Variety is key to enjoyment and motivation in the long run. I challenge myself to mix up my training every now and then, once a week to a few times a month. It forces me in a fun way to learn a new skill, navigate new terrain and gently apply pressure to my comfort zone. 

Variety can also mean trying different equipment. Hire a gravel bike, enter a crit if you are a fondo person, do a group ride if you are a solo gal, or go along with an office team triathlon, a come and try day at a BMX club. 

Here is 21  things I have done to challenge myself in a fun way that has all contributed to progression towards my career as a pro. 

  1. I did a come-and-try day at the velodrome on a track bike.
  2. I attempted bike-polo on a fixed gear bike in Germany.
  3. I did a few pairs MTB races – one with my boyfriend, another with a female friend, and another with a guy I met the day of the race!
  4. Raced a handicap criterium.
  5. Went to Wednesday night BMX gates.
  6. Rode my BMX in an indoor skatepark and launched it into a foam pit.
  7. Tried a NYC style spin class featuring dance moves/nightclub DJ sets.
  8. Did a virtual hill climb race on FulGaz.
  9. Did a real hill-climb mass start race in Catalonia.
  10. Toured with a steel bike around Japan and camped on the streets. 
  11. Participated in roller-racing with bike couriers in Brisbane.
  12. Entered a track stand competition with bike couriers in Japan. 
  13. Rode a Lime e-bike around Sydney and over the Harbour Bridge.
  14. Challenged myself to ride up the steepest streets in Barcelona on a city bike (not electric!).
  15. Ridden downhill at a bike park with chairlifts for the way up.
  16. Tried skiing once in the Pyrenees (it’s a no from me).
  17. Attempted to rollerblade along the Brisbane river bikeway (many of the same muscles, very different centre of gravity and skills).
  18. Entered a mass start gran fondo in Hokkaido.
  19. Taught beginners how to ride a bike.
  20. Entered a cyclocross race and took beer hand-ups every lap.
  21. Rode home after work to a river, slept outside in summer, and rode to work the next day.
  22. Attempted riding a unicycle, as my younger sister can ride one!

I am sure I could add 20 more things to this list!

Here are a few bucket list things I still want to add to my alternative-bike adventures

  1. Cycle tour around South America (inspired by cycling about)
  2. Race an Alley-Cat
  3. Try a tandem bike

I challenge you to find an alternative bike activity when you get a chance, and start your own list!

About Brodie Chapman

Brodie is a WorldTour rider with French Team, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope. You can find her shredding trails on her MTB, or exploring her adopted home-town of Girona, Spain.