Summer Riding Ideas w/ Denise Ramsden
We caught up with Denise Ramsden, velofix Ambassador and Olympic Athlete, to find out what she’s doing on her bike this summer. Read all about her ideas for having fun out there whether you’re a roadie or mountain biker, this list is for everyone!
Summer is finally here! While riding is fun year-round (except sometimes in the Vancouver winter rain), I always am reminded of how much I love riding on sunny summer days. Who wouldn’t want to get out and ride a bike on a day like this?
The past ten years I’ve spent each summer completely focused on racing and performance. This summer I’m trying to find every possible way to have fun on the bike. While that still includes racing, but I’m mixing in a few other bike-based adventures along the way.
Here are the ways I’ve found to have fun on my bike so far this summer:
While we all have our favorite riding loops, sometimes it’s fun to check out new roads or to have a destination that you have to reach. This kind of ride obviously involves a few more logistics, but there can be opportunities to try it out. Say you are heading somewhere for the weekend with friends or family. Could you hop out of the car along the way and ride part of the way (or the whole way!) there? It’s fun to check out the Google Maps area of where you are heading and map out a potential riding route that gets you to your destination and take in new roads of wherever you happen to be.
Multi-day riding aka ‘bikepacking’
I decided it was time to take point-to-point riding to the next level. My boyfriend and I are about to embark on a 4-day riding adventure that will take us up the Sunshine Coast of BC and back down Vancouver Island. We’ll cover about 400km over the 4 days, take 7 ferry crossings and 1 water taxi. Everything we need will be in these extra-large saddle bags…
Adding a rack and panniers to a touring or cross bike would be another great option, but we’ve only got road bikes to use at the moment so our space is a little more limited. If you had extra space, you could take the adventure to the next level and bike camp!
Aside from carrying a change of clothes and toiletries, this adventure isn’t requiring too many more accessories than your average ride. We’re packing a few extra tubes and also bought a few lights just in case we end up racing daylight at some point. Otherwise, nothing too fancy needed!
If you are a light packer, you could likely even get by with a small riding backpack (like a mountain bike hydration pack). To do it barebones all you would need is a set of street clothes, flip-flops and a toothbrush. Even the pros have to do a kit sink wash on occasion. Summer weight kit will be dry and ready to go in the morning.
I’ve been doing a little less racing this summer, but I don’t think I could imagine a summer with no racing at all. Knowing that I have a race coming up gives me the extra push to get out on my bike and even if the racing is painful at times, it always makes for a fun day with great teammates and friends.
Be it a one-day race, stage race, fun race or Fondo get out there and throw down with your friends, team mates and race-day frenemies!
I’m definitely no pro mountain biker, but I enjoy hopping on a different type of bike once in a while and challenging my skills. As an added bonus, escaping into the woods on a hot summer day can be a nice change from the blistering heat of paved roads. If you don’t own a mountain bike, try sorting out a rental for a weekend and give it a go. If you’re a roadie like me, the bike may feel a little foreign at first, but find a fun, flowy trail and you’ll be having a blast in no time!
What kind of bike adventures are you getting up to this summer? Are there any awesome bike-based adventures I need to add to my to-do list this summer?