Riding a bike will give you the opportunity to reach faraway places using just your bicycle. There is a unique sense of fulfillment when doing a long bike ride, especially the first time around. However, doing a long bike ride is easier said than done since you will need to be prepared in several aspects to make it successful.
So, how to prepare for a long bike ride? Biking longer distances will never be easy. However, we have compiled several steps and the step-by-step process to prepare yourself mentally and physically when doing a longer bike ride.
Step 1: Biker’s Physical Preparation
Preparing yourself physically is very important before doing a long bike ride. There are many things that you can do but building your endurance is very important. It is also essential to strengthen your back to prepare the body for all the challenges when biking a long ride.
Building Up your Endurance
When preparing for a long bike ride, the initial thing that you want to do is to prepare your body. A long bike ride is all about endurance which means building up your endurance is essential to prepare your body for the difficult ride ahead.
You can start by doing several practices or workouts with your bike a few months or weeks prior to the actual ride. So, you need to begin by biking a shorter distance in the first week. Then, you can gradually increase the distance the following week until you build your stamina.
Never practice in a long distance right away because it can result in a possible injury. The best practice is to do it gradually until your endurance improves. Before starting your practice or training, you can come up with a place that shows your weekly objectives. Make sure to increase the distance weekly to help improve your endurance.
It will be better to do your practice rides on the weekend. With this schedule, you can also do some recovery rides in the middle of the week for about an hour or two. This step will enable the muscle to remain loose and flexible while waiting for your next practice session.
Make Your Back Stronger
Apart from your endurance, it is also essential to prepare your back for the challenges that come with a longer ride. If it is your first time, there is a big difference when riding short distances compared to a much longer ride.
It is normal for the legs and the cardiovascular system to have that workout when doing short rides. However, when it comes to doing longer rides, our posture will be used from the start, which can bring fatigue to our back.
To avoid this exhaustion, you will need to start doing some back muscle extensor strengthening. Doing some Roman extension exercises can help add extra endurance to your back. You can use a roman chair or a Swiss ball in the gym for the exercise.
Do Some Resistance Training
You can also do some resistance training to help increase your endurance. You will need to focus on your leg muscles when you start the training. You can begin by making lunges while holding free weights.
The exercise should be at least 50 repetitions per training per leg to help develop the endurance. Using leg exercise machines will also help improve the endurance of your legs. But, make sure to use the correct weight needed, similar to what you need when pedaling.
Step 2: Preparing the Bike
You will also need to know how to prepare your bike for a long ride. The bike is an essential part of this adventure, so preparing it before the actual ride is important. Of course, the bike you will be using must fit in doing longer rides. You can do a comprehensive bike fitting to ensure that your bike is ready to do a longer ride.
Fixing the Contact Points of the Bike
The contact points in your hands and other body parts can be irritating when doing a long ride. So, you will find a way to decrease the irritation to these contact points in the bike.
First, you can use gel handlebar tape to protect your hands from the handlebar. You can also prepare gloves with padding to minimize the irritation in the hands. As far as the saddle is concerned, you will need to ensure that it provides comfort throughout the ride.
Cleaning and Maintaining the Bike
It is also essential to clean your bike before the actual ride. This step ensures that your bike is clean and that no dirt or mud is found on the wheels or the chain. Remember, dirt can affect the performance of the bike.
You will also need to check on your tire’s condition to make sure that it is ready for the more challenging ride. Make sure that the tire is correctly pumped with air before plunging into action.
Step 3: Other Things to Prepare
Before doing the actual ride, you will also need to prepare other things to help you while on the road. When your bike experiences mechanical failure, you will need all the essential tools or equipment to fix the issue.
Do not forget to prepare an extra chain link, brake pad, cable, or any other tool you need if you experience some problem with your bike. Of course, do not forget your water bottle, helmet, and the bags you will be using throughout the ride.
You will also need to prepare the right clothing, which is essential in needing a long ride. You will have a lot of options when it comes to clothes. You can wear bike shorts, bib shorts, and even a cycling jersey. The most important thing is your comfort during the ride. You must be comfortable with the clothes you will wear.
Step 4: Preparing Your Food
A long ride is a very intense activity which means you will need all the food throughout the whole duration of the ride. If you are preparing a multi-day ride, prepare the food you will need throughout the activity.
You will also need to eat a lot before the actual ride. Carbo-loading is essential to fuel yourself and your body to have enough sugar for intense activity. If you are doing a multi-day ride, you will need to at least consume 10 grams of carbs per kilo every single day.
How to prepare for a long ride? There are different steps to do it, but it basically involves preparing your body, your bike, and everything you will need throughout the ride. This preparation includes the food and the clothes you will need. The key is to be prepared all the time, especially if you encounter challenges and mechanical failure during the long ride.