Depending on your family, work and school commitments, the weather, and your motivation, there are times when you may spend your free time doing other things than riding. When the weather is beautiful and you’ve built your entire schedule around taking advantage of every precious minute of potential ride time, it’s hard to get yourself off the bike. Then there are times when you are busy with a variety of other things. Realistically, you can’t be riding your bike all the time. Not even the pros do that. Luckily there are plenty of other activities to do in the world. So here are some of the things cyclists do when they are not riding:
Talk about riding
Sure, you may not be able to ride your bike all the time but you can certainly talk anyone and everyone’s ears off about riding. Your friends, family and people you meet in social gatherings are surely very interested by your gear ratios, tire choice and how awesome you are for casually riding your bike hundreds of kilometres on weekends. If you don’t already, try talking bikes as an icebreaker with people you just met who don’t bike.
Scout out the next gear purchase
When lactic acid isn’t building up in your muscles and your smashing hours on your bike, many cyclists transfer many of those same hours into doing research on what their next gear purchase should be. A new carbon wheelset is sexy and can give your bike the biggest performance improvement. Warm riding clothes can make inclement weather riding in winter not only possible but also enjoyable. Figuring out your next bike purchase is a pursuit a cyclist can sink many hours into. You can spend lots of time researching the right tire clearance for you, the frame compliance, geometry, material choices, cable routing options, groupset and much, much more on a bike.
Instagram about the last ride
You snap a sweet shot on your ride that’s now just sitting on your phone. With the time you aren’t riding, you can now dial in your hashtags, get the editing just right and post that beauty on social media so all your friends see how amazing your ride last week was. When you aren’t riding, a cyclist will also scroll through Instagram and also check the recommended page to see as much cycling content they possible can in one social media scrolling session.
Some may consider trainer or roller time as riding time but realistically, you’d rather be outside and really you aren’t going anywhere no matter how immersive your Zwift setup is. You may be getting fitter very efficiently making this activity you do while not riding one of the very best. Getting a good indoor training setup will also take a lot of research so you’re doing a great job of filling your non-riding time by committing to this. You can then talk to all your friends, those who ride and also those who don’t, about how amazing your pain cave setup is and how much you love spending hours during the cold and dark months of winter in it.
Changing tires, replacing chains and brake pads, meticulously cleaning every inch of your bike, greasing bolts, bearings, pedals and much more all take a lot of time. Consider many cyclists have more than one bike plus perhaps a commuter and you’ve got a lot of maintenance and upkeep to keep you busy during all your ideal hours not riding.
Plan a trip
When you aren’t riding you can’t be blamed for dreaming about riding incredible roads in world-class destinations and to do that you need to travel. Travelling abroad can open up a whole new world of experiences and spending the time to plan a dream trip is worth every bit of your non-riding time. You want to consider a destination where you can optimize your riding when you are there and the time spending the trip should correlate with how epic the riding on the trip will be.
Route the next ride
Whether in a new destination or on your familiar local roads, getting amazing routes dialled is very satisfying. It can be time-consuming and requires meticulous planning switching from Strava’s Route Builder, Google Maps and web pages that recommend rides. To make the absolute best routes for when you are riding, many cyclists will commit some of their free time to routing the rides they plan to do.
The cycling season is year round these days. The Tour Down Under kicks things off in January and then there are never more than a couple of weeks between big races that can be streamed online. After the road season ends the calendar shifts to cyclocross with amazing racing weekend after weekend. This is great news for cyclists not riding because in Canada, many of these races take place in the morning and when you are riding a lot you may miss some of them. No excuses on days you aren’t riding not to make a nice cup of coffee and watch some cycling.