Five Tips on How to Plan for a Long Bike Ride
The holidays mean more time to ride! Take advantage of the cooler weather and ride your bike further and longer. But with a greater ride, comes even greater responsibility. To make sure you get the most out of your ride and you get home safe, here are five tips we have on how you can plan out your long bike ride.
1. Choose a Destination
Tagaytay City with its view of Taal Lake is a very popular destination for cyclists
To give yourself direction, you have to first choose your destination. In life and with bikes, the destination will serve as the cornerstone of your planning. From here you can plan out a route from your chosen start point and give a sense of distance and time for the whole ride.
2. Study Your Route
There may be many ways to get to your destination. See your options and find which route will suit you. Two important characteristics of routes are the route profile and elevation gain. The route profile shows where there are hills (or mountains) to climb and where there are descents. And the elevation gain shows exactly how much climbing you’ll be doing. Route profiles also show gradients that'll tell you the steepness of each climb and descent.
Sample Route Map and Profile from our Bike Routes Near Metro Manila - Sierra Madre route guide
You can also study the weather forecast along your route so you’ll know what to expect. If the forecast is warm or hot weather, dress appropriately. The Ciclo Pro Light Jerseys are perfect for these conditions to keep you cool. For cooler or wet weather, rain jackets and gilets will keep you warm. Keep in mind that for wet weather, roads will be slippery. Lowering tire pressures will help your bike maintain a better grip on the roads or trails.
3. Find Points of Interest
Identifying points of interest along your route will make your ride more fun and convenient. There may be sights to see and landmarks along the way. It is also important to find places where you can stop to rest, bike shops to help assist with any mechanical problems and medical facilities in case of emergencies.
We also find it convenient to arrange these points of interest on a map so we can easily find them when needed. You may refer to our Halsema Highway Bike Route guide for a map of points of interests along the route.
4. Plan your Nutrition
For long rides, you’ll need to fuel up. Lack of nutrition will lead to bonking or hitting the wall, and may ultimately stop you from riding any further. There are recommended methods on how to hydrate and feed yourself during endurance rides. However, only you’ll know what works for you.
One guide is to identify rest stops that serve food. You can eat, drink and rest at the same time. For quick stops you can buy food and drinks that you can bring along your ride.
5. Be Prepared for Emergencies
It is normal to encounter mechanical problems with your bike on long rides. Flat tires and punctures are common, especially on roads with bad surfaces. For these, bring spare inner tubes, tire levers and a hand pump. You may also encounter problems with other parts of your bike. For these problems, a multitool will help you the most. Multitools carry miniature versions of common bike tools such as screwdrivers, allen keys, chainbreakers and sometimes levers. These can easily fit your rear pocket or saddle bag.
And if the problem is beyond the capacity of your skills and tools, finding a nearby bike shop can be your solution. Your list or map of points of interest will come in handy during these problems.
There are always risks of accidents and crashes on the open road or trails. For every bike ride, it is always best to be prepared for these emergencies. Having a support vehicle is ideal if possible on long bike rides. These vehicles can carry first aid kits or bring patients quickly to the nearest hospital. Again, your list or map of points of interest will be very helpful during emergencies.
We hope these five tips can help you plan out and experience a fun and safe long bike ride! Check out Ciclo Cycling Routes and Stories for our list of bike route guides.
For More Ciclo Cycling Tips Check Out
- What to Wear on Bike Rides
- Cyclist Safety Essential: Emergency Cards
- Choosing The Right Clothes For Cycling
- Tips For Picking Your First Commuter Bike
- Cycling in the City
- Five Tips For Riding You Bike In The Rain
- Where to Find Bike Parking in Metro Manila
- Riding Your Bike Beyond 100 Kilometers
- Design Ideas for Custom Cycling Apparel