What tempts us to defy laws of physics and nature by taking risks? What compels us to step out into the unknown and conquer new things? We crave the sense of adventure. We desire the thrill of exploration and discovery. Some of the most freeing feelings we can experience. Sometimes you just need to mount a bike and ride through the mountains, explore new forest trails, or race at the edge of a river’s current. For a cyclist, these types of trips are necessary to life.
If you are a cyclist, you know you have a lot to look forward to about a cycling trip. But you also have a lot to prepare. It’s not as simple as packing a duffle bag and hitting the road. You have to pack essentials, equipment, and precautionary gear. You also have to select a destination according to appropriate weather forecasts, research trail conditions, and perhaps coordinate the trip with the dates of an organized race. So whether you’re a newbie or an experienced cyclist laying the groundwork for a thrilling trip to the trails, make sure you know what kinds of things to plan for.
Condition Your Body for Your Cycling Trip
Gear up for the trip beginning weeks (if not months) ahead of time. Regardless of experience, your body needs to be conditioned to the level of stamina required of your ride. Long biking trips demand endurance. Especially if you are going on unfamiliar trails or roads, it could be dangerous if you haven’t prepared your body to withstand the duration of that type of ride. Your joints or muscles could be strained, and your physical exhaustion level will happen faster if you are not used to the length of the trail. Make sure you create a conditioning schedule to allow your body to have some prep time before the trip.
Pack Appropriately for Your Cycling Trip
Aside from the basic hygienic needs that you would pack for a typical trip, pack a first aid kit, plenty of water, and maybe even a few different types of braces and medical wraps in the event of an unfortunate injury. Also pack a printed map of your route. While trails for organized races are typically marked, trails in the woods may not be as clearly visible. With little to no cell service in a forest, it might not be as simple as pulling up a GPS to find your way out. Consider packing extra snacks as well. Something like an energy bar is perfect for long days of biking, because it is lightweight and easy to bring along during the ride.
Think Practically Before Leaving for Your Trip
When vacation is on your mind, it’s really difficult to focus on anything else. Ironically, the only way to fully enjoy vacation is to think through everything else before the trip. To avoid worrying about things while you are away, make a list of everything you should settle before the trip. Include even the most common tasks like parking the car in the garage, checking the fire alarms, locking all of the doors and windows in your house, and adjusting the thermostat. Also if you have a house sitter during your trip, make a list for them as well. Make sure you add the home security alarm passcode, information for the alarm company, and the garage keypad code. It might feel like you’re going overboard with your planning, but the more you consider ahead of time, the less you will have to think about while you’re out on the trails. Here are some other ways to prepare your home before you leave for your trip.
With proper planning, you can be confident that your trip can be your best one yet. With a clear mind, the wind brushing your face, and your tires leaving their mark on the trail or road, you are bound to have an unforgettable ride.
This article submitted by Jason Lewis. Jason can be found at strongwell.org.