There is nothing more pleasurable than taking off from your daily routine and escaping on a long distance bicycle ride. The hills, the beaches, the jungles, or the unadulterated trails – if you are a passionate biker, every road is within reach. As enticing and alluring as it sounds, your first steps toward an all-day ride must be taken with great caution or your romance with the bicycle can end even before it starts.
Cycling has numerous benefits and can definitely be helpful in ways that you have never thought of!
As a cycling enthusiast, you sure would have dreamt of going on an adventurous long distance bicycle ride, racing with friends and exploring unseen places. But, have you planned and prepared for the challenges that might come your way?
Gear Up for Your First Long Distance Bicycle Ride
You might already be aware of the basics of short-distance cycling. All you need is to plan your first long distance bicycle ride/escapade by following certain tips.
The first and most important step is to make up your mind.
So, wait no more! Read along and gear up for a thrilling cycling tour.
Pick Your Ride
Choosing the right bike that suits best for long-distance tours is the first essential step. The weight, size, and height of the cycle greatly impact your ride. So, make sure you try out different bikes before picking the final one that will make you comfortable throughout your endeavour. Here are the three most popular types of long-distance bikes –
Mountain bike: As the name suggests, these bikes are most suitable for hilly regions, providing good suspension and comfort.
Cyclocross or Touring Bike: These bikes are rugged but fast and efficient at the same time. However, the lack of suspension makes them suitable for places with good roads.
Hybrid Bicycle: Hybrid bicycles are best suited for leisure cyclists. These are designed to provide more comfort and may also come with suspension.
Rogue or No-Rogue?
With your bike picked out, you will also have to decide whether you want to go supported, that is, with assistance from a bike tour firm or rogue and unsupported. An organized bike tour will provide you with aid if you get unexpected flats, 3 square meals and even carry your bike in case you are exhausted. However, if you choose to go on you own, you will have to look out for your own meals, repair your own tires and basically help yourself.
Well, there are people who have done this without any support too. Read about Priyanka Dalal, a vegetarian solo cyclist and her ride around Germany, Taiwan, and Australia.
Plan Your Route
Once you’ve found your bike, it’s time to pick a route.
Selecting the perfect route is as important as choosing the right bike.
The terrain, the distance and the weather conditions that you might encounter are worth considering. Use long distance bicycle ride maps for complete route information to avoid getting lost. Make sure that the route does not adversely affect your health condition.
Health is Wealth
It is in your hands to look after yourself . If you think that you are not in a great physical condition, then you should reschedule your trip.
But, if you think you can handle the pressure of a long distance bicycle ride then go for it, only after consulting your doctor. It would, however, be wise to cycle on a flat road if you are suffering from knee pain. If you have a chronic backache, then you should avoid rough tracks.
In case you are suffering from high or low blood pressure, it is important that you take care of your blood pressure levels with medication and eat timely. Precaution against sunstroke and other problems should also be taken.
If you want to successfully cover your long-distance ride, then you must start training for it at least three months before you attempt it.
A good intake of nutrient-rich foods, proper energy boosters, right quantity of calories, carbohydrates and sufficient water are extremely necessary. One litre of water per hour is a must to keep yourself hydrated throughout your training sessions.
All these things will help you improve your stamina and fitness, thus preparing your body for riding long distances.
Itinerary Always Comes Handy
Planning your route is one thing but making a detailed chart of your itinerary is equally important. Make sure you’ve jotted down everything that you’ll need beforehand.
Pick your gear thoughtfully:
Check the brakes, learn emergency bicycle repairs and carry only necessary items. Keep it as light as possible and plan how to carry your baggage well in advance.
Troubles often knock your door unannounced; hence, it’s your job to be prepared for anything that comes your way. While going away on a long ride, make sure you carry your ID, enough cash, a mobile phone, a mini tool kit, first-aid box and emergency gear to fix flats.
Be As Light As a Feather
Well, not literally a feather!
Having the right biking suit is extremely essential and along with that, make sure you strap up enough safety pads and your helmet and headgear are checked for. It’s no good to ignore your safety while entering an unknown terrain!
A long distance bicycle ride and expedition not only gives a new thrill but also reduces your stress levels and helps you stay fit − mentally and physically. So, plan effectively for your long ride with the help of these simple tips and have an amazing experience.
Start planning your long distance bicycle ride right away and do let us know about your experience. Comment and add any additional tips that you found helpful.
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