Maybe you have watched the amazing cyclists race in the Tour de France. Maybe you have taken some spin classes at your health club and have gotten hooked to the rush of pedaling a bicycle. Maybe you have caught triathlon fever and need to train for the biking potion of the event. Whatever the reason, the start of spring brings with it a rush of people that want to get outdoors and enjoy cycling. There are some ways to help make sure that you can enjoy cycling outdoors to the fullest. Follow these six tips to make sure that your outdoor bike riding adventures are as successful as possible.
1. Plan Your Route
It can be tempting to just hop on the bike and start pedaling. Though this sounds fun, it is not the best idea. It is much better to plan out a route beforehand. This ensures that you can ride a safe route, and it also allows you to find some great scenic rides. Always plan your route to avoid heavily trafficked roads to be as safe as possible.
2. Join a Group
Cycling by yourself can be fun, but it is even more enjoyable to ride in a group. This will help motivate you and give you other people to talk to. It also will allow you to find new routes that may not have occurred to you. The social benefits of riding in a group are hard to beat.
3. Be Prepared
Damage to your bicycle is sure to happen at some point in your outdoor bicycling career. Tires get punctured all the time. This can mean a long walk if you don’t plan ahead. Avoid this hassle by always being prepared with a repair kit. Have a tire patching kit and a simple tool kit to make simple repairs of your bike.
4. Play It Safe
Always be as safe as possible in your outdoor cycling adventures. Wear reflective clothing at all times. Have a headlight and taillight on your bike in case you need to ride at night. However, avoid riding at night if at all possible. Always wear a helmet to protect yourself in the case of a spill. It is also a good idea to carry some pepper spray to ward off any aggressive dogs you encounter.
5. Bring Along Nourishment
Don’t run out of energy in the middle of a ride. Always start a ride well hydrated and with a full water bottle. It is also a good idea to bring along some granola bars, nuts or other high energy foods in case you need a recharge along the way.
6. Stretch out
It is amazing how many people fail to stretch out properly before they head out for a ride. This is essential to avoid injury and stay healthy. Always fully stretch out your body before a ride to keep yourself flexible and injury free. Stretching out well after a ride will also help the body recover after a long, hard ride.