How to Prepare for a Long Bike Ride?

Last updated on February 6th, 2018

Why long rides are ideal

Different riders have various reasons for taking long distance trips. It is an adventure for some and a getaway for others. Some make the trips as a way of training for races or conditioning the body for the same. Long bike trips have a lot of positive impact on the health of the cyclists.

How to prepare for a long trip

long bicycle rides

Photo: Pinterest

One should be fully prepared before having a long trip with your bike to avoid any inconveniences along the way. One should ensure he or she has the appropriate gear before any ride. The equipment includes suitable bibs, helmets, elbow and knee guards, appropriate foot wears and appropriate riding gloves. Leg and arm warmers are suitable for cold weather. Sunglasses come in handy during long rides to avoid direct sunlight or particles in the air from getting to your eyes.

As a cyclist, you should double check the bike for any punctures, loose joints or broken surfaces to avoid accidents or inconveniences during the ride or before any long trip.

Ensure that you pick the right bike for the right terrain. They should have the right handle bars, appropriate seats, and pedals. You should make sure that the ride is as comfortable as can be during to avoid frequent stops so as to rest. The bikes should also come equipped with water holders among many other attachments for holding the gear on too.

Taking a healthy meal before going away is highly recommended. The right meal is a great energy booster at the start of the trip. Settling on energy giving food is wise, and it is also advised that you take some energy bars along with you. This helps to regain power after covering certain distances as well as when you feel drained.  You should carry water during the trip so that they can keep hydrated.

Long distance bike gear you should have

long distance bike rides

Photo Credit: Bike Roar

Long distance rides should be accompanied with appropriate riding gear. This ensures that the cyclist is well protected in case of any accident. Long distance rides mostly involve riding on rough or harsh terrain which can be dangerous without the right attire. You should also have a bag pack in which other items like a first aid kit can be packed. The first aid kit will come in handy in case of minor accidents on the road. A toolkit equipped with items such as wrenches, patch fixers, and a hand pump should be carried during the ride in case the bike experiences mechanical damage. The toolkit enables you to repair punctures and loosen or tighten nuts quickly.

Mental preparedness for extended trips

A cyclist needs to be mentally prepared before going for the actual journey. Riding with friends is a great way to boost your morale. Spending more time with people that have been on long trips will also help you learn some tips about tackling challenges along the way. A positive take on the journey helps you to be mentally prepared. The best way to do this, however, is to ride with people of like mind. Mapping the route together as well as sharing gear will help the team to carry lighter loads. This is, of course, the bikes are similar in most ways. Working as a team also builds confidence especially if the terrain is risky. Harsh terrain may present challenges that will need one rider to aid the other and even call in help when there is an emergency.

Long bike ride checklist

Long Bike Ride Checklist

Photo Credit: Bike 198

You should make sure to make a list of the requirements before taking on the tour. You need to make a list in order of priority eliminating what will add to the bulk unnecessarily especially if you are with a team. Making a list as a team will also help distribute some items to manage the weight of the items while riding. Carrying one or two pumps instead of 5 will primarily decrease the load. This includes riding gear, a first aid kit, a tool kit and a hand pump. Water bottles are essential during the race. All through the trip, this is ideal for the purpose of keeping hydrated.

Most riders are well educated and experienced when it comes to camping activities. Frequent camping activities can help a rider to be prepared mentally. Most cyclists use the long distance trips as opportunities to hook up with friends and make new ones.

What to do after a long ride

It is advisable to take a nutritional meal after a long trip so as to be able to recover most of the energy used during the ride. A long warm birth is also highly recommended and helpful to you. Lots of sleep and rest after the ride is also a satisfying way to regain the lost strength.

Bike preparation for a long ride

How to prepare for a long distance bike ride

Photo Credit: Fifty Sense

The kind of trip you are going for will determine the kind of bike you will need to use. The kind of bike you have will limit the places you can go during your trip. The best bikes for harsh terrain are mountain bikes while hybrids will be ideal for a combination of terrain.

Related: 10 Best Hybrid Bikes for Men & Women 2017 – (Reviews + Buying Guide)

The best for smooth roads will be racing bikes with slim tires. The most important thing to remember about your bike is that it should have the right tires and handle bars for the trip. Leaning bars are not excellent for long trips due to damaging the back. Those with higher bars will allow the rider to take longer trips without necessarily getting exhausted. Bikes with good gears and automated switching systems are also ideal. Fixed gear bikes are a no-go-zone for the rider.

Should I go for long rides?

Tips are a must if you are looking for a full riding experience. You can make this a life goal with friends. The extremity of the trip can increase with time, but you will need to start small.

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Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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