Bike riding for longer than the usual 15 minutes to the store and back should require a bit of preparation. There are things to consider such as the heat or cold which will impact on the level of hydration in your body. Then, think about the distances and the locations where the ride will take you. Are there places where you can eat or stop for some refreshments? What about if there is a puncture?
For distances longer than 15 minutes away from home, it is normally prudent to think about these scenarios and take adequate measures. We have drawn up a list of about 5 things a person could do to ensure a smooth and stress-free bicycle ride.
These are not too exhaustive but they do provide the normal precautions a cyclist would take. Here they are:
1. Wear comfortable clothes.
Close fitting pants are better than loose pants as they might get stuck in the gearing system. There are bike shops that sell different types and sizes to suit almost anyone. These bike shorts have padding for the groin area and are made of stretchable material to give riders a easy flow when their legs swing in circles.
Along with the bike shorts, there are also shirts made for cycling as well. You can buy them with matching shorts or on their own depending on your preference.
However, if you are just a casual rider going for some exercise, then any sports type shorts should be enough with a light t-shirt.
If you are wearing long pants, then it would be good to have them strapped below the knee to avoid them getting stuck in the chain.
2. Take Spares
Obvious, but many fail to carry a spare patch and a tire change tool. There are compact seat bags that carry spares quite well. These seat bags are fixed under the back of the bicycle seat and so this provides a hassle free way of having spare tires available.
3. Choose The Right Seat
For short rides less than ten kilometers, there are good spongy types designed for men. These will suffice and help provide an enjoyable ride. Longer rides require firmer bike seats. However, this is not really that important if long rides are done once or twice a month.
4. Wear Protective Gear
Of course, this is not the Tour De France, but you should always safeguard yourself in case of a mishap. A simple bicycle hard-shell helmet or a spider leather type helmet will be great. Most riders have experienced all kinds of falls, so wearing safeguards will boost your confidence while enjoying the sights.
5. Carry Food and Water
A small knapsack with bananas, apples, some chicken and glucose biscuits would definitely make the ride enjoyable. Water bottles can be attached to the bicycle frame with an attachable bottle carrier. Re-hydrating regularly throughout the ride will ensure longevity. Nowadays there are power drinks that are reasonably priced which is great for longer type rides.
Water is fine but you tend to lose a lot more than water over long rides. It is important to replace these lost electrolytes and fluids by having special power drinks that are loaded with these fluids and even carbohydrates.