10 tips on long distance ride

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Long rides are commonplace in cycling and it’s easy to see why. You get an amazing sense of achievement. You get to go to places that you might not have seen before, and after recovering from them at least, they got you fitter. However, long rides aren’t actually all that easy. It takes a degree of fitness, willpower, and focus, but here are ten tips you could probably follow with knowledge to help you on your way.

Carb loading.
Carbohydrate loading is a result of continuing to eat a high-carbohydrate "training diet" while scaling back your activity level during carbohydrate loading.

Any physical activity requires carbohydrates for fuel. For most recreational activity, your body uses its existing energy stores for fuel. But when you engage in long, intense athletic events, your body needs extra energy to keep going. The purpose of carbohydrate loading is to give you the energy to complete an endurance event with less fatigue, improving your athletic performance, such as in a long ride.

Carb loading became very popular in many endurance sports in the 1990s and does have some merits. A carbohydrate-loading diet, also called a carb-loading diet, is a strategy to increase the amount of fuel stored in your muscles to improve your athletic performance for endurance events. Subtly increasing your intake of carbohydrates in 24 hours leading up to your event should mean that your muscles have got more glycogen, which basically means that you’ve got more fuel for your ride, so you should be able to ride further.

tips on long distance ride

Start off slowly.
It’s quite important to start a long ride conservatively. If you set out too fast, then you’re going to be burning carbohydrates instead of fat, which s fuel. And as we all know, unfortunately, you’ve got a limited supply of carbs, even if you’ve loaded up the night before, so you can see it’s a bad idea.

For the first third of your ride, make sure you ride really comfortably. Just settle into your ride. Once you’ve got into it, you can then assess how you’re feeling and whether you’re capable of upping the pace and more importantly, sustaining it.

Don’t go over threshold or push yourself too far.
Along similar lines is the advice of not going over into your threshold, this can really dig into your reserves and deplete your energy stores very quickly. Occasionally though, it’s going to be unavoidable. If, for example, you face a short steep climb, but general rule is you try to avoid going anaerobic.

Know your limits. If you have someone from your group who can do 700kms in a day, or you know guys who can easily push 1000kms but in your heart you know you can do 500kms and not a kilometer more, respect that and take a break. Don’t push it. You can gradually increase you endurance, but pushing forward thinking, “It’s just 200kms more, i can do it. I am not a pussy” isn’t going to help you. If the day is bad and you luck is on the thinner side, life can take an ugly turn at the next corner. Know you limits, that’s all i say.tips on long distance ride

Fuel from the start.
Food is generally not a problem on Indian roads, there are so many options ranging from McD to Truck-stops. But always carry some packed food for emergencies, or to munch on something while enjoying a great view.

Fueling from the start is really important. If you wait until you’re actually hungry or thirsty, it’s probably too late. And you also need to experiment with exactly what you’re eating and drinking on the bike. Some people have cast iron stomachs and tolerate anything. Other people need to be a little bit more particular, so they don’t get uncomfortable.

Mental strength and focus.
How to prepare mentally? Not sure you fully can without time in the saddle. Clearly you need to be as physically-prepared (file “bike readiness” here) as possible going into the endeavor. The next dimension, mental preparation, is something that’s a little more difficult to recommend: it’s not like saying read a book or something.

As we said at the start, mental strength and focus are a really important part of long rides. It can be hard, staying motivated for hours on end, so it’s a good idea to remind yourself of why you’re doing it, focusing on the positives, and then blocking out the negatives.

Having clarity of mission is useful: why you want to do it has to be a reason you’re near-willing to tattoo on your chest because you may reach that point on multiple days in the saddle of “why am I doing this?” If the answer is soft, none of the physical and equipment preparation is going to matter. I think the back-to-back days while hit like a left hook and that needs to be accounted for. Try not to think of your discomfort and the pain in your legs. Try instead to focus on what it will feel once you’ve reached your ultimate goal. Tell yourself that you’re feeling good.tips on long distance ride

Intermediate goal setting.
Often, on a long ride, the ultimate goal of reaching the finish can feel like an eternity away. So it’s a good idea to have some intermediate foals you can tick off along the way. Another positive thing is to focus your mind.

It could be a feed zone, if you’re on an organized ride. It could be a town or a village on your route. Or a good one is the top of each climb along the way.

Your work load in the slipstream of another rider is approximately 30% less at 20 mph assuming no crosswind. Common tactics in racing is to advance position in the slipstreams of other riders or just hold your position behind others and conserve energy. As you approach another rider, your work load gets less up to an optimum position of approximately 2' feet off the front rider's wheel. And it seems easy to overtake the front rider. A distance of 2' is where I feel safe and don't need to use the brakes to avoid crossing.

Slipstreaming can save you a huge amount of power while still going at the same speed, now, up to 30% in fact, in the right conditions. So you should really take advantage of it if you’re riding with other people or particularly if you’re in a master participation ride. Now, don’t annoy other people by just sitting on, but try and slip into a group who’s going the right pace for you. If you want to be sneaky, try doing your turns on the front up a hill and that way the riders behind won’t get as much advantages as a road tilted upwards, leaving you to spend your time sitting on slipstreaming on the flat.

Pack your spares.
You’re not going to be able to get very fat at all on your ride if you had a mechanical problem and you haven’t got the tools to fix it. So on every ride, you need to take at the very least spare tubes, a multi-tool and then, of course, a pump as well. And as well as being able to ride further, you’ll also not get stuck in the wilderness. tips on long distance ride

Dress correctly.
Along the same lines is the importance of dressing correctly, heading out for a ride in cold, freezing, and wet conditions without the appropriate sort of clothing on is a recipe for disaster. Admittedly, good quality cycle clothing can be quite expensive, but it will make quite a big difference to how comfortably you can ride in a wide range of weather conditions. And if you’re more comfortable, you’re more likely to be able to ride further. Moreover, there is a psychological advantage to getting kitted up to go riding; it’s nice to have the right equipment for the job.

The right choice of clothing can make biking easier. That doesn’t necessarily mean clothing marketed as “bike clothing” (tends to be over priced just because of the demographic). In US at least, clothes marketed for “jogging” or “fitness” tend to have similar properties at lower prices. To reiterate some other tips, sweat wicking clothes also work wonders for warm days. It can be the difference between saddle sores and no saddle sores, which for sure makes a difference in cycling ease.

Last, but by no means least, think about aerodynamics on the bike. It is pretty important. At any reasonable cycling speed (depends on bike/ setup/ rider/ conditions, but above 12mph), it's the most significant drag factor slowing you down. Using some normal values, if it takes you 200w to ride at 21mph, to increase your speed by just 6mph, it would take twice the power.tips on long distance ride

You can become more aero without spending any money. Simply lower your body at the front ends, so less your body is taking the wind. This will mean that you’re riding at the same speed for less effort or riding faster with the same amount of effort. Either way, you’ll be able to ride further, and you shouldn’t just finish for your body, either. Clothing and equipment can also make quite a significant difference. I’m talking about aerodynamic helmets, tight fitting clothing, an aero frame and aero wheels. Individually, they may not make a huge difference, but to put it together, it can become something quite significant. Aerodynamics is not something that you’re going to be able to feel. You’ll still be putting the effort in; your legs will still ache, but you will be going faster.