How do you find new routes and roads? Six tips to help you discover some hidden gems on your next ride

We teamed up with Tredz to offer advice and ideas on how to expand your cycling horizons

Tredz Hidden Gems
(Image credit: Future)

It’s all too easy to find yourself riding the same roads again and again - and perhaps with good reason. We’re naturally creatures of habit and when you’re strapped for time, choosing a well-known route allows you to enjoy the short riding window without risk. There’s also safety in familiar stretches of tarmac, especially during winter when light can fade fast.

But one of the many joys of cycling is discovering new roads. A new loop can reinvigorate your riding and have you seeing your local area through fresh eyes. 

So how do you break out of your riding routine and uncover previously unridden roads, lanes and trails? To help you on your quest, we teamed up with Tredz and took to the beautiful roads surrounding its Swansea store to offer our six top tips on finding some hidden gems in your local area.

Take an unfamiliar side road

Tredz Hidden Gems

(Image credit: Future)

It’s likely that your favourite loops include a few side roads that you pass, wonder where they might go, but never head down. Perhaps it seems obvious, but next time you’re out for spin make a point of going down one. It will immediately add a little adventure into the ride but there’s also a good chance that it will eventually connect to a road you do know, helping you to build up a more extensive mental roadmap of your area.

Be ready for anything

Tredz Hidden Gems

(Image credit: Future)

Heading down unknown roads does require you to be prepared however. Before exploring new routes imagine a few possible ‘unexpected surprises’ - incidents that could derail your ride such as a blown tyre, a snapped chain or running out of fuel - and then make sure you have them covered. Tredz recommends stocking up on some nutrition gels and bars (opens in new tab), as well as adding a tyre boot and a quick link (opens in new tab) to go alongside your puncture repair kit (opens in new tab), hand pump (opens in new tab) and multi-tool (opens in new tab).

Use Google Street View within Komoot to explore

Tredz Hidden gems

(Image credit: Future)

Unridden roads don’t always have to be unknown though. If you prefer to see what’s ahead you can use Komoot, the navigational and route planning app, to help you research your ride. Google Street View is built into the Komoot platform, enabling you to look at those uncharted side roads in detail. Its Trail View feature can be just as handy, pulling together user generated images to provide a good view of what a particular trail looks like so you can determine its suitability.

Browse other people’s routes on Komoot

Tredz Hidden Gems

(Image credit: Future)

Komoot’s Discover page is another useful feature to help expand your cycling horizons. Simply select the area you plan to ride in, add your chosen discipline - road (opens in new tab) or gravel (opens in new tab) for example - and then filter by length and difficulty. The results will show you what roads other cyclists are riding in your area.

Local cycling clubs and bike shops hold a wealth of knowledge

Tredz Hidden Gems

(Image credit: Future)

Tapping into local knowledge is recommended, especially if you’re new to an area and its roads. Komoot is not the only way to do this however. Cycling clubs are a treasure trove of seasoned cyclists; by joining a club and going on its group rides you’ll not only start to build a cycling map of the area but you’ll also meet new friends. However, if you prefer to ride alone, local bike shops, such as Tredz in Swansea (opens in new tab) and Cardiff (opens in new tab), are staffed by cyclists who are usually more than happy to share a few routes with you. 

Use Komoot’s Highlights tool to find the true hidden gems

Tredz Hidden Gems

(Image credit: Future)

Memorable rides are often a combination of great roads with some equally great scenery. The highlight tool on Komoot uses red dots to show points of interest on the map - these could be a great viewing point, an amazing stretch of road or a warning of a particularly steep gradient. You can choose your starting point, select a few highlights and then let Komoot do the rest, building you a new loop with plenty of interesting roads and breathtaking scenery. 

Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.