How to Prepare for a Long Bike Ride
Long bike rides can be challenging even for those cycling regularly. Trust us when we say that long bike rides, especially in the countryside, are far different from cycling around a park or going to your workplace on your bike.
Long bike rides need careful planning and preparation. You may find yourself hyperventilating in the middle of nowhere with just one mistake.
To help you with this, we’ve developed valuable tips on preparing for a long bike ride. This way, you won’t find yourself hitch-hiking in the middle of your cycling trip.
1. Get into cardio training.
To prepare for a long bike ride, you first have to develop your endurance. With this, you’d need at least a week of strenuous cardio training before your trip.
While you can do this in your house or your gym, the best way to do this is to extend your biking hours. If you’re cycling around your area for at least 2 hours every two days, it’s highly suggested that you add at least half an hour to that routine.
This routine will help your body develop enough endurance for your long bike ride, and you can avoid any health accidents along the way.
2. Prepare your biking accessories.
A week before the trip, it’s best to check if you have all the necessary biking accessories. This timeframe will give you enough time to buy the items you don’t have.
The first thing that you have to secure is your bike lights. For a long ride, it’s highly recommended that you get one white front light and one red rear light. This is usually the combination required for major roads if you ride through cities along your way.
Aside from that, the combination of front light and a bike light has long been proven to increase a biker’s road safety by almost 89%. Indeed, you’d want that extra safety on your long bike ride.
3. All about three.
Practice yourself using the rule of thirds when riding. Divide your path into three parts to get the optimal rest you need without sacrificing your running time.
Contrary to popular belief, frequent resting during a long bike ride can make you feel more tired and lethargic. It makes you lose your momentum and adrenaline, which are essential factors in keeping your endurance.
On the other hand, skipping rest when you need to can cause harm, too. If you force yourself too much, you might find your body giving up in the middle of your journey. Worse, you may even pass out.
It’s also essential to check your food and water intake during your ride. The basic rule is to keep yourself hydrated every hour. You should eat food with high calories during your break to replenish your energy.
4. Learn about riding techniques.
There are various riding techniques that you should learn to make your cycling journey easier.
First, you have to know the way to pedal smartly. Don’t use up all your energy in the first hour of your ride. Pace yourself.
For a long bike ride, go for a higher cadence with easy gear instead of a lower one. This will help you to pedal easier and without using too much energy.
Next, look out for the wind. Having a tailwind can significantly make your riding experience easier. On the other hand, if you’re about to face headwind stretches, it’s best to stick with your group closely and take turns going in front to shield other group members.
Speaking of group rides, some smart bike lights have a synchronization feature. This will allow you to cinch your lighting setup with each other, giving you more visibility on the road. This is especially important if you plan to ride at night or on unlit roads.
Some riding techniques will work for some, while others might find it unnecessary. So, it’s best to practice these kinds of riding techniques around your area before your long bike ride. This way, you can identify the methods that will work for you.
5. Be ready for unexpected events.
If you will be riding away from home, it’s best to be ready for unexpected events.
As much as possible, ensure that the bike lights that you’ll be using have long battery life. It will also be best to bring a heavy-duty power bank for your phone and bike lights.
Bring a navigation device that will work even without an internet connection. It will also help if you secure a bike light with anti-theft features.
Lastly, if you’re riding alone, make sure you update someone about your location now and then. Whether you’re riding in a city or the countryside, you’ll never know when you might need someone to pick you up.
Now that you already know how to prepare for a long bike ride, it’s time to gather your cycling friends!