Since COVID-19, our worlds have become smaller. We’ve stayed home, canceled plans, and spent a lot of time looking back fondly on adventures past or looking forward to post-pandemic adventures in the future.
As the months tick on, a lot of people are feeling pandemic fatigue. I know I am. Lockdown number three here in England seems like it’s been going on forever, and I’m pretty sure January lasted three months.
We need something to be excited about, something new — a change of scenery or at least a change of pace. These days, we have to find adventure wherever we can.
This situation raises the question: How do you make an adventure out of the mundane?
I have a few ideas.
For folks who are still able to leave the house to go to work, consider taking up bicycle commuting. Commuting is a great way to enjoy your bicycle on a daily basis, especially during times when you perhaps can’t look forward to weekend getaways and longer bike trips.
I’ve found that bike commuting is often the best part of my day, especially during the COVID-19 lockdowns. I relish the up-close and personal view I get of the changing seasons. I take in the quiet and the lack of cars on the road. I pass a field of horses each day and have watched one of them grow up over the course of the past year. These small moments of peace and joy have helped me stay sane through these troubling times.
We often go through so much of our lives tuned out and focusing on anything other than what’s happening in the present moment. When I find myself getting bored with my ride or becoming unaware, I try to focus on the details of my surroundings and I always find something to pique my interest, whether it’s a house I never noticed before or a little side path that I take on my way home.
Many of you are likely already bicycle commuters, and there are always new ways you can spice up your commute to make it more fun or just to get out of your normal routine. You might take the scenic route to work, focus on noticing new things along your path, or enjoy a podcast or some of your favorite music.
Every commute can be a mini-adventure. You’re out in the elements, and whether you’re listening to music or simply the whir of your tires on pavement, commuting is a way to connect yourself to your bike and to the world at large. And, let’s face it — we all need a little more connection these days.
Many folks don’t get the mini-adventure of the daily commute now that working from home is more common than ever, but fear not! That doesn’t mean there are no other adventures to be had.
When you have to run an errand, ask yourself: Can I do this on my bike? Whether it’s a trip to the grocery store, a stop at your local coffee shop, or a socially distanced visit at a friend’s house, you might be able to gift yourself a mini-adventure by hopping on your bike instead of getting in the car. Plus, fixing up your bike to carry groceries, a coffee cup, or whatever else could be a fun quarantine project.
Why not take the long way around and meander your way to the post office by bicycle? By rethinking how you do your errands and different tasks throughout your day, you might be able to introduce a few more mini-adventures into your life while larger and more exciting adventures are on hold for the time being.
Whether you’re a fan of routines or not, we can all get into a rut sometimes. I often think I’ve been on every road and every trail near my house, and I’m always wrong. There’s always something new when you look at your local surroundings with fresh eyes.
See your neighborhood and local area as if you were showing it to someone else for the first time. What would a bicycle tour of your local area look like if you were giving it to a visiting friend? What would you point out? Where are your favorite spots? Is there a little path you always pass by but have never pedaled down? Why not check it out now?
Travel restrictions offer a great opportunity for us to all get to know our immediate surroundings a bit better. Finding a new trail or road close to home that you’ve never explored can be a welcome dose of adventure during a time that’s become mundane for many of us.
Wherever you find your next mini-adventure, remember to follow all your local COVID-19 restrictions and protocols when exploring. I think we’ll all be able to dream a bit bigger soon enough, but for now, why not embrace the many mini-adventures that daily life can offer us?
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Greetings from San Diego, CA! I appreciate the valuable reminders that we can shift our route to create mini adventures! While I am taking a short break from cycling and have taken up Pandemic-Walking my neighborhood, I've enjoyed switching up my route, sides of the street, directions walked etc. Doing this allows me to literally shift my perspective and see houses, trees flowers from a new angle. I look forward to getting back on my bike in the near future.