It’s one thing to go for a bike ride, but it’s another thing to go on a long distance bike ride. This article will discuss how to prep for a long distance cycle ride.
Depending on the ride you will train differently. If you intend to go into a race, obviously you will have much more extreme training. If you just ride with friends, you might train hard enough to ensure that you can keep up, but it won’t be as extreme. If you just want to go for a long ride by yourself, you’ll probably take a more laid-back approach. You should identify your goal and purpose for the long ride and train accordingly for it.
Do a maintenance check on your equipment
Before you leave, you should check your equipment and make sure everything works properly. Some items to check include:
- The bike – check the frame for any bends or concerns.
- Tires – check the tire pressure and treads.
- Saddle – your saddle is critical to a successful ride. Consider investing in a brown leather saddle to reduce sitting discomfort.
- Helmet – don’t forget about your safety. Your helmet should fit snug to your head but not too tight or loose.
Pack light, but pack the essentials
Considering you’ll be taking a long trip, you don’t want to weigh yourself down with too much stuff. However, you should still have some additional items. Some recommendations include:
- Extra water.
- Snacks or protein bars.
- Some cash.
- An extra tire and/or tube.
- Tire pump.
- Spare brake pads.
- An extra gear cable.
- Extra chain links.
All of these are in addition to your bicycle clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, and so on.
Once you begin your ride, it’s important to start slow. It’s very easy to jump right in and go too hard, with too high of a gear, and ultimately kill your legs for the rest of the trip. Professionals have many tips, such as the rule of thirds. This tip is all about in the first third of the ride you should easily pedal along. In the second third, you should start to feel your muscles working, and if you can, the last third is where you should go all in.
Hydrate and eat
Long distances rides make you feel exhausted, and they burn a lot of calories, so you have to continue hydrating and feeding your body nutrients. Some professional riders suggest eating every 30 minutes or drinking water every hour. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, our bodies tend to get dehydrated before we start feeling thirsty. When in doubt, drink some water, as it can’t hurt.
Listen to your body
Lastly, your body will naturally fight you over time. More often than not, you can actually push through, but if you genuinely feel pain you should stop and rest. You can stretch your muscles, but if you feel pain and you keep pushing, you could hurt yourself.
While there are many ways to prep for a long distance cycle ride, these are the main things to do before and during your ride.