The Summer cycling season is now upon us and is in full swing. Riders, as you are reading this blog, we are sure that you have already been racking up the miles and showing these off to all your Strava followers! But, all that time on the saddle really does have it’s down side… yeah, as much as we l-o-v-e cycling, we’re not joking, that’s totally true!
So in this blog we are going to talk about ‘long ride relief’ and the things you can do to help keep yourself as comfy as possible when you're out riding! So let’s crack on...
Ok, so the first thing we are going to talk about is probably the least fun to think of when long distance riding, and that's chafing. Sometimes even the most paddiest of shorts won’t stop that god-awful chafing and if you get it at the start of the ride, you’ll be in a world of pain when you’re on your final mile. This is where anti-chafing cream comes into play.
Anti-chafing cream will keep your bits nice and cool and pain free! This cream is used by a lot of commuters who have a rather long cycle to work, because even when you’re in your work attire, the cream will keep you feeling the heat.
Lycra really is your friend when riding long distance. Now the rookie cyclist in you may think that road cyclists wear lycra to help make them more streamline and that kind of is true. But the main reason why cyclists wear lycra is to actually stop you from overheating whilst riding your bike. Wearing skin tight lycra helps evaporate your sweat away much quicker and helps to keep you cool.
So yeah, I guess the tighter the better right? Just please remember when you get off your bike, and go into your local coffee shop to grab a coffee, pleeeeease bring a spare pair of gym shorts or something, to pop over your lycra....because no one out in public really wants to see your package!
Whether you have a new bike or your bike has been sitting in the garage over winter, you can’t really just hop on it and go for a ride… well, you can but it's really not advised! If you truly want a comfortable ride then you need to make sure that everything is in the right position. The best way really is to head over to your local bike shop and work with them at adjusting the bike so it really is in the p-e-r-f-e-c-t position for your ride!
Just moving the saddle slightly, greasing up the chain and even replacing the grips can really change how you ride and feel when on a bike. And if you do this at the start of the season you can then make minor adjustments along the way but it won’t interfere with your overall ride.
The best types of food to take when you’re on your long distance cycle are as follows: a banana, jam or other low fat sandwiches, cereal bars, flapjack, malt loaf, scones, bagels, low fat cake bars, low fat biscuits, snack a jacks, current buns and teacakes. If you find it hard to eat whilst cycling then a milkshake is also a good shout.
You also need to think about when you need to fuel up on your ride, timing is everything! You should aim to eat between 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour to maintain your performance level. Try to avoid high energy drinks, pasties, sausage rolls, pork pies and scotch eggs due to the fact that they are super high in fat.
So this rule really only applies if you’re looking to do long distance riding for the first time. And if that’s the case then you really should start riding in a pack. Riding with others will boost your chances of success and is of course a massive confidence boost. If your ride is on the road you can save a bit of energy by drafting behind another rider.
Riding in a pack also means there are more people to help with navigation or any bike based issues. This really is a good thing because when fatigue kicks in, your mind starts to wander and having people around you means you won’t get lost, or if you hurt yourself, you’re not by yourself and someone is there to help!
So do you have any additional tips and tricks that you use for relief for long distance riding? Is there anything you think that we missed that you think is essential to pass on to our fellow riders? Please let us know in the comments below.
Author: Shaun Johnson
Edited by: Gemma Johnson