11 Tips to Follow to Get Ready for a Long Bike Tour
There are few things that are more exhilarating than a long bike ride. Whether you are going solo or with a group, nothing beats the feeling of riding against the wind while taking in spectacular views. If you haven’t been on a bike tour yet, then you should definitely consider joining one.
Of course, in preparing for a large bike tour, you need to get your mind and body ready. Gradually, you must build your strength by going on longer and more intense rides each day. You also need to motivate yourself as you get ready for the big day.
11 Tips You Should Know Before Going on a Large Tour
Depending on the trip, a large bike tour usually takes a whole day. To the more advanced cyclists, biking tours can take several days or even more! As you get ready for your first large bike tour, here are some things that you should pay attention to:
Set Realistic Goals
First of all, set realistic goals and do not be so hard on yourself. Remember that this is a bicycle ride, not a race, and the only person you should be competing with is yourself. There is no need to rush or attempt to break some world record!
Furthermore, since you have all day, you could schedule interesting stops along the way. You can take the time to see some tourist attractions and grab a bite at popular food stops. Above all, do not forget to have a good time and take a lot of pictures with your biking buddies!
Get Fit and Start Training
Riding all day means you have to be physically fit and healthy. You can do this by riding regularly and practicing on different surfaces, including sand and rocky roads. You should also practice riding in various weather conditions, so that your body can adjust when it is sunny, windy, or raining hard.
Moreover, maintaining your balance is an essential part of biking. In order to strengthen your balance, you could try riding your bike on the roadside, along the white line. By riding straight for as long as you can, you will end up improving your balance and strengthening your body for the ride.
When you are planning for a vacation, you tend to pack light, right? The same thing applies when preparing for a bicycle tour. Bring only the most important things -- water, money, a change of clothes, and some basic tools.
It would also help to make a list of all the things that you think you would need. As you go down that list, cross out the things that you can actually do without. Traveling light is better; you do not need unnecessary baggage.
Make Sure Your Bike Is Ready
Do not forget that your bike needs to be prepared, too! Make sure that all bicycle parts are working well, including the brakes, gears, and chainrings. When your bike is all set, then you do not have to worry and you can concentrate on achieving a strong and smooth ride.
Wear the Right Gear
Wearing the right gear is a must in any bike ride. This involves wearing a light top, padded lycra shorts, and socks that are breathable. With these, your body will not sweat as much and you will definitely ride more comfortably.
Watch What You Eat
Keeping your energy up during the right is essential, so you need to watch what you eat and drink. Consume snacks that are high in energy and drink water frequently. At the end of the ride, do not forget to do some stretching as well.
Know the Rules
Just as there are road rules for motorists, there are rules for cyclists too. Riders are not exempted from following traffic laws and they should ride at all times. As a general rule, they are also not allowed to park their bikes against gas pumps or windows.
What’s more, a cyclist should be wearing a helmet during the ride. Bikers should also avoid wearing headphones, as they need to be aware of their surroundings. When a biker is not 100 percent aware of the environment, then he or she would be in danger of getting into accidents.
Inform Your Family and Friends
Before you leave, be sure to inform your family and friends about the trip. If possible, give them a copy of your itinerary, along with possible stops and scheduled times. This way, they would know where you are and still be able to contact you in case of emergency.
Know How to Use Your Gears
When you are riding uphill, remember to use your lighter gears. It is better to pedal fast on a lighter gear than go slow on a harder one whenever you go uphill. By doing so, you will not get tired as easily, and your knees will also thank you for it!
Ride As a Team
Riding with a group means you will have to travel as a team, and this requires clear communication and cooperation. Do not hesitate to tell them when you need to stop, and more importantly alert them if you are in pain.
One of the benefits of riding with a group is helping each other out, especially when something unexpected happens.
Aside from preparing your body, your bike, and your things, you need to get your mind ready, too! This means believing in yourself and being confident that you can do it. Your belief and confidence can help you push yourself in achieving your cycling goals.
Before you leave, take note of one final tip: don’t give up. Even when the ride gets hard or something unexpected happens, motivate yourself to keep on going. Set your eyes on your goal, work with the team, enjoy the sights, and most of all cherish your biking experience!