Even if you live in a city, it’s likely that there are still isolated stretches of land where you can ride your bike. You might have to pedal for short distances or traverse them on foot, but riding further or for longer is possible with the right gear. Here are some tips on how to ride your bike longer and more easily.
Buy a bike that fits you
If you buy a bike that’s too big for you, you’ll end up putting in more than you’re getting out. A smaller bike can help you get in shape for longer rides by forcing you to get more used to cycling. It’ll also make you more aware of your own body, which can help prevent injuries. When shopping for a bike, try to find one that fits you at the top tube (the part of the bike where your arms go), not just the seat. You should be able to easily slide your hands between your thighs and your stomach.
Use the right gear
A high-quality set of cycling shoes is crucial for long-distance riding. You should be able to wear them comfortably over several hours. Your cycling shoes should offer good ankle support, but they shouldn’t be so stiff that they compress your plantar fascia (the tissue in your foot that extends into your heel) and force you to use the muscles in your toes when walking. Cycling shorts should be snug enough that they don’t fall off when you’re standing still, but loose enough that they don’t dig into your skin when you pedal.
Train for longer rides
As with most things in life, you get out of what you put in. Training for longer rides can help you get in shape and make sure that your bike is up to the challenge of covering distance. You should train in long rides of at least 60 to 90 minutes, and ideally, longer. Find a ride that’s similar in distance to the distance you want to cover, and keep increasing the time until you can cover it in an hour. You can also try riding your bike for longer distances using apps like RideWithGPS.
Avoid sore muscles and bad habits
Sore muscles don’t let you pedal, and bad habits can be hard to break. You should never pull on your legs or arms while cycling, and you should also avoid braking and steering with your hands. Instead, do these movements with your knees and shoulders. You should also keep your upper body relaxed so that you don’t fatigue your arms prematurely.
Don’t treat your ride as a race
There’s no shame in taking breaks to walk and eat, or taking short rests if you’re feeling particularly tired. Don’t, however, try to cover a predetermined distance on your bike. Instead, ride until you’re done and focus on enjoying your surroundings and taking in the view. You might find that, regardless of how far you ride, there are certain places that you enjoy more than others. Make note of these spots and ride to them when you’re feeling adventurous.
Stay safe while riding your bike
Cycling is a healthy and refreshing way to get around, but it’s also a potentially dangerous activity. Always wear a helmet while cycling, and make sure that it fits properly. Make sure that you’re also wearing appropriate footwear such as solid pedals and gloves as well as a jacket or light rain jacket. You should also avoid drinking too much alcohol before or during your ride. This will affect your reflexes, which could make you less cautious on your bike. You should also keep an eye out for cars and other vehicles when cycling. Never ride in the middle of the road or when there’s a lot of traffic. And, in cities, always keep your eyes open for potholes, curbs, and other potential hazards.
Riding your bike is a great way to get some exercise and get outside in fresh air, but it can be challenging if you don’t know any better. These tips will help you get the most out of your ride and make it last longer than you thought possible. If you want to ride your bike for longer and farther, you’ll need to get a bike that fits you properly, wear the right gear, train for longer rides, avoid sore muscles and bad habits, keep your ride as fun as possible, and stay safe while you’re out on the road. With some effort, you can easily extend the amount of time you spend on two wheels.