Long distance bicycle ride can be fun. It can take you to places and show you things that you might have missed while travelling through a car. At the same time, it also helps kick out the stress and build your endurance. As cyclists across the globe gradually progress and add on the miles, there comes a time they want to go longer.
With this in mind, preparing is the key for any long distance bicycle ride. Unlike your short rides, long distance rides need you to follow a few steps that can help you make the most out of your ride. besides, training long-distance bicycle ride requires you to eat right, pack light, and so on.
The article below will provide with a complete lowdown that can guarantee to make your long distance bicycle ride safe and fun.
Get enough sleep before every long distance bicycle ride. It serves as a much-needed refreshment to keep you physically and mentally fit. It helps boost your performance
and reduce fatigue. The body should recover and feel rejuvenated for which 7 to 8 hours of sleep is a must. Sleep helps muscles relax, it keeps us active and our heart healthy. Not to forget that it’s a great stress buster.
Avoid too much fats. Carbohydrates, however, is the easy way out. It breaks easily, providing a constant and fast supply of energy.
Bananas, oatmeal, milk, water, eggs, yogurt and fresh fruit juice are the best a form of nutrients one can consume before any kind of exercise.Remember to eat at least an hour early so you allow the food to digest and breakdown.
A sports drink can also be of great help to get your carbohydrate level back as they are formulated to provide you with electrolytes, water, nutrients which can be absorbed easily and faster.
Well, if your ride is going to be shorter than two hours, you won’t need a lot of
the nutrients. A banana and a glass of milk should do just fine.
It is important to check your bike before every long-distance bicycle ride to avoid problems or accidents. Not to forget, it makes your ride better if technical/mechanical issues are dealt with beforehand. Make sure the tyres do not have any cuts and the nuts are all tight. Check for tyre pressure and also the brakes (in case it needs manipulation). Check your gears, cables and chains for problems. A clean and well-lubricated bike is always a joy to start off with.
Things to carry along for a long distance bicycle ride-
A universal necessity, it needs to be consumed throughout your ride in
the form of H2O and in the form of an electrolyte to restore the
depleted energy levels. Carry two bottles of water along on your long distance bicycle ride.
The intake of water should be higher if you are cycling in a hot climate. If you feel bloated or nauseous cut down your fluid and eating intake. Drink before, during and after your ride.
P.S – for a one or two-hour ride one doesn’t need the electrolyte drinks.
The clothes you choose may affect your quality of ride especially if you plan on staying in the saddle for a considerably long period of time. Lycra would be great with a great comfortable pair of cycling shorts with good padding underneath. Buy something you think is right and comfortable for your long distance bicycle ride. Always buying something expensive doesn’t mean its better or will last longer.
Wear your clothing according to the weather and be sensible, keeping it as light as possible. carry a windcheater for the rains or a jacket for the cold. The reflective vest can be adequate for you cycling in the night.
On your long distance bicycle ride, it is important to carry food that can be eaten conveniently and won’t make you feel uneasy. Bananas and power bars can be enough to provide you with a continuous supply of energy.
Try eating something every hour along with lots of water to keep your muscles hydrated. You can refill the bottle on your way and buy some nutritional food to munch on. In India, sugarcane juice is available at most places, with one glass sure to keep you hydrated for a couple of hours.
Carry a small hand pump, an extra tube, Allen key set, a puncture kit and a
minimal first aid kit. These should be enough to last through the long distance bicycle ride. For more information on an ideal first aid kit, refer to my article on
‘First AID for Cyclists‘.
Editor: Tracy Alvares