5 Essentials Every Cyclist Should Remember
Ask any cycling enthusiast and they’ll tell you that enjoying a good ride is one of the most incredible and exhilarating experiences on earth. The challenge of a good route, the feel of the wind on your face, your adrenaline pumping, and the opportunity to see fantastic sights and landscapes along the way. True cyclists know that biking isn’t just a recreational activity; it’s a way of life. They’ll also tell you there are certain important things to always keep in mind in order to remain safe and enjoy a comfortable, healthy ride. That said, here are 5 essentials that every cyclist should remember.
Safety – Road ID and Cell Phone
As with any sport, your safety and wellbeing should be your first priority when cycling. It’s certainly our number one concern. As such, every rider should carry a cell phone with them while riding. If riding in a different country, such as France, and you don’t have international cell phone access, be sure to carry a list of emergency phone numbers on you. Road ID is an excellent way to carry your information. This is an accessory that can be worn on your wrist, ankle or shoe and is engraved with whatever pertinent information you choose.
Comfort – Seat and Pedals
Next to safety, your second most important concern when riding (especially long distances or rough terrain) is your comfort. Use a familiar, comfortable seat that has been broken in and is suited for your body. Believe us – your behind with thank you! You’ll also want to be sure to use pedals and shoes that you are used to. Some people prefer clip less, cages or flat pedals – and to each his own. Go with what you like and what makes riding most comfortable for you. Our tours allow you the flexibility of bringing your own saddles and pedals, making the rides even more customized to your needs.
Maintenance – Tools
In a perfect world every ride would go off without a hitch. You’d never get a flat tire or experience mechanical issues with your bike and you’d always reach your destination without incident. Unfortunately, things may go wrong during your ride so you have to be prepared to handle problems as they arise. For instance, flats are common but are easy to fix with the right tools. Be sure you pack the following items in your seat bag, just in case:
- Patch kit
- Spare tube
- CO2 inflator
- Presta-Schrader Adapter
It may also be a good idea to bring a mini multi-tool that functions as a screwdriver and a wrench just in case you need to make adjustments to your bike.
Health – Water and Snacks
The key to a good ride is staying hydrated and energized. Carrying an ample supply of water with you during your ride is essential as is bringing along a few snacks. We recommend bringing a nutrition bar or a GU pack to keep you energized during your ride. Nutrition and hydration are important and can give you that extra boost you need to make it up that tough climb or over challenging terrain. Conversely, it can break you if ignored so don’t forget to bring the fuel your body needs.
Navigation – GPS or Road Book
We provide detailed route/road books on all of our tours, which include color coded information, color maps, highlighted routes, orientation points and easy to follow directions. Everything you need to keep you on the right track. Additionally, we also provide GPS units which can give even more detailed information such as turn by turn directions, vertical profile, distance, and speed. Simply hopping on your bike and seeing where it takes you can certainly be an exciting adventure, but if you have a specific destination in mind or want to make sure you can find your way back, road books and GPS units are great tools to have. We certainly think so, which is why we provide both on all of our tours.
Of all the outdoor activity choices in the world, cycling is by far one of the most invigorating and enjoyable. It allows you to enjoy nature, exercise your body, challenge yourself and experience a variety of sights and destinations in a way that simply can’t be matched. If you’re planning a cycling adventure, be sure to consider the above tips so that your ride will be safe, comfortable and memorable for all the right reasons.