You are really into bike riding and now you want to challenge yourself with a longer distance riding. Are you wondering what to prepare for your first long-distance cycling event?
There are several things you need to consider before taking your new and big journey such as bike preparation, weather check, things to carry with, etc. The guide below will give you tips to get yourself ready for the miles to come, check it out!
1. Route Checking
The very first thing you need to do is planning your cycling route. You need to have a clear picture of these points:
- How long is the route?
- Are there stops on the road so you can top-up food and drink?
- Will you be able to go back in case of an emergency?
If possible, you should bring a map or GPS with you when giving the route a check. By doing that, you can mark up some significant places that need more attention, some obstacles on the road, etc. to ensure smooth riding.
2. Gear Selecting
Have a Good Quality Bike
Having your bike mechanical checked is the second thing to do before starting your long-distance ride. A good road bike is highly recommended for being your partner on this big journey.
You need to choose a bike frame that fits you properly. Don’t pick the one which is too low, your legs will get tired easily and it’s not good for your long journey. A too high bike frame is also not a good option since you will need to lean forward too much, your back will be hurt.
In addition, you need to check if your tire is good enough for a long ride: the friction surface is working fine, there are no cuts on the side or on the surface of the tires.
One more thing to take note of is having bike light and easy to turn pedals. You don’t want to put a lot of effort into turning the pedals during a long and tiring ride.
Prepare Proper Outfits
Besides having a good bike, you need to have good clothing and equipment as well.
• Make sure your helmet is light and has good protection and ventilation functions. Sunglasses are also essentials to protect you from not only sunshine but also bugs and dust. Sunglasses with interchangeable lenses are also great for riding in dark weather.
• The next important factor is cycling shorts. Since your legs take an important role in the success of your big ride, choosing quality and comfortable shorts is a must.
• Cycling gloves are also important. You might consider picking fingerless gloves for reducing the vibrations and the blisters after hours of riding.
• Road cycling shoes are also important for ensuring your comfort during the bike. Make sure to choose a lightweight pair of shoes. Depending on how your pedals look, you can either choose the clipless shoes or clip-in shoes.
• Also, you should remember to bring your jersey or bike jacket if your long ride is in the severe weather. Some bike jackets with reflective materials are good options for riding in dark conditions.
Nutrition and hydration are also 2 utmost factors supporting you on your long ride. Fuel yourself with a good meal, a breakfast or lunch that provides you enough nutrition before going out for riding.
Gel and power bars should be in your pocket list when you’re on the big ride. A small bar can provide you a lot of energy so you can continue the ride. You can also consider carrying other easy to digest food and fruit: bananas, apples, peanut butter sandwiches, and so on.
Besides food, you also need to fuel enough water and carbohydrates so you won’t have the dreaded bonking during the ride. Sport waters with high electrolytes will keep you hydrated on the road.
As the energy bars and water bottles won’t take much room, you might need to bring double the amount of food and drink that you feel like you need. What is more, remember that your big ride is not a good time to try new dishes or new drinks.
4. Prepare for the Unexpected
Always being prepared for things that could happen is a way to avoid being in a dilemma when unexpected things come.
Remember to bring with you the pump, CO2 inflators, inner tubes, and some basic bike fixing tools, just in case you might have flat tires during the ride. You don’t want to stop out of nowhere and lose your momentum to look for a bike maintenance shop.
You should also consider carrying a basic first-aid kit: band-aids, some cash, and your ID card just in case.
What is more, checking the weather forecast on the days that you planned for the big ride is an important thing to take note of. It is to make sure you bring enough essentials tools for dealing with the bad weather.
5. Mental Health Prepare
Last but not least, you need to make sure that your mental and physical health is good enough to be able to take a long-distance ride.
No matter how strong and brave you are, taking a hundred miles ride is not easy as eating a piece of cake. You might get sore, tired and your muscles might get cramp up during the ride. You might need to ride in really bad weather like freezy winds and heavy rains.
Remember that things might happen to everyone so be prepared. It will be a big achievement when you complete the route. Riding cycling books is also a way to encourage yourself for the long ride to come.
Although riding for a long-distance may sound simple, it requires a lot of technique and preparation in order to have a successful riding time. After reading these tips, you might have a plan for your upcoming long-distance ride.
Looking back at the long-distance that you’ve completed is really rewarding. Are you ready for your first big ride? Get on your bike and enjoy it!