Tips on Getting Yourself Ready for a Long Bicycle Trip
Preparing for a long bicycle trip can be a daunting but highly rewarding experience. You never want to venture out on a long-distance ride without first equipping yourself with a strong physical foundation. If you embark on your journey unprepared, you leave yourself vulnerable to injury, exhaustion and severe dehydration, not to mention the embarrassment of falling behind the pack.
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a complete novice, preparation is absolutely essential in the months leading up to a long trip. Your optimal training regimen will depend greatly on the type of ride, the distance involved, and even the time of year. But if you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of cycling for 50 miles or even further, just remember that it’s a process, and you can conquer the challenge as long as you take it one day at a time.
Preparation for Beginners
If you’re new to the world of cycling, or just relatively inexperienced, visit your physician before beginning your training regimen. A doctor can help you to rule out any undiagnosed cardiovascular problems and ensure that you have the necessary fitness to take part in a rigorous training routine. When your doctor confirms your good health, start riding immediately.
Star Tracstationary bikes and other indoor cycling bikes are great for building a solid foundation. Begin by spending 30 to 60 minutes a day riding a bike at the gym or inside your home. When you can comfortably ride for 30 minutes without feeling winded or fatigued, move your training outdoors and start practicing on real-world terrain.
When your daily rides start to feel like second nature, place a couple of heavy panniers on your bike. On a long ride, you may be carrying up to 60 pounds of gear with you, and it’s essential to be prepared. Increase your distance slightly with each session, so that when the big day arrives, you feel absolutely comfortable covering the distance set before you.
Tips for Experienced Riders
If you have conquered long rides before and simply need to brush up for the next tour, consider joining up with other seasoned riders who share your goals. Sites like Meetup and Active.com have resources to unite cyclists with other touring enthusiasts. Training with other experienced cyclists is a great way to make friends and take on new challenges.
Start Training Today
The important thing is to get out there and start riding. Whether you have been riding for 10 years or 10 days, remember that dedication is the only real secret to success. Listen to your body and cease training if you experience any injuries. Also remember to carry water or healthy sports drinks with you when traveling long distances, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.