East Cuesta Ridge, San Luis Obispo

Staying Local: Finding Adventures Close to Home

Apr 15, 2021Mariya Avtanska

The past year has been a struggle for all of us. Within the athletic community, races and events have been cancelled, travel has been limited, and our opportunities to get out and explore have been cut short. Now, as the global community recovers and bounces back from the pandemic, we are beginning to see the reopening of organized outdoor recreation. As easy as it is to step back into the swing of travel and training in new locations, it’s important to hold on to the lessons we learned over the past 12 months spent exploring the beauty and excitement of our very own neighborhoods.

The fact is, you can live in a town for decades and still have more to discover. Travel is wonderful, but novelty does not always require planes and long car rides. As we transition back to a sense of normalcy–should such a concept exist in 2021–why not try and experience our daily routines from a new perspective?

Here are a few of ideas to get you started:

Go on an art walk/run/ride

As a cyclist in a metropolitan area, I spend a significant amount of time rolling around in urban areas. While the constant stop-and-go of traffic lights can be monotonous, I’ve developed a passion for turning my hours in the city as a method of creative discovery. Cities are full of art, whether in the form of sculptures, murals, and even graffiti, and your runs/rides are perfect opportunities to find local outcrops of expression. Take a look around and see how much color you can find! (Check out r/bikesandgraffiti for some inspiration!)

Photography, athlete style

We’ve all seen cyclists zoom by with mirrorless cameras strapped to their back, ready to capture the next photo-worthy experience. But, you don’t need an expensive photography setup to do the same thing! A picture is worth a thousand words, and bringing along your phone–or, if you’re feeling nostalgic, a disposable film camera–to capture scenes from your everyday workouts is often a subtle reminder that beauty is everywhere, even in our own backyards.

Make some Strava art

Strava art has risen in popularity over the past few years, and it’s no wonder why--what’s better than using your GPS track to draw a dinosaur or spell your name on your local neighborhood streets? This one involves a bit of planning, but the result is more than worth it. Visit strav.art for ideas!


If you haven’t tried geocaching before, it’s a fantastic way to add some adventure into your daily walks and runs. It’s like treasure hunting, complete with sneaky hiding spots and loot (often called “swag”), and with over 3 million caches worldwide, there are probably a considerable amount near you. To get involved, visit geocaching.com, sign up for free, and start searching for your chest of gold.

We look forward to seeing you out there!

-The Fluid Team

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