Planning Your First Biking Expedition – 3 Things You Need To Know

Guest Blog Post WRITTEN BY Travis White of www.learnfit.org

If you’ve decided to participate in your first triathlon, long-distance mountain biking trip, or camping and trail-riding adventure, there are a few things you should know ahead of time. Beginners often don’t realize that your mind, body, and gear need to be in tip-top shape before you leave home. Our tips are helpful for anyone about to embark on a biking adventure, but they especially are helpful for first-timers.

1. Giving Yourself Time To Complete At Least One Trial Run

two people biking on trail in mountain areaBase your physical training and preparation on the biking expedition you are planning to undertake. Regardless of which type of biking adventure you plan to pursue, you should put your mind, body, and gear to the test by doing at least one trial run. Bike at least as far as the shortest leg of your trip and understand that any issues or physical ailments you experience will be worse on your actual expedition. Pay attention to pain, tingling, numbness, and shortness of breath because these conditions will grow worse on your adventure than they did on your trial run.

Your trial run also will alert you to issues you have with your bike or gear. It is better to complete your trial run before you get a tune-up so you can report any problems you experience to your bicycle repair shop. If you don’t experience any issues, you still should schedule a tune-up before your expedition so the shop can ensure your bike is equipped to handle the terrain and length of your trip. It’s also a good idea to get your bike fitted at a bike shop so the experts can arrange your seat and handlebars to fit you and minimize the bike pains you’ll feel on your trip.

2. Go Slowly

Unless you are in a triathlon, you should go slowly and enjoy your first biking expedition as much as possible. You may have an itinerary in mind and plan to bike a predetermined number of miles each day, but you will enjoy your trip more if you take your time and talk to people, observe the landscape, and appreciate the experience for what it is.

Going slowly also will give you time to take in your natural surroundings and reap the mental health benefits of unplugging and riding in the great outdoors. You know cycling benefits your physical health, but it also benefits your mental health. Studies show that people who participate in casual physical activity instead of competitive sports feel like they are in a better mood and have better overall well-being than people who do not have active lifestyles. Additionally, exercising outdoors directly benefits your mental health; research shows that outdoor exercise is associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy, and positive engagement with decreased tension, confusion, anger, and depression.

That’s another reason to choose just the right destination for your biking expedition. While you can enjoy a biking trip nearly anywhere, certain places like the canyon country of the American Southwest have famed mountain biking trails for riders of all skill levels. If you need a break from your bike, this gorgeous area of the country also has some of the best hiking trails and rock climbing areas in the nation.

3. Gather The Most Appropriate Gear

For people participating in their first biking expedition, it can be overwhelming to determine what gear you will need. The best way to approach preparing your gear is to ask yourself if you will need it. Items such as helmets, padded cycling shorts, moisture-wicking shirts, and shoes are absolute necessities on a biking expedition. You’ll also need a bag to hold everything without making you uncomfortable or affecting your ability to keep the bike balanced. You should consider taking a bag that will conceal your wallet, camera, and insurance cards. Don’t forget the gear you need for fixing your bike, too.

Preparing for your first biking expedition should be an exciting time. To make sure you are ready for it, complete at least one trial run, plan to go slowly, and gather the most appropriate gear.

Image via Pixabay by pcdazero

Travis White considers himself a foodie and an advocate of second chances and bouncing back at life. He writes about food for learnfit.org in his spare time. 

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