Photo via Pixabay by Skeeze
Biking is a popular pastime these days, in part because it’s eco-friendly, but also because it can be done by just about anyone from any age group and because it mixes a workout with plain old fun. Whether you’re an amateur biker or someone who has been doing it for a while, chances are you’ve thought about taking an extended bike trip before. Maybe get a few friends together and ride up into the mountains, or participate in a marathon for a good cause. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that biking takes a lot of preparation, just like any form of exercise. In order to stay safe and avoid injury, there are some precautions you’ll need to take.
Make a plan well ahead of your trip so that you won’t be caught off guard by the terrain, the weather, or any health issues. Talk to the others in your group if you’re planning on taking people along and make sure everyone is on the same page; communication is key during trips like these.
Read on for some of the best tips on how to make your bike trip a success.
For an extended bike ride, you’re going to need to eat lots of protein to keep your energy up and bring healthy snacks along with you. Eat several small meals during the day, if possible, or stop to rest, hydrate, and grab a snack. Peanut butter, whole grains, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, and granola are perfect choices for making sure your body has the energy it needs to keep you going for a long ride.
Bring plenty of water, as well, especially if you’re going to be biking in the heat. Exercising outdoors is very different from working out at room temperature and requires a few extra considerations.
Prepare your home
As with any big trip, you’ll need to think about taking care of your home while you’re away. Making sure your belongings are protected will give you peace of mind if you’re going to be gone for a few days or longer, so consider investing in a surveillance camera system that sends a live feed to your smartphone or tablet. Set up motion-sensor lights around the perimeter of your home to scare away potential thieves, and always let your neighbors know where you’ll be and how long you’ll be gone.
You can find more tips on how to protect your home during a bike excursion at Redfin.com.
Wear the right gear
Having weather-appropriate gear and clothing is essential; check the forecast to see what the temperatures are supposed to be like for the day of your trek and wear clothing that breathes so you won’t get overheated. Even if the weather will be chilly, it’s easy to heat up when your body is working overtime.
Helmet, knee and elbow pads, reflectors, sunglasses, gloves, and the right shoes and socks are also imperative. You might visit a local sporting goods store and ask about the right footwear for a big biking trip so they can fit you.
Check all your safety gear to make sure it’s in good shape before the trip and replace any old items that are showing signs of wear.
Have the right tools
Depending on the area you’ll be biking in, you may have different needs. For instance, if you’re going to be camping and hitting the trails, it will be handy to have a good knife, a compass, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and a strong light for your bike. Riding in urban areas comes with a different set of needs, such as good reflectors, an emergency tire repair kit, and a secure pouch to keep your ID, phone, and other important items in.
Work smart, not hard
When you start your journey, you might have a burst of energy that makes you want to pedal fast and hard, but it’s important to maintain a steady pace to get the most use of your muscles and to keep from getting fatigued too quickly.
Remember that biking can also come with hazards that cause injury, such as falls or accidents with other riders or cars. Always be aware of your surroundings, no matter where your trip takes place, and obey the rules of the road.
Author: Jason Lewis (StrongWell.org)