We believe that ravelling by bike is the future. Maybe you can take your take and ride for days, or maybe you have the opportunity to ride only one day or a weekend. Anyway, you will probably face to a long ride, in one day or in stages. And a long ride is quite different from the usual daily training, and there is some stuff that you should know about.
A long ride needs the right route
Do you need to plan one, or are you following one? You need to know the turns and if a road is bike-friendly or not. Spend time getting acquainted with it beforehand. Moreover, if you are planning to ride for a part of your route during the night.
What is the terrain like? Ground conditions? Altitude? Consider your average speed will result in slower or faster depending on these factors. When you estimate your average speed, consider pauses. For example, if you are planning to ride at 18 miles/hour for 130 miles, you will probably spend 8h or 8h30′ because of some stops you will probably want to take along your trip. So your average speed will be not 18M/hours, but 15 or 16. Try to estimate the duration
of your trip from this strategy.
Be ready for everything
What are the best and worst weather scenarios? It is all good and well being prepared for the average weather. Nowadays the weather can swing violently and we can experience extremes. Also, you can be in the wrong direction for some miles, or having a flat. All these things will change your plans and your timetable. Are you enough self-sufficient about mechanical knowledge? If not, take in consideration to grow your knowledge before your trip.
It seems like not necessary to say so, but in fact a lot of problems usually come from a wrong bike-check before the start. The bike must be perfect. And tested. Avoid going to the mechanic the last day before your trip. You have to ride on your bike
for some days to be sure that everything works at its best. Try also to ride with your bicycle bags completely full. You should check the balance, the resistance of elastics and ropes.
Criteria for planning a long ride
Everyone tends to start from lightness. This is important but not on the top of the list for a long ride. The first thing you should think about is clothing. The perfect clothing will keep your body at the right temperature and will let you carry less luggage on your bike. Clothing and bags should be waterproof of course. Shoes must be comfortable, and if you are planning to walk a bit, maybe racing shoes are not the best solution.
Reliability on your bike, your very mate during your long ride, is the most important fact. You have to know your bicycle. It doesn’t matter if your bike is quite slow in shifting or it has a little problem with your rear brake. The important thing is you already know it, and you will not scared of it. Just you’ll face it as on the everyday rides.
If you are thinking about a ride in another country, remember that you can find different styles of life. What does this mean? Well, for instance, you can find shops open or close in different shopping hours. Also restaurants or coffee shop. In some countries you can easily find water along the road, in others you’ll be probably in trouble. And what about a bike mechanic? In planning a ride in another country, take in consideration a mechanical problem and how to resolve it.
Yes, technology is fantastic nowadays. So be prepared for if it goes wrong. Along with powering your navigation device, it is important to know how it works. Not just how you load a route, but how you reset the device if it goes wrong, and without losing your routes. And working on a old-fashion map can be the best thing you did before your long bike ride.
It is the most important. A mobile phone can act as a phone, as a map, or as a source of information. The big problem with a mobile phone is the battery. Don’t leave home without at least one – but two are better – power banks.