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Planning Your First Long Road Bike Ride

Road Bikes are designed to cover incredibly long distances at a really good speed - coupled with a decent road network and some route planning, and you can expect to be able to cover good distances on your road bike from the off.

The combination however of your first road bike journey with inexperience - can make the riding experience a little daunting, and you can very quickly end up very far away from home unprepared. In this post, we look at some of the things you can do when planning your first road bike trip, to ensure it’s a success:

Start Small

Be realistic about what distances you can expect to cover with your current fitness levels, also consider the ascents and uphill sections of your route - longer more adventurous journeys can be planned further down the line, when you can better understand the capabilities of you and your machine. Keep your first few journeys shorter than you would like to, and return home excited for your next trip out.

Invest in the Right Gear

Although you do not have to spend thousands of pounds to be equipped with the very best gear to enjoy cycling, there are some basics that should never be overlooked. Padded cycling shorts are essential in protecting your rear end from becoming sore in the saddle, and tight shorts prevent chafing and rubbing. You don’t need to have a cycling jersey for your first ride, but choose clothing and materials which wick away sweat from your body, allowing you to remain comfortable. Gloves and helmets are other essential items.

Carry Some Cash

Although you may not think that you will need some money on your trip, it’s always worth taking some for emergencies. If you feel tired for example, you can stop and purchase a coffee and a piece of cake to refuel, or if you run into difficulties you can use the money for emergencies. Always carry a phone and let me people know where you are planning to go.

Choose a Quiet Route

It’s a good idea to choose a quieter route for your first few rides. Get used to riding on the roads, especially if you do not drive. There are a lot of free apps which can help you find the best route, and avoid busy roads - as you may need to slowly get used to the behaviour of some drivers!

Saddle Height

Saddle height is one of the most important things to consider when heading out on a road bike. If you set the saddle of your bike too low - you can expect to experience knee pain and discomfort. Although it can be tempting to set the saddle height low so your feet can touch the ground easier, the seat should be set so your knee just has a slight bend in it when the pedal is closest to the ground.

Practice

Although all bikes follow the same rough design and build processes - it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the gears and braking mechanism of your bike - and if you are using clipless pedals for the first time - take some time to practice clipping in and out.

Fuel Up

It’s important to take some high energy food with you on a bike ride - a little bit of cake or a banana is a good option, and there are plenty of high energy cycling bars and foods available to buy. Carry a bottle of water or energy drink, and sip this as you ride.

Road Bike Gear at Westbrook Cycles

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a complete range of road cycling gear to ensure that every ride is a success. The range is made up from the world’s leading cycle brands, and we stock everything from cycling socks, to water bottles, to energy bars, to helmets and of course…we stock and supply a fantastic range of road bikes.

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