10 Things to Do Before Going on A Bike Ride
Riding a bike is an activity a lot of people do when they want to unwind. Whether you ride for leisure or for sport, doing necessary preparations before hopping onto your bike is very important.
You want to avoid the cramps and the possible regrets that come after riding your bike, especially if you haven’t been on it for quite a while. Most athletes still go through their own pre-run routine before diving head first into their sport.
It’s not old-fashioned to want to prepare; it’s simply wiser and healthier for your body, mind and your bike.
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1. Always check your bike
Your bike should be in tiptop condition, especially if you’re planning to push yourself and your bike to the limits. You want to ensure maximum performance from your bike and from yourself without much hassle.
The wheels on your bike must be properly inflated at the right pressure. Feel the wheel around for places where the rubber might be worn, cracked or on the verge of cracking.
While still at the wheels, check the nuts and bolts around the wheels to make sure they are still in place. Verify this and ensure your safety while riding.
Seat Post and Handle Bar Stern
The handle bar should be set at the right height. The stem should be fastened securely and your seat is at the right height. You have to be able to control your bike before you go on your ride.
Chains and Gears
Chains should turn through the front and rear sprockets of the bike. Make sure they do not rub against the derailleurs. Quickly go through the gears of the bike to avoid rough shifting and chain slippage.
Check the drive train to make sure there is no problem with excessive grime and does not need lubrication.
2. Prepare the kits
Don’t find this an over exaggeration, especially if you’re planning a tough trail adventure that consists more than just smooth pavements.
Bicycles are not all that different from cars. If you have one, you need to be sure you know how to care for it. Bring a repair kit and learn how to use it.
Purchase a spare tube from your bike shop, cover it with baby powder to ensure it slides into the bike tire and put it in a plastic bag. Have a bike pump in the kit. Practice fixing a flat tire, in case you need to change yours along the course.
3. Don’t Forget to Bring Identification
Wanting to be adventurous is different from feeling reckless. A good cyclist foresees possible emergencies and does the best he or she can to avoid them. Accidents are inevitable and you might find yourself in the middle of one.
This is why it is important to have an identification card ready. If you are planning to ride at night, where bright neon-colored clothes to inform possible cars of a cyclist along the road.
4. Find a Place to Ride
Do not follow routes you are not familiar with. Go to websites and ask friends, especially if you do not consider yourself a pro in directions. It is best to start with a familiar road before going on to self-adventures.
5. Inform Friends Where You are Going
You might want to be alone for a while when cycling because it gives you the feeling of freedom and a sense of endlessness. Despite this, inform someone that you are going cycling.
If you do not know how long you will be gone, carry a cellphone with you. Try not to worry others by simply disappearing when going cycling.
6. Know Your Personal Limits
It’s okay not to have the lungs and stamina of an Olympian. Do an overall health check and try to know your personal limits. Check your blood pressure and other vital signs before heading off to a ride. Cycling is a healthy sport and being competitive is not for everyone. Go easy on yourself; it’s supposed to be fun!
7. Eat and Drink Smart
Hydrate yourself. Water will be your saving grace in long bike trips. Aim to drink about a bottle per hour but do not gurgle it all down at once. Eat a bite of food or two every 15 minutes or so to avoid immediate exhaustion.
Consistency over the day is the key to be at pace. Load up on your protein and be moderate on your carbs.
8. Know the Weather
You never know what the weather will bring. If it promises rain, it might be wise to reschedule your trip. Watch the winds. If your trip starts with a tailwind, ease up. On the road back, you will have a head wind.
9. Use the Rule of Thirds
Divide the route to three more or less equal distances. The first part will be the warm-up stage: an easy, spinning along cruise. The second segment, you should feel your muscles crunching it up and working. Continue to build up until the third segment. Slow down a little and cruise before stopping completely.
Cruise at your own speed. Condition your mind before every ride. Prepare to enjoy it. Leave all stressors behind.
A leisure or a sport, either way, bike rides are one of those enjoyable moments life has to offer. Start your trip right and enjoy the ride. Have fun, go easy.