Summer is almost over, and that means sunshine-filled, hot rides are coming to an end too. Take advantage of the next month and cross these fun, perfect-for-summer rides off your cycling bucket list.
1. Do a low tide ride
You don’t need a fat bike to ride on a beach if you go at low tide. That’s when the sand is hard-packed, so a normal mountain bike tire won’t sink or bog down too much.
If you live near a beach, check online to see if there are events taking place near you—many raise money for good causes, like the Low Tide Ride and Stride from Imperial Beach to Coronado, California, which supports the Wounded Warrior Project. Even if you miss a local event, hit the beach on a solo mission; aim for an early or late ride so you don’t need to dodge boogie-boarders.
Don’t forget: Even though you’re on the water, the beach can be hot, so prep for the heat accordingly.
2. Ride under the full moon
Some bike shops and clubs host monthly full-moon rides, but if you don’t have any nearby, recruit a few friends and organize your own.
Big tip: Make sure you’re properly prepared for riding in the dark.
“Lights and reflectors are very important,” says Maja Perez, communications coordinator for Bike Bakersfield, a group that holds full-moon rides.
Looking for adventure but not into riding in the dark? Many downhill parks also host nighttime events that are well-lit thanks to ski-hill lighting.
3. Set a distance goal
You don’t need to go far from home to set a distance record for your summer—for most of us, tackling a 100-mile century ride would be enough of a challenge.
Start your long-distance ride early to avoid the heat as much as possible, and don’t forget to hydrate! If you’re feeling ambitious, you can try visiting a National Park (some of them even allow and encourage mountain biking).
4. Pedal a non-bike bike
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is skip a week of riding for the sake of your family or significant other. But you can still find time to get in a few pedal strokes.
If you’re on a family vacation, paddleboating is a sneaky way to get in some pedal time while away from dry land. For a more adult version of this activity, see if your city has a booze bike (the kind you pedal as a group on a pub crawl while drinking beers).
5. Register for one more adventure
Late-summer events are a great way to keep your motivation going into fall, so be bold—be daring. Take a look at upcoming events in your area and sign up for something crazy in August: It’s a great time of year to get up in the mountains, where temps are cooler. And you’re probably carrying some great fitness from a summer of riding!
6. Go on a bike picnic
Not every adventure has to involve travel or risk-taking. Next time you’re on amountain bike ride with some good buddies, plan a picnic halfway through or at the end of the ride. Recovery meal, covered. (This can double as a romantic date/a way to lure your significant other onto a mountain bike with the promise of food.)
Too much work? Just bring enough beers to go around. Nothing says summer like a trail beer on a hot day. Just remember to hydrate with water as well—and to not consume so many beers that navigating out of the woods is a challenge.
7. Make your own bucket list for the fall!
Don’t let the fall get away from you! Start planning some adventures and finding your support crew/squad for tours of the countryside as the leaves are changing.