Since I went and broke my collar bone right at the beginning of summer, I came up with some things to do to keep myself busy.
1. Go over your gear. Now is a good time to check out your bike. Especially if you just crashed. Make sure everything on the bike is ok and in working order. Don’t forget to look over your safety gear! My last fall broke some connector straps on my helmet that I didn’t even realize since I was so focused on my collar bone.
2. Maintain your stuff. I maintain the family fleet of bikes, so it’s always a time consuming process to keep everyone up and running. Check brakes, chains and derailleurs.
3. Catch up on TV. There are a ton of things to watch that I never have time for in a normal riding season… Red Bull TV has a huge collection of great content. Sure there is the awesome UCI World Cup series, but also there are some really cool documentaries. I recommend Blood Road.
4. Footy, or it didn’t happen. We all have a large collection of GoPro vids and footage of riding. Take this time to make some compilations! If you don’t know how, watch some tutorials. It’s not too difficult to get some good results. iMovie and other programs even have some templates to automagically make your clips into masterpieces. I’ve been getting out with the local mountain bike club and recording footage of the kids riding the trails. Break out that drone for aerial shots if you are a super nerd.
5. Get organized. Go through all of those extra parts and gear bags. Do you really need that 8 speed shifter? Lighten up your Camelbak. Build a bike rack for the garage.
6. Knowledge is power. We live in a great information age. The amount of data we have available to us is awesome! Take this time to learn something new. YouTube has videos of just about every aspect of bike maintenance. If you can’t find it there, talk with your local bike shop and see if they will take some time to show you some things (maybe bring them some food and beverages for a bribe).
7. Visit your local shops. Remember when you could only go to a brick and mortar building to get things? Step back in time and reconnect with the community! I’m sure there are many shops around you. These shops are the local advocates for the bike community. Stop in and look around.
8. Trail maintenance. Now this could depend on your injury, but a lot of time is put into maintaining our local trails. Even hiking a trail and clearing it of loose twigs and branches can be a big help. Make sure you contact the trail manager if you are planning anything beyond simple branch clearings. Never remove rocks or trail obstacles without permission. Never add obstacles without permission.
9. Get fancy. How about some upgrades? Even simple things can spruce up a ride. New grips. Stickers. Custom vinyl graphics. Make YOUR bike one of a kind!
10. Fill your shopping cart. There is always something new out there to buy. Now is a great time to do your research on new gear. Read up on tires. Check out shorts from Zoic. Try a new chain lube. Don’t forget tubeless sealant. Since I got hurt I’ve been looking a switching to a fanny pack to hold my hydration. Remember to shop local! Support your local shops like D and D bikes. Don’t be that person that “showrooms” local shops to try it on (or price it out), only to buy it online. Not cool!
My total time off of the trails will end up being about 8 weeks for a clavicle fracture and surgery. It’s been a LONG eight weeks, but staying busy has helped to keep me from going crazy!