivated to get on the bike.