Long Distance Cycling- How to get started
Long-distance cycling is something every cyclist should try out at least once, whether to test your capabilities and push yourself to the limits or wanting to travel along the countryside on a bike while taking in the scenery, long-distance cycling has a little something for everyone. But before starting out your tour, it is always best to get ready beforehand and make preparations for the journey ahead. These are some of the things to check out before starting.
It is important to have a goal in life, but the same can be said with cycling. Before starting your cycling tour, it is important to have a goal, or a finishing line in mind. This will allow you to prepare better on the road ahead, like taking into account flat long roads or tall windy hills, or doing some research on the local scenery you can visit on your way. But the most important thing is to know when you have reached that goal/finishing line, and tick off this achievement on your bucket list, rather than riding on and on without purpose.
Another thing to take note is the distance at which you’re going to cycle. The worst thing you can do is overestimate yourself and take on a distance that is way too long for you to handle, only for you to break down mid-way through the tour. For example, (nothing to do with cycling), I tried out a half marathon before, and it was gruesome. I overestimated myself and ran the entire 21km which took me well over 4 hours to complete. My point being, have a little training to test your limits, and make sure you don’t go over too far if you’re just thinking of having some fun with long distance cycling.
You’re cycling through the countryside, mid-way into your tour, and suddenly a thought comes across your mind. “my legs are too sore, and the heat is driving me crazy!” that is when you have sabotaged yourself mentally. Instead, try to not focus too much on the bad things, and instead keep yourself distracted with things like singing or focusing on the beautiful nature that surrounds you.
What is the worst thing to run out of while cycling in the middle of nowhere? No, it is not your breath, its water and food. If you’re just cycling around populated areas, then this shouldn’t be a problem as you can stop anything to fill up on food and water, but if none of those commodities exist around you, it is best to plan out your food and water while on the road. You don’t want to be drinking and eating too much, but you also don’t want to do both too little or you won’t have enough energy to survive the trip. Also, loading up on a heavy breakfast won’t help, as you’ll just feel bloated and lazy after a while. So, like all things in life, keep it at a moderate level.
Finally, the most important thing you have to take note of is your bike. Is your bike suited for long distance cycling? When was the last time you had a maintenance check on your bike? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself before getting started. Check on things like your oil chain, tire pressure and the brakes etc.