Bike touring is all about endurance of the bicycle, body and mind. It’s a very rewarding feeling to have stretched your limits, even for a little bit.
If you are thinking of doing a bike tour, or you simply want to know how you can last longer on the road with your bike, then here are 3 bike touring tips that you should know.
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Riding for long distances depends on how much you can resist wear-out. Therefore, your main idea should be – moving at a speed that does not strain your heart’s limit.
Having a heart rate monitor on you is recommended; it helps you keep tabs of when you are pushing yourself too far. If the monitor beeps or spikes unusually, check you’re pacing. However, if don’t have a heart monitor, you can try this trick instead.
The heart rate monitor is not mandatory though. Over time you will learn to keep tabs naturally. If you are running out of breath mid-sentence when you speak, then that’s a good pointer that you are already straining yourself.
In time, you will gain a good idea on how much pacing you can maintain over the distance without killing yourself in the process. As a general rule, you should religiously check your heart rate during the first half of the trip.
A long ride could go on for a day and consume all your energy. Hence, you need to start replenishing your reserves early as soon as possible. However, you need to keep it balanced.
In one hand, you need to replenish your lost calories; while on the other, you need to avoid a situation in which you ingested so much that most of your energy will be diverted for digestion.
It’s advisable that you start light nibbling right after the quarter hour. A range of 150-180 calories every hour should do the trick as this minimizes wearing out and at the same no tummy discomfort.
There is power in a water bottle. If you become dehydrated, your blood thickens; and this will severely impede circulation. Water acts like a lubricant to prevent your system from drying up.
You lose water faster than you may think; so it’s advisable to take a sip regularly and not just drink water when you are already thirsty. A few ounces every quarter hour should work, but make sure to finish the whole bottle each hour. The hotter the day, the more water you’ll need.
Two time Olympic coach Gale Bernhardt advices, “It also helps to start the ride hydrated.”
“I recommend chugging down a bottle of low-sugar electrolyte drink 15 minutes before beginning the ride,”