As I am starting to learn, cycling full-time isn’t just cycling full time. Even on big weeks, you still have entire afternoons with seemingly not much to do. Apart from eating, cleaning, sleeping and more eating! But as I am starting to get into a routine and trying new things I thought I could give an insight for anyone also in this great position to ride their bike full time. So here it is, my list of 10 things for a full time rider to do, that isn’t riding your bike!
1: Clean / maintain your bike
This one is obvious. But now you have time, use it to look after and keep your bike in tip-top condition. Someone recently has told me stories of him not finishing races due to avoidable bike issues, which he has never had again!
Don’t fall into the same trap. Give your bike a thorough clean at least once a week, more if the training conditions are bad. Normally I would do this the day before a race, so I can set my bike up for racing at the same time. But this does mean that if you haven’t already diagnosed any problems if you find any it is the day before a race and there might not be time to fix it!
Once a month give your bike a full strip down, this works out as a nice rest day activity as it can take a while. Take the bearings out, regrease all the internals. Relube cables and replace if needed. Use a chain checker to assess wear and replace if needed. Take out bolts and apply grease along with on seat posts and handlebars. Tune up the gears and your bike will feel like new…along with using the best part of a day!
2: Watch Bike Racing
You can use your new-found time to keep up to date with the pros and the world tour calendar. If you want to watch the whole of Paris-Roubaix, go ahead! Get your ride done early and then you have a whole afternoons entertainment sorted.
You can even use it as a learning experience. Think through the situations you are watching, what you’d do if you were in there, how you’d race. It is a good way to learn some new tactics!
3: Refine bike positions (especially on TT bikes)
This is a pretty popular subject in our house at the moment, with a couple of TTs and stage races with prologues coming up. But it is very important! It can take a lot of time and refinement to perfect a TT position (if there is a true ‘perfect’ position.
This means lots of time with one person on a turbo and the rest of the group looking around, thinking and throwing out ideas. Normally followed by more thinking and then the sound of some allen keys and a torque wrench.
I hope we actually save some time!
4: Stretching / Core Work
Use your new-found time to master the off the bike activities which help a cyclist. A solid core is vital for good power transfer on the bike, so why not take 20mins on the easier days to top it up?
Also put together a good pre race stretching routine to really help set the legs up for a race. It will also work really well on a rest day to maximise recovery!
5: Draw on your shoes
Okay. Maybe slightly out there. But hey. I was bored. Anyway, why not? Buy a sharpie and get creative. Then you have a bit of cycling equipment no one else has. And that is pretty cool!
Now for some less obvious, less bike related things that are really good for passing the time!
6: Make your own energy bars
In the house here we have been experimenting to see who can make the best bars. Basically just chucking a load of ingredients into a bowl and wacking it in the oven and hoping for the best. But here is what we have come up with…
The Jobber Bar:
3 Bananas – Mashed
2 Cups of Oats
A Couple Table Spoons of Honey
Any extras you may like to add – Personally I quite like dried cherries and chia seeds
If the situation is dia, a couple table spoons of Nutella goes in well
Smash it all into a bowl, 10mins in the oven, jobs a good’un
7: Find the local cafe
I did my research for this. If you know me, you know I like a good cafe. After hunting around trip advisor and instagram I found a nice little coffee roaster in the centre of Limoux called ‘La Brulerie’. I have to say it is pretty incredible! We have tried a fair amount of fresh new coffee. And combined with something from the local bakery it is always whats needed.
But if you don’t already have one in mind, head out in the town, get exploring and try some coffee! You’ll soon find a new go to stop!
8: Explore the town
Get out one afternoon and have an explore! Find the good bakeries, the cheapest shops, some nice views, basically what ever you can find! Just enjoy it. Take yourself away from cycling for a couple of hours and have a laugh.
We have found, well…have been woken up by on multiple occasions, the Limoux Carnival. And it is absolutely mental! The whole town comes out to sing and dance and play music till the early hours in the morning. Not ideal the day before a race! Maybe when one of us win a race we will go get some masks and join in?
9: Write a blog
Why not? I started a fair while ago now, and I really enjoy it. People always like to read about people doing cool things, so you just have to tap into that.
Open up word press and off you go…write away! You might be surprised as to how many people read it!
10: Chill Out
You’ve probably worked really hard to get to the position where you can ride full-time, I know I have, and it is a dream starting to come true. So take your time off the bike and relax. In my situation before when I was working I had very limited time post training to chill out and recover, but now I have all the time in the world. It really gets rid of all the stress and you can switch off and just relax. Put on some music, sit back, browse social media, just do nothing basically! Sometimes it is really nice!