Simple Tips to Help Make Cycling Long Distances Much Easier
Long bike rides through scenic areas can be very fun and memorable. Cruising for hours along winding roadways will allow you to experience nature and scenery in ways that are not possible when driving. You need to be prepared for these types of tours. Several simple tips will help to make cycling long distances much easier.
Start By Stretching
Start by stretching for around 10 to 15 minutes before you get on the bike. Work your legs, arms, shoulders and back. This loosens your muscles, increases oxygen delivery in your body and prepares you for a long ride. Not doing this step could cause you to start experiencing cramps or fatigue early into the trip.
You need to pace yourself during the entire trip. You want to start out at a comfortable pace that does not stress your body. You do not want to push yourself to ride fast for long periods of time. If you want to increase your speed, then use the 20-40 technique. This means you pedal faster for 20 seconds. You then relax and go slower for the next 40 seconds. This helps you to conserve energy so you can finish the entire tour.
Pick the Right Bike for the Conditions
The bike you are riding is going to make a large difference when you are cycling for hours at a time. If you are going to be riding mainly on paved roads, streets and highways, then road bikes are the right choice. These bikes are designed for cruising long distances. If you are touring through wild areas with uneven trails and dirt roads, then you will want a durable mountain bike. Avoid strict racing bikes unless you are taking part in a formal competition on a perfectly maintained surface.
Stop and Rest
Even people who have been training for months to make a long trip will need to stop and rest at some point. You want to remember to pull over and rest every 20 to 30 kilometres. Get off your bike, stretch your legs and catch your breath. The break should last for around 10 to 15 minutes. These breaks will give you the energy to continue and finish the trip.
Know Your Physical Limits
You need to have a realistic grasp of your own physical limits when planning a long trip. Do not plan out a route that could leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere because you get tired. You want to plan a route that you know you will be able to complete. Extend the length of your tours as you build endurance and experience. Additionally, if you start to feel very fatigued while cycling, then consider stopping and heading back.
Always Carry a Repair Kit
Any number of things can happen to you or your bike during a long trip. This is why you want to always carry a repair kit. The kit should have everything you need to fix a flat tire. Include tools that let you adjust the bolts on the bike. Carry a lightweight air pump on the frame. You might also want to pack some basic first aid supplies in case you are injured during the trip.
A final tip is to stay hydrated. Bring along a good amount of water. Drink water regularly. If you become dehydrated, then your muscles will cramp and you could become tired quickly. Do everything possible to stay hydrated. Refill your water bottles while you are on the road to maximise your endurance.
Cycling long distances is something you can do for fun, for exercise or as part of a competition. You can explore entire new regions at your own pace and follow narrow paths that are inaccessible to larger vehicles. These tips will help to make cycling for hours a simpler, safer and more enjoyable activity.