Tips and Tricks
Here are some indications that can be useful to face long-distance riders.
In the end, the key is a combination of experience and adaptability, since out there we are very exposed to weather conditions and the different kinds of hazards (mechanicals and human failures).
Hydratation is very important to keep the performance and avoid physical issues like cramps or damage kidneys or tendons.
- You must carry enough water.
- Be able to filter or use tablets to purify.
- Avoid overheating.
- Better don’t take the risk of drinking water from a stream.
You have to co-exist with the wind rather than fight it. You must be smarter because no rider is stronger than nature.
- Become comfortably aero.
- Gear down, spin up.
- Get a little help from your friends. (not apply for Transibérica).
- Choose sheltered routes.
- Bag the baggy jacket.
- Start into the wind (or not, sometimes you can’t choose).
- Ride early or late.
- Use mind power.
Again, the heat can decrease our performance and become into physical issues like dehydration or overheat.
- Keep hydrated.
- Dress light and bright.
- Wear suncream.
- Avoid riding in midday hours.
- Don’t take heavy meals or force your body with digestion.
Navigation is important in terms of long-distance routes as it can make a big difference between roads shape, weather conditions, traffic lights, altitudes. So many options.
So our advice is to plan ahead your routes, create tracks, and memories/visualize the city names you are going to pass.
GPX track in a GPS is the most common and easier way to travel, but a backup plan is a must, you shouldn’t rely solely on electronics:
- A second GPS device or backup in our phone.
- Mobile phone with @komoot offline maps, with spare power bank.
- Old school paper Maps.
- Notes, roadbooks, profiles or indications.
- Ask local people, knowing where you are going.
- Follow the bird’s migrations, a compass, or the sun to get orientated (you must be very lost and have maps).
The rain is probably what the cyclists fear the most. It cools the muscles, causes chafing and skin problems, dirty everything, increasing mechanical failures and reduces the adherence with the ground doing drive more dangerous. Visibility decreases and nights become even darker.
But you have to be forewarned.
- Carrying fenders is an option to save our bum and mechanism.
- Wear a good rain jacket or even over-trousers, in case of very persistent rain.
- Using plastic or rubber kitchen gloves can be a solution to avoid getting wet hands and losing temperature but at the end they are not practical since they cause excess sweat and rot.
- Use plastic bags can serve as over-shoes
- Sheets of newspaper can help dry shoes.
- Cycling caps avoid extra water in our eyes.
- Always keep a set of dry clothes to be able to change at night or when the rain stops. It will help us to face the rain in another way, knowing that we always have a spare part in a dry place for when better times arrive.
The brain also needs energy to function throughout the day.
As mind training is also as crucial to physical training to make you go faster, let’s define what does it mean to have mental strength?
Mental strength is to fight, to keep our eyes on the goal, and to keep pedaling forward against physical pain and boredom most common matters in ultra cycling
- Be realistic and set realistic goals within reach, a little bit of push is always welcome. But also, we often forget to be honest and objective with ourselves.
- One important thing is never forget to enjoy each moment, enjoy the route, that is one thing we specifically enjoy about ultra-cycling the scenery is never the same, it is a way to add a positive distraction.
- Tell yourself what to do, the voice in your head is a strong one, it is crucial you use it for positive thoughts, motivations, and cheering yourself.
- Let us not forget also a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, so take it one step at a time. Divide the elephants into many tiny elephants, so you can fit all in your jersey.
Mental fortitude is key to a steady confidence which we need to cross that meta.
Following those tips will make good things happen, and meta within reach!
We will actualize the entry with some more tips.