I’ve long been a James Bond fan. What’s not to love about a guy who always gets the girl and the villain and saves the world? When I was a teenager – about the age of my son now – I read a lot of the James Bond books. A new type of book became popular at that time that featured James Bond – the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.
You probably know the books I’m talking about. You read a page or two until you come to a decision point. What do you do?
- Follow the tall shadowy figure down the alley, go to Page 3.
- Buy the girl across the bar a drink, go to Page 47.
I loved those books. It was a great way to interact and be a part of the action. Poor James Bond, though. I would sometimes choose the action that got him killed. I guess I wouldn’t make a very good secret agent.
As usual, you may be wondering why I’m telling you this. I jumped on my bike for a quick end-of-work-week ride. None of my cycling buddies was available to ride, and I wasn’t really sure what route I wanted to take. My usual routes seemed, well, usual…. I longed for something different – but I wasn’t sure which way to go.
That’s when I decided to let others choose my route for me. I could only hope that they would make better choices for me than I had done for James Bond.
Because I’m very familiar with my local area, this was easy to do. As I’d come to a fork in the road (or stop sign, etc.), I’d watch any cars that were in front of me. My route would be determined by the way the car in front of me went. If the car turned left, I’d turn right.
It took me on some roads I was familiar with – and others that I never took the time to explore. And, because of the new areas, I slowed down so I could enjoy the scenery. No need to worry about keeping my speed up on a route that I always do.
I even found a tough little climb – with mini switchbacks. It made me imagine I was doing an epic climbing stage in the Tour de France (OK – maybe it was the Mini-Me version of an epic climb – but it was still a lot of fun). At the top, I came across three deer who I’m certain we’re cheering me on (but none ran beside me dressed in a devil suit).
The next time you head out for a ride with no particular route planned out, give this method a try! You may discover some new favorite roads and/or sites that you’ve missed in all of your years of cycling.