3. Other Core Gear (Long Distance Rides)
1. Water and hydration packs
For any form of long duration cardio or any cardio in general, adequate and consistent hydration is a necessity, more so during the summers. The easiest way to do that is get a hydration bag and a bladder (the water bag). It’s convenient (and safer) to sip from a spout right next to your mouth than lean down and grab a bottle from the cage (nobody likes stopping to drink water). A hydration bag also has adequate space for you to store some energy bars or snacks, your keys and other smaller things.
2. Snacks/Energy Bars
Eating a small meal half an hour before a workout goes a long way, however it is not adequate for any workout that goes beyond one hour. More so, you don’t want to make unnecessary pit stops to get snacks or run low on energy during a ride. Carrying some energy bars would go a long way in ensuring you don’t run out of gas.
A normal sweet chocolate also counts as a good source of energy. You need not necessarily go out of your way to buy energy bars.
If you’ve spent long hours under the sun, you must’ve experienced some red patches of skin (sunburns) which are not only painful but also increase your risk of skin cancer. What sunscreen to use depends on a lot of factors like the country you live in, your sport and skin type, etc. It is best to consult your doctor or a dermatologist for the best recommendations.
4. First Aid Kit and A Bike Repair Kit
A first aid kit and a repair kit are essential for every bike ride and not just long rides. However, they may not be a dealbreaker if you’re riding close to home or within city limits where adequate facilities are available. However, if you’re looking at what all you need in a kit, I suggest you read this article. You may not need all of these articles, but some are a necessity and not negotiable.
A lot of people consider gloves to be a fashion statement or just a cyclist trying to show off, but let me tell you, YOU COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG. While riding, your entire upper body leans on your arms and your palms bear the brunt of that pressure. It may not seem like a big deal, but you will notice your hands get sore and your fingers cramp if you ride for more than 45 mins (atleast some initial effect of it).
A good pair of cycling gloves comes with adequate cushioning to ensure your hands are comfortable and don’t blister.
4. Pre – Ride Inspection
You should always check the following a few hours before your ride so that it doesn’t become a problem or end up being a buzzkill when you actually set out for one :
- Tire pressure and conditions
- Brake Checks
- Seat and handlebar height
- Safety light check
- Overall Ride