Cycling is a great sport not only for cardiovascular health but also a sport for our entire body.
When riding a bicycle, you must use all of your senses to control the bike from eyes to limbs to the entire hips, and all activities in a rhythmic way will help you ensure safety while cycling.
However, there are significant differences between long-distance cycling and short cycling.
You have chosen a suitable bike; however, that is not all. You need to equip yourself with some necessary skills when cycling, especially for road cycling.
This quick guide is the perfect starting point to help master your road cycling skills is the best way to help you improve your training performance and avoid unnecessary injuries, with some additional tools and tips that most racers will find helpful.
In this article, we will learn the essential tips for you to ride a long-distance bike safely and without getting hurt. Now BellyFatZone invites you to refer to this article together!
1. Make use of the features of bicycle gear sets
Adjusting your bike clutch is the best way to make cycling clearer. In addition, you can adjust the low or the high roller depending on the purpose of your practice.
Off-road bikes have a very complex gear system consisting of front and rear gear. Front gear is used to support the practitioner who needs a sprint. The advantage of this accessory is that it helps to go faster on flat terrain.
Meanwhile, the rear gear will aid your experience of a smoother and faster mountain ride because the gear type can reduce the force impact on the pedal very well.
With Hilly Terrain
When climbing a mountain or going up a slope, if you find it difficult to pedal, cannot turn the pedal quickly, lose momentum, it is advisable to lower the gear. For example, the number of bicycle gears is 3; the practitioner should reduce it to 1 when climbing a slope.
Reducing the number of gears reduces the distance in each rotation of the pedal. Thereby, you will turn the pedal a lot easier. However, shifting gears while on the slope right now is a tough thing. Therefore, the practitioner should reduce the number of gears previously.
When you go down from the top of the slope, you will go downhill very quickly because there is no drag when you step down. So the advice for the practitioner now is to increase the gear to 2 or 3 to reduce the speed of the vehicle's downhill.
At that time, here will be handy tips for you. Because a higher number of gears will help increase the distance of the pedal very well.
Where There are Intersections
In addition, you should also adjust the low set at intersections and crossroads. When approaching intersections, you will need to slow down. Even in some cases, the practitioner should stop.
If you leave the gears high, it won't be easy to start stepping again because the pedal is too heavy. So the advice for the practitioner is to get closer to the junction to reduce the number of lower gears. This will make your next cycling experience a lot easier!
In short, the practitioner can refer to the simple way up and down the slope according to the information below:
- If you are going up the slope and find it too difficult, lower the gear.
- If the foot is spinning the pedal too fast (or too light), increase the gear.
2. Should have heart rate monitor
Currently, many devices are used to measure heart rate, such as specialized equipment, software on smartphones … Heart rate monitor is an essential and handy accessory for your training process!
The average heart rate of a fitness cyclist depends on their age. By the age of 30, the average heart rate can reach from 95 to 133 beats per minute when cycling at a moderate pace.
Monitoring heart rate is significant because it can show whether exercise intensity is right for you. If the heart rate becomes higher than normal, it means you are exercising with too much intensity. This should be given special attention to newcomers to the practice.
The smart heart rate monitor also assists the practitioner in designing exercises, tracking calories burned and lung capacity during exercise.
A heart rate monitor is an indispensable accessory for long-distance cycling. You can refer to some types of wrist-worn heart rate monitors, chest straps to monitor the heart rate of cyclists.
To get the most out of your heart rate monitor, you'll need to measure your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate. Heart rate-based training has 6 different levels depending on your training goals:
- Level 1 (60 – 65% of maximum heart rate): for gentle long-distance exercises to restore fat burning after exercise.
- Level 2 (65 – 75%): Advanced level 1 exercises to improve the practitioner's endurance.
- Level 3 (75 – 82%): helps develop aerobic areas (aerobic) for the body to use oxygen more efficiently.
- Level 4 (82 – 89%): to simulate the descending speed for a race.
- Level 5 (89 – 94%): Increases the anaerobic threshold to improve the speed at 10 and 25 miles.
- Level 6 (94 – 100%): This is intended for high-intensity training to increase the maximum strength and speed of the practitioner.
3. Attention Add energy and water properly
Staying hydrated regularly is very important for any cyclist. Losing water during exercise can affect your ability to win.
A breakfast with porridge and oats combined with a little dried fruit is a great choice before every trip. However, you should eat about 3 hours before cycling.
3 hours before cycling, you should replenish nutrients, especially carbohydrates and water, to cool the body, to avoid dizziness or dehydration.
It should be noted that you should take in good carb sources (whole carbs) to convert them into energy to help us function. Besides, it is necessary to pay attention to the GI (Glycemic Index) – the glycemic index to avoid affecting the amount of sugar in the body.
If you pedal for more than 90 minutes, eat a little something every hour. During the ride, you still need to replenish enough water to help cool the body, help to flush out better, and convert electrolytes.
In addition, you can also replenish energy through energy bars or gels that help to quickly activate the amount of glucose in the body, helping the body get rid of fatigue quickly.
After cycling, it is necessary to supplement the nutrients found in milk, chicken, cows, eggs, fish, beans and nuts, green vegetables to restore the body and replenish lost energy.
During the trip, need water.
Practitioners remember to provide continuous water. This is to help you replace the electrolytes needed for muscle function, which are lost during sweating during cycling. This is especially true for long journeys in hot weather.
While cycling, the body will need a steady supply of carbohydrates in sugars to maintain muscle activity. It is easy to get exhausted on long-distance cycling if you don't give your body enough sugar.
Some nutritious foods you can use during exercise:
- Energy gel
- Energy waffles
- Energy gummies
- Dried fruits and nuts
After cycling to rest
- Continue drinking water if you feel thirsty.
- A protein-rich meal or drink is a great way to aid muscle recovery. Among them, the most popular choice for recovering after cycling is a cup of delicious chocolate milk!
Read more: Lower Back Pain In Cycling – Causes, And Precautions.
4. You cycle in groups
Traveling in a group may require some skills that are essential to your safety. During group cycling, trainees often cycle in two rows. This can be uncomfortable for newbies because they feel the distance between the two cars is too close together, causing a collision.
It is essential to keep the distance between your front wheel and the rider's rear wheel in front of you. This will avoid the pile of wheels – it can cause a chain fall effect “domino” is extremely dangerous.
- Don't stop suddenly.
- Do not turn around without signaling.
- Reduce speed.
- Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and behind.
5. How to conquer the slope?
Depending on the inclination and length of the pass, you need different pass conquering skills. Some skills to keep in mind when climbing a pass include:
– Choose the right gear: Right at the foot of the hill, adjust the gear to get the best cadence, then slowly switch to the lighter gear to keep the car from slipping down. If you switch to a too large chute when going up a short slope, it will make climbing the pass much more difficult.
– Move pedals to stand and sit at the right time: You can pedal standing at the foot of the pass, then switch to sit pedal in the middle of the pass. Then, move on to the standing pedal when approaching the top of the pass.
– Sprinting: Do not pedal as fast as possible throughout the entire section of the pass. Instead, switch to a small, easy-to-pedal clutch. It won't be easy at first, but when you reach the middle of the pass, use your strength to sprint; that will be much more effective.
Practice to increase strength: Practice for a while to increase strength to make climbing passes easier. For example, you can practice the Interval pedal method as follows: Selecting a short slope. Then pedal as fast as possible to the foot of the pass at the big trunk. Keep strength to the top.
If you choose the right gear, the cadence will be around 80 pm. Return to the small pedal for 3-5 minutes to relax and repeat the above steps 2 to 4 times.
6. How safe is cornering skills?
Fast cornering requires commitment and trust. Commit to maintaining the speed and position of the bodywork because sudden braking or changing directions can destabilize the driver.
Similar to climbing passes, crabs are also very technical to avoid unnecessary injuries. You need to note 2 main stages are the starting stage and the execution stage.
– Starting stage: Pay attention to observe from the opening of the corner to the top of the corner to be ready for direction. This helps you to navigate and prepare before cornering. Slow down and turn close to the corner in case there is a blind corner.
– Implementation stage: The cornering starts as soon as the bike is tilted to the top of the corner. Keep the gravity down to the pedal in the outward direction and continue looking forward to the corner. If you are in a drop position (low running position, elbow curl, and armrest), straighten your back and forearms to the lower center of gravity and stabilize and balance your body. Also, pay attention to the traveling speed, thereby releasing the braking force. Especially with disc brakes, you can brake from the front wheel and then switch to the front wheel to ensure safety.
Experience and practice are key here, so a good tip is to find a route that selects the corners and practice the ride over and over or build it into a regular route.
Approach it a little faster each time until it feels familiar.
You need to be aware of three things, namely, observing before turning a turn, braking before turning a turn, identifying the line, and not pedaling during a turn.
Watching Where You Want to Turn: It is advisable to control the speed before entering the turn, so you can feel the body moving according to the observation of the eyes, watch for obstacles and problems like potholes, especially while pedaling in groups. Train yourself to observe further to enhance your peripheral vision. Once a bend is detected, your hips rotate in the same direction you are looking at.
Braking Before Crab: Before turning, you should slow down by braking lightly, then apply the same cornering technique to handle curves.
Don't Pedal While Turning: Depressing while cornering can cause your pedal to hit the ground.
If this happens, you should still try to stay calm and complete the turn. Once you have completed the turn and the bike is in a more upright position, it will be safer to pedal. Besides, be sure to adjust the ratchet accordingly before turning.
7. Effective sloping skills:
Bicyclists can reach some dizzying speeds. For example, BMC's Marcus Burghardt hit a staggering 130.7kph / 81.2mph when sloping down during the 2017 Tour de France.
But of course, going with speed is risky, and if you're not actively looking for the yellow vests in the world's biggest bike race, then a controlled bike race is a better and not the better choice less interesting.
If not done properly, downhill can cause serious accidents for a participant to ride a road bike.
One of the most important elements of a slope is body position. It would help if you relaxed; always lean forward. Hands are always in the Drop position and place a finger or two at the handbrake to help control the brake system more easily.
Besides, be careful not to press the handlebar too tightly. This can cause fatigue and loss of control. Allow your hands to bend the elbows slightly to facilitate handling of uneven surfaces and road bumps, if any.
Try to keep the pedal in a position parallel to the road surface. Focus on looking ahead to anticipate changes in the road surface, direction, and other traffic.
Limit pulling on the brakes to avoid saturation – the brakes will work, but the speed does not change. In other words, pulling the brakes too hard can cause them to overheat and burn the brakes or even lead to a tire explosion.
In addition, you can also sit in a straight-back position to help prevent wind better, ensuring that the braking force is evenly distributed between the front and rear wheels.
Ultra Long Distance Cycling Tips
As mentioned above, bike setup is essential, so it's a good idea to choose the right bike. This is an important part of getting the most out of a bike as it is important to set the bike correctly for the rider, including the reach of the brake lever, saddle height, direction high steering wheel, and more.
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Hopefully, the information above has helped you gain some more knowledge about “long-distance bike riding” and bring some small value. Please share this article if you feel it is useful. Thanks!