How to Prepare for an Epic Bike Ride
Whether you're tackling a long local ride or a multi-day adventure, here are some tips to help you get ready to conquer your epic bike ride.
If you are not comfortable in your saddle then you will be struggling from the get-go.
First, you have to stay relaxed. If you hold your arms and neck in a stiff position, then you’ll get sore. Instead, keep your arms moving by having them bent for a bit, stretching them out, or giving them a shake every now and then. In addition, switching your hand position around the handlebars and getting out of the saddle help to avoid stiffness and numbness.
Want to know more about avoiding numbness, read our blog post; How to Avoid a Numb Bum when Cycling
Treat Yourself to New Kit
A great ride starts with great kit—at least that’s what we think anyway! The right clothes will make your journey much more comfortable and enjoyable. Why not grab a new cycling jersey to commemorate the ride or get another pair of your favourite bib shorts? Go on treat yourself, we know you want to and we've got plenty to choose from.
Set Your Target
It's important to have a realistic goal. Whilst you might be very eager to do a 100-mile ride as a beginner, that might unrealistic. You know your skills as a cyclist better than anyone else. You know your strengths and weaknesses, so set your target around that. If your target is too challenging then it can lead to injury or might knock your confidence if things don't go according to plan! So make sure you plan and train accordingly therefore you aren’t struggling in the middle of nowhere.
Plan and Prep
As the saying goes, ‘planning and preparation is key’.
Whether you're riding across Europe or 30 miles down the road, take the time to research where you'll be going and what kind of roads and trails you’ll be going on. Look at multiple routes to see which suit your abilities, find out which routes are more scenic and scout out the all-important cake stops. This will help figure out how long your ride will take to determine your start time and whether you need to make any overnight accommodation plans.
Train Up Gradually
You can’t do a 50-mile ride at the same pace as you do a 3-mile office dash. To begin with, start going out for a few miles each week and gradually build up the distance. Think less about finishing the quickest time possible and more about finishing your targeted distance. Just go at a pace that feels comfortable and steady enough to keep it up all day. And with the confidence boost that comes from knowing you can go the distance and smash your target, the sky's the limit.
If you are struggling to find motivation, why not join a social ride group? These are the best places to build your cycling skills whilst exploring routes in your local area regularly and meeting other cycling enthusiasts too. Find out more about our FLAB Social Rides to discover your nearest group.
Food and water are vital for any long ride. You might be able to do 20-30 miles without eating, but you’ll deplete your body’s energy reserves (the glycogen stored in your liver and muscles) and after a couple of hours, and then you need to eat or you risk the dreaded ‘bonk’.
Make sure you have a hearty breakfast packed with lots of energy and take some snacks to munch on such as bananas, nuts or jelly babies whenever you feel a bit peckish. Click here to discover more ideas snacks to take on your bike ride
As for water. Drink lots. Carry a water bottle or two and top up them along the way. We would rather someone catch us behind a bush rather than be dehydrated.