How To Prepare For Long Distance Cycling In Short Span Of Time
When this idea stuck me of cutting down my cost of commuting and start long distance cycling. Almost everybody laughed on me. I knew that it required skills and a lot of practice before I could even think of going on the road with my bike. Our is a country of exceptional people. People who will keep on trying to bring you or stop you in doing something that you want very dearly. I encountered a lot of hindrances which included support as well from my near an dear ones. However I was too determined to do the long distance cycling tour. This is especially for beginners who are interested in doing long bicycle tours. Furthermore are put down by the people around them. In this article I would explain each and every bump that I took in making my long distance cycling dream come true.
Firm Determination (Be Mentally Ready)
Before you can even prepare physically, you will have to be mentally prepared for brutal mind attack from people around you. You need to understand that long distance cycling, solo trips, backpacking etc. These are very new to our society. You will have to go through a tough time explaining this to your folks. My guess is that they may not understand this in the first go. If you fail to make them understand, don’t stop. Keep trying and make them realize the importance of this act in your life. Also make sure that once you decide stick to the plan and do not take it easy on your well laid out itinerary.
Getting Ready Physically
I read about a dozens of articles. Almost all the professionally written articles advised to train for at-least 3 months before taking and long distance trips. I respectfully disagreed! I rode for about 30 minutes on a daily basis, increasing 20 minutes each time for a week. Yes that’s true, I practiced for a week only and then went on for a 150 KM’s stretch. No cramps, no teared ligament, no pain & no muscle wreck. Hard to believe right! However this is the reality. I took a break at an interval of 20-30 KM’s on the stretch, although I took time, however was able to reach my destination quite safely.
Note: Training regime depends on individual basis, I played professional basketball for more than 8 years. May be it helped me! You should try and analyze your body health before taking long trips.
Picking A Destination
Since it was my first trip, I wanted to ride on a highway stretch without any stoppage in the middle of the road. Staying in the most glorious pink city, capital of Rajasthan state in India, the closest tourist destination was Pushkar. (Close to Ajmer) A lovely national highway number 8 with perfect connectivity and well built road was a bliss. The distance was also not too much, just 148 KM’s approx. (One way)
Best time to begin any journey is early in the morning when you are fresh. Make sure that you stretch you muscles a little before getting on your cycle. This is in case your muscles was still in relaxed state. I started in the morning early as 6:00 AM. This in-turn gave me ample of time to reach my destination. Considering the fact that this was supposed to be my first ultra distance cycling, I knew I would have to make few stops in the middle.
Carry Important Stuff
You are n the road, that too on a travel medium which is not propelled by any fuel but yourself. Make sure that you carry all the essential items for the journey. Water bottles (At-least two) are must. Carry few energy drinks like “Gatorade” if you can. Helps a lot in getting the energy levels up very quickly. Make sure that the battery of you phones are fully charged and keep talking to your friends and family on regular intervals. This is to keep you loved one informed that you are doing fine and on the way of achieving your dream of long distance cycling.
Solo trip at times may get boring if you are an introvert person. At every stop you make, talk to people. Try to talk to them, you may get a lot of interesting stories to write about on the way. Whenever I made a stop, I talked to people. This made the entire journey exciting instead of boring.
Just remember that people will try and stop you, try and laugh at you. In the end all that matter’s is “Who had the last laugh?”. In my case it was me!