Touring Tip: Riding in Reverse

Apr 01, 2016 View Comments by

In between those looked-forward-to multi-day touring expeditions, most of us satisfy our need to ride with the proverbial weekend lunch day ride, near where we live. These are great opportunities to enjoy the camaraderie of riding and breaking bread with friends and new acquaintances. Once a particular route becomes fixated in our minds, we tend to take the same way over and over again, partially because it’s a great route and the food is reliably good.

Da Legna, Hartford, Connecticut

A favorite stop: Da Legna in New Haven, CT. – Photography: John Flores

But we also repeat our routes and destinations because we don’t have to really think about it; muscle memory takes over and off we go. Regardless of how great the route is, though, in time it becomes so familiar that our riding pleasure starts to diminish. Part of the solution to this problem is to have more than one lunch destination and route to that destination. Where I live, I’m fortunate to have on the order of a half-dozen or more favorite lunch stops and routes. But even that many becomes staid over time.

When organizing a lunch ride, I never insist on being the leader. Instead, I like to see how other comparable riders chart their way to a new place. If I like the result, I put it in my mental inventory of destinations and routes. Because of this, I’ve been introduced to many off-the-beaten path eateries that are true diamonds in the rough.

Recently, while following someone else, I realized there is an easy way to double my inventory of lunch routes. We were following roads that all were familiar to me, but we were riding them in the opposite direction. Seeing the landscape and riding the curves in reverse order I felt the thrill and mystery of riding a new route for the first time. Wow, what a difference that made!

Of course that wasn’t the first time I had reversed course on a route, but it made me realize that I don’t do it enough. In this way, six lunch ride routes can become 12. While riding a route in the usual way is a “no brainer,” riding it in reverse requires more thought. So, when you’re not out on a days-long motorcycle tour, try taking some of your usual lunch ride routes in reverse—it may spice up your riding life.


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Tags: Categories: On The Road, Touring & Safety Tips