Long Distance Cycling Tips

This is for cyclists like me who travel on a self-support basis, as lone wolves. Cyclists travelling in groups have a different profile. It is best to travel in buddy pairs but not always possible. The idea is to get from point A to point B, as comfortably as possible. The fact that we have to cycle all the way means that we need to have a certain level of fitness and the proper equipment.

If we plan on covering something like 500 kilometres (km.) and above, then we need to cover at least 110-130 km. daily. This may vary according to terrain, steep hills can restrict the cyclist to 70-80 km. ; and it is important not to over stretch oneself, injuries can mean ditching the bicycle altogether and making it back using some other transport.

Carry along stuff should include a first aid kit, our clothes specially undergarments. A few chords just in case we need to extra strap our luggage. Our smartphone ( ahem ! ) and the charger. Moving on, we would definitely need bicycle spares like an extra tube, puncture kit, lubricant and bicycle cleaning stuff. On longer journeys, an extra chain and gear freewheel, along with brake and gear wires would definitely help. Spare rear and front derailleurs could make life easier.

We would also need a toolkit with wrenches, spanners and tools to open the gear flywheel or other stuff. A spoke tension tool would also help. An odometer helps to set our pace. Lastly, a strap on air pump is a must. The air pressure in the tyres must be on the higher side to avoid punctures, throughout the journey. I have never had a puncture on any of my long trips because of this.

Did I miss something ? Yes ! A helmet, rear view mirror, warning tail lights and a front light, are a must to go along with a loud cycle bell here. Battery operated lights are more convenient. Hydration is another issue and bottle holders/hydration bags are always welcome but there is a limit to what one may carry. 

My region has a lot of vehicular pollution, so I wear anti-pollution masks and good cycling eye wear to protect against flying debris. Padded cycling shorts will make our life bearable as our behinds are rubbed raw after hundreds of kilometres. There is the issue of toe clamps or cleats to bind our feet to the pedal. People swear by it but other cyclists do not like it. Personally, I wear shoes that lock in to pedal cleats. However, one must be very careful with this. A mistake can mean a good fall.

This isn’t an exhaustive check list by any means and I may keep adding to this, just so that everyone knows this is going to help me too !


One Reply to “Long Distance Cycling Tips”

  1. Yes your list of support articles and spares/tools is rather long. But I guess these are essentials to help proceeding on the mission. it is really a daunting task and one has to be absolutely focused on cycling long distances. Keep up all the best.


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