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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What You Need for Long Training Bike Rides | Biking Trip Must-Haves

By Megan Maxwell
I’m currently training for my bike trip from Vancouver to Tijuana. I’ve been going on long bike rides around Denver to get ready, doing 10- 20 miles at a time. During these rides, I’ve also been trying to figure out what I need for a happy long bike ride.

  • Water. Bring at least one liter of water along during your bike ride. If it’s a really hot day or you’re going a long distance, bring more than one liter. This is probably the most important thing you can bring along.
  • Fully charged phone. It’s important to have a charged phone in case something goes wrong, like an injury or a sudden thunderstorm, and you need to call someone to come get you. You also might want to listen to music and take photos.
  • Snacks. Even if you just ate before you left, still bring a snack along with you. You might get lost and bike further than planned or you might just get a hunger attack. I’m tend to get dizzy and sometimes black out if it’s been a while since I last ate or I’ve been working out really hard, so I always keep a granola bar in my backpack.
  • A jacket. You never know when it’s going to start raining or get cold. Always have a spare jacket when you, so you’re ready when the weather takes a turn for the worst.
  • Biking App. Keep an app running that records your GPS coordinates, time, speed, distance, and elevations. Then you can save your bike rides on the phone and see the sort of progress you’re making. It’s also useful if you forget where your car is and you want to see how far away you are. Not that I know that from experience or anything.
  • Audiobook app/ music app. OK, I realize that most people will prefer to have music playing rather than an audiobook. However, I like to listen to stories the majority of time. Be sure to only keep one ear bud in, so you can still hear everything that’s going on around you.
  • Tube repair tools. You never know when you’re going to pop a hole in a tube and need to patch it. Make sure that you have a few spare patches, sandpaper, glue, and tire levers. Your bike multi-tool is optional, but it never hurts to have it.
  • Bike lights (depending on time of day). If you’re going on your bike trip in the evening, you should pack your lights. If you’re going for a morning ride you don’t need them, unless it’s a ride that will take the entire day.
  • Transport. If you don’t have enough room in your car for your bike, transport it with a hitch bike rack.