Some people may have never experienced long distance cycling but would like to give a shot. They may have some confusion about how to prepare for a long distance cycling as well as what to prepare. And here I am to tell you some tips about it. I do hope what I am going to say will help you to some extent.
Make clear of your cycling route
Some cyclists want to have a long distance cycling because they are convinced by other people’s experience and he would like to enjoy it. However, if you are a beginner, you had better go with someone else. For the sake of your security, if you don’t have enough confidence and arrangement, don’t set off alone in a hurry. Therefore, before setting off, it’s a wise decision to search the route fully. We can draw up a route plan based on our own preferences because the characteristics vary from people to people. For example, if you like the sea, choose the seaside route. We should avoid lonely paths but choose national roads if possible in order to keep safe. What should we do when planning the route? First, make your general route (if you want to find new things on your own)(make a specific one if you want) , where to start, where to stop at the end of the day, how many miles you are going to ride every day, where to eat and sleep（not necessary if you sleep in a sleeping bag. Second, avoid cycling at night because it’s not safe, maybe you would fall down because you can’t see the road very clearly. Third, in order to reach your destination in time, you have better set off in the early morning when it’s very cool. In that way, you can enjoy the beautiful sightseeing. But don’t ride over your limit every day, keep your energy, you still have a long way to go.
Things and equipment you need
①Necessary equipment for Long distance cycling- helmets, cycling clothes, gloves, riding glasses/sunglasses, cycling shoes, side handle, bottle cage and so on (depends on your need). Just like every cycling, or even needed to pay more attention, these things are indispensable for the sake of safety. I believe the safety problem doesn’t need to say too much.
②Tools - six angle screwdriver, quick disassembly tool, tire repair tools, cleaning tools, inflator，brake disc, spare tire and so on. In the course of a long distance cycling, a small set of simple repairing tools is necessary. Otherwise, if your tyre blows up on the road accidentally, others can fix their bike and all you can do is waiting for help. In addition, make sure you have headlights, tail lights, reflectors and so on (anything you think is necessary) because it’s difficult to buy one in the middle of nowhere.
③Life--charger baby, mobile phone standby (make sure your phone have enough power), raincoat , toothbrush, toothpaste, towel (keep yourself clean and tidy), map (know where you are and in case you get lost), sunscreen (if you don’t want to get sunburned) and so on.
④first-aid medicine: Yunnan Baiyao, ointment, Band-aid, Centrum, toilet water (avoid mosquito bites), iodine gauze, amoxicillin, norfloxacin (if your trip is over a month). First-acid medicine is necessary, be prepared is better. Maybe you would be regret when you need it and you don’t take it with you.
You need to figure out how much money you need during your long distance cycling. The budget includes the expenses of board and lodging, transport and others. Take enough money with you in the case of accidents.
Long distance cycling is a technique thing which needs the support of great energy physically and mentally. First, if you never have a long distance cycling experience, then you should make a training plan based on your condition and implement it at least a month in advance before the day you set off. If you ride 30 miles a day usually, it’s hard to ride 100 miles a day suddenly. So, it’s feasible to make a physical training plan in order to adjust yourself to cope with the long run. Except for the distance and speed training, it’s appropriate to do some uphill and downhill training and find your most comfortable rhythm. Second, some people want to ride when they have a whim and they never think about the inevitable difficulty. They may give up very quickly and think it’s a tough task which will never be finished. Remember, long distance cycling is never easy, meeting the difficulty is ineluctable. Try to overcome it but not submit to it. Keep in mind that trouble is an inevitable part of life, as is your power to defeat it.
Other things you need to know
① Never leave your bike alone and take your bike everywhere you go, if you can’t lock it. When you sleep, take it into your room.
② As for your physical energy, don’t fight against it if you really can’t. Keep taking a sip of water every ten minutes in the situation of high temperature and sweating in order to avoid dehydration and heatstroke. Take enough food high in sugar and calories which can rapidly recover our energy and carbohydrates with you. Things happen a lot when you can’t catch up with your schedule because of many reasons. Therefore, it’s very necessary to take some small food that can quickly replenish energy. Energy bars, bananas, pickles, dried beef are the things many cyclists would choose.
④change your plan if necessary
A plan may not be able to keep up with changes. Although it’s laudable to carefully execute the plan, if you encounter some unexpected situation on the road, such as bad weather, poor road conditions, getting ill, which make you unable to get to your destination according to your plan, then don’t. Don’t insist with all your effort if you are in a really bad condition. Go to a city nearby and have a rest then make a decision whether to delay your schedule a bit or get up early in the next morning and ride further. I would prefer to fall behind the schedule rather than risking my life and keep going.
⑤Buy a comfortable seat because it’s where you sit for hours. With a comfortable seat, you will get more extreme enjoyment.
⑥You don’t need a pedal-shoe combination if you are not quite familiar with it. It may not help you when an emergency happens but fall down in the panic.
⑦ As for the height of your saddle, it’s not your feet touching the ground and straightening up, but keep your heel and the axis at the same level then straighten your knee. That’s the right height.
⑧As for your riding posture, always keep your knees and your tiptoes forward and keep the metatarsal bone of your toe right in the above of the pedal axis. Pay attention to your knees because they are the most vulnerable part of the human body when cycling.
There are still many things cyclists need to pay attention to when planning for a long distance cycling, just prepare it prudentially with all your heart. Don’t be afraid of the difficulties ahead. I do hope every cyclist to be young and to have fun.