There’s not a trail in sight, and sometimes that’s a good thing.

I am a die-hard rider. Unless it’s raining, I consistently ride at least three times a week. I get withdrawal if I am separated from my steed for an extended period of time. I didn’t always like taking vacations where I couldn’t ride. However, I have come to understand that taking an occasional break from riding benefits me as a rider. Here are five reasons why you should take a vacation away from the trails every now and then.

Your body gets the recovery time it needs

It’s okay to just sit back and relax every once in a while. Your body will thank you for it.

Week after week of hard riding takes a toll physically. Joints ache, and muscles hurt. If riders don’t take an occasional break from riding, they might reach a point when their bodies don’t give them a choice in the matter. Give yourself a rest from riding every now and then by vacationing away from trails. The recovery time will leave you feeling rejuvenated, and allow you to ride even harder when you get back to riding.

You can inject variety into your fitness

Body boarding is a fun activity that will work all of your major muscle groups.

Engaging in the same physical activity on a constant basis only works certain muscles, while neglecting others. Doing different activities helps you make gains in your overall fitness level. I use vacations away from the trails as opportunities to engage in other activities like swimming, running, and body boarding. These activities work different muscle groups, and give me well-rounded workouts. Additionally, they make me feel stronger and faster when I get back on my bike.

You Can Take Care Of Bike Maintenance

For riders who do not have the time or skill to do their own maintenance, a vacation away from the trails gives your local bike shop time to complete more labor-intensive maintenance tasks, like servicing suspension, without requiring missed rides. I drop my bike off at my local bike shop before I leave on vacation. Unless there’s an unexpected issue, it’s usually ready to go when I get back. It’s a great way to address much-needed maintenance while not losing any riding time.

You have time to study up on the sport

Vacations allow me some time to catch up on reading articles from my favorite website.

Did you see a new bike, but haven’t had time to read any reviews on it? Curious about a new dropper post, but can’t find the time to research it online? If you’re like me, you lead a busy life. My daily routine leaves me little time to research new products, or consider the pros and cons of slacker head angles and wider bars. So I make time during my vacations to learn more about the sport I love. I study up on the latest trends, and read reviews on bikes or products that pique my curiosity. It’s a great opportunity to spend time learning about the sport, even if you can’t ride.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

It’s so great to see your favorite trail again after you’ve spent some time away from it.

It’s hard for me to take a break from riding, but doing so on an occasional basis is vital. It increases my passion for the sport. It also gives my body much needed rest, and allows me to do other activities that make me a more well-rounded athlete. I am a better rider when I don’t ride all the time.

How does taking a vacation from riding benefit you as a rider? Please share in the comments section below.

# Comments

    • TRIPLED06

      He said at least three times! And could be loads of miles!

    • Richard Shoop

      This isn’t the direction I thought the comments would go in, but it does raise an interesting question. What distinquishes a serious rider from a casual rider? Maybe I will explore the topic in a future article if Jeff thinks it’s okay.

  • Slee_Stack

    Sigh. Why is it that there is always someone that feels the need to look down on someone else?

    ‘A lot’ of riding is always relative…but only with respect to one’s self.

    As tripled06 says…it could be loads of miles…or a bunch of elevation…or a ton of technical…or hours…or single speed vs geared..or they have personal health challenges…or are stuck in a 100hr a week job…or… you get the point.

    One person’s 3 days a week is an apple to another’s 7 days a week orange.

    Regardless, the point of the article applies to all (in spite of what size their e-peen is), and I agree with it.

    I sometimes burn myself out riding and need a break…and doing something else…gasp…can be FUN!

    • Richard Shoop

      Well said. Thanks for the comment.

  • Hap Proctor

    My girlfriend and I just completed a 68 day road trip where we rode in Arkansas, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Washington. We only rode twice the last 20 days. Spent the time eating, drinking, staying up late, sleeping in and walking on the beach. Surprising we didn’t even miss it. Felt good to hit the trails when we got back home though.

    • Richard Shoop

      Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for the comments.

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