If you’ve decided to head out on your first epic cycling journey, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into mapping out your itinerary and scheduling stops along the way. You’ve also likely researched how to acquire one of the best bikes for long rides so you’ll be ready to log a lot of miles. What you might not have considered, however, is that you’ll need to get your body prepared for a different type of riding than what it may be used to. Here are some steps to take to get you ready to hit the road.
Increase the Length of Your Rides
Several weeks before you start your trip, you’ll want to increase the length of your regular rides. Choose a good bike for exercise, then begin with a ride that’s roughly twice as long as your normal jaunt. It doesn’t matter how far you go; even riding around the block for longer than usual will help your body adapt to more time peddling.
Initially, you should focus on keeping a steady pace, as eventually you’ll be riding for hours on end and you’ll conserve more energy if you can develop consistent momentum. With each ride, add additional time and distance, so that after about a month you’re riding for stretches that are equal to the length of an average leg of your planned journey.
Improve Your Strength
As you increase the length of your rides, it’s a good idea to incorporate occasional sprints that get your heart pumping. The idea is for your body and your mind to learn what it will take to power through occasional speed intervals while you’re on your trip. It can also be helpful to tackle some hills and rougher roads on at least one of your weekly rides, so you get comfortable with maintaining your pace on different types of terrain. Just be sure not to overdo your prep work, as your resting days can be just as important as your riding days when it comes to building the stamina you’ll need.
Add To Your Weight
Finally, you’ll know from your research on how to plan a bikepacking trip that you’ll likely be carrying a heavier load than you do on your routine bike rides. There’s no need to pile on all of your gear during your initial training runs; instead, start by adding a few pounds to each trip so you can work on your balance and adjusting your pace. Eventually, you’ll want to ride with your entire pack at least a few times before setting out on your journey, so you feel comfortable and confident traveling with your gear.
When you’ve committed yourself to hitting the road, start by shopping online for the best bikes for long rides. Then assemble your gear and get yourself ready for an amazing cycling adventure. Don’t underestimate the need to prepare your body ahead of a long trip; being road-ready can help ensure an easier, more comfortable journey that you’ll enjoy rather than endure.