Whether you’re gearing up to participate in a triathlon, going on a days-long mountain biking adventure, or hitting some trails while camping, there are a few steps you should take to prepare your mind, body, and gear. Knowing what to expect mentally and physically takes some planning ahead for your trip, and our tips will help you prepare for your expedition.
1. Get in Shape
If this is your first biking expedition, you may not be aware of just how physically and emotionally demanding the experience will be. The best thing you can do is ensure you are in shape and can handle the physical challenges associated with riding a loaded bicycle. Begin by riding at least four to six days per week to get approximately 300-600 miles under your belt. You also should begin a stretching regimen and start more difficult training to build strength and endurance. Of course, you should also ride with weight to simulate your expedition. To help prevent injury, start slowly and add more weight incrementally to build your ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
It’s also important to be consistent with your pre-expedition training. Keep your regimen the same right up to the event so that the expedition is similar to your training.
2. Get Your Bike in Working Order
Another advantage of getting in shape prior to your biking expedition is ensuring your bike is in its best shape, too. If your bike needs a tune-up, don’t wait until the last minute to take it to a shop, especially if your trip is scheduled for the height of the season. If you do visit a shop for service a few weeks before your expedition, take it back closer to your departure date for a final safety check. Give yourself enough time to ensure the shop can find parts, should you need them.
3. Work Through Pacing Yourself
If you’re going on an expedition involving competition, like a race or a triathlon, don’t allow other bikers to get inside your head. If you spend time sizing up other cyclists, you’ll lose focus and struggle.
It’s also a good idea to prepare yourself mentally by knowing your route, planning your nutrition, and having a positive mantra or playlist ready to go. You also need to be realistic and recognize that you may struggle during some portions of the ride; talk yourself through these potential challenges so you have a game plan prepared before the inevitable occurs.
4. Prepare Your Home for Your Departure
With all the physical and mental preparation that goes into a biking expedition, it’s easy to forget to prepare your home. So that you can enjoy your biking trip and avoid spending time worrying, be sure to take steps to ready your home before you leave. For example, make sure the outside of your home is in good condition by walking around and looking for issues such as a broken window or shingle, or a loose fence post. Assess the items you have in your yard and secure those that could blow away in the event of a storm: lock down grills, patio tables and chairs, lawn ornaments, and other items as needed.
Don’t make it obvious to strangers that your house is empty. Put your car in the garage, arrange for someone to pick up your mail and packages, and set timers for a variety of lights. Adjust your thermostat so you don’t waste energy while you’re away, and check your fire detectors and replace old batteries as needed. The last thing you should do on your departure day is lock all doors and windows.
Going on a biking expedition takes a lot of planning. But, if you get in shape, get your bike in working order, learn how to pace yourself, and prepare your home, you’ll be prepared to have the vacation of a lifetime.
Keith Jacobs is the creator of CarUpkeep.info. He enjoys writing about car maintenance and safety.