Here are a selection of lessons that I’ve learned about long distance cycling. I’ve tried to avoid the technical and keep them as practical tips that a beginner can easily apply on his, or her, first long distance cycle ride. Enjoy these long distance cycling beginner tips
- Toughen your bum. Cycling hurts your ass at first. You need to build your tolerance
- Assume one puncture for every 50km you ride and plan accordingly. Most rides you don’t need them but there will be one where you have multiple punctures a long way from home.
- Have a plan B for getting home. Taxi, pickup, train – whatever works
- Sun cream
- Don’t fall asleep on the bike
- Don’t have big hills at the end of the day
- Stop for proper meals – unless you are a triathlete
- Have a professional bike fitting. Your back will love you for it.
- Start easy and get harder. Good weather and flat is good to start with.
- Take lights even if you will be back well before dark
- Conserve battery in your phone as soon as you start (and don’t use it as a cycling computer)
- Expect that you will tired and down. Plan for this and know that you will pick yourself up
- Join an Audax to do it with friends.
- Apply Vaseline to you crotch and bum liberally. More is better. Toilet trips are easy for a day after!
- Take lip salve, salt tablets and wear gloves
- Wear a helmet – should be common sense – imagine dropping a water melon off your bike. That’s your head
- Spend the first hour 10% below your average planned speed for the day. You’ll make this up in the last 1/3 of the ride
- Beers at lunchtime are a bad idea
- Ride defensively as most roads will be country roads and you won’t know them well. Most drivers will and will be fast.
- Take 3+ water bottles and fill up before 2 are empty
- Wear a roadID or similar so you can be identified.
- Get your bike serviced regularly, and definitely before your first big ride.
That’s more than I thought.
This answer originally appeared on Quora