Long Distance Rides - The Do's and the Dont's

Long Distance Rides - The Do's and the Dont's January 31 2018, 0 Comments

Last year I upped my time on the bike while training for the Dirty Kanza, a 200 mile gravel bike race in Kansas. Before training for the DK200, the longest I’d ridden was 106 miles, once...several years before. I was very comfortable in the 1-2 hour bike ride range. So there was a little bit of a learning curve when I had to up my training rides. The hardest part about a long distance ride should be the actual ride, not planning that goes into it. Below I’ve outlined some of the Do’s and Don’ts of long distance bike rides.


The Do’s:

  • Friends: Try to recruit people to ride with. If you’re trying to cover a lot of distance, teamwork makes the dreamwork. Not only do conserve energy while drafting, but you can cover more ground, faster. And it’s nice to have company.
  • Food and Hydration: Plan where you are going to refuel. Depending how much water and food you carry and the rate and which you consume these, your refueling stops might be ever 50 miles or maybe every 100. If you aren’t able to fill up bottles for a long time, consider wearing a hydration pack.
  • Equipment: Bring extras. For the sake of safety assume that you’re going to get at least  one flat. Make sure to bring tubes, extra CO2 or a hand pump for when you do.
  • Chamois cream. Just use it. If your ride is going to be a multi day tour,  you might want to bring extra with you.
  • Route: Plan your route on Strava or MapMyRide and upload the route on your computer. I use my Wahoo Element for this and it gives me turn by turn prompts and a detailed overview of my route.

The Don’ts:

  • That new new: Avoid riding a new bike or saddle. Also avoid riding long distance in new shoes or even bibs. Now is not the time to figure out a new bike position or that a new chamois doesn’t agree with you.
      • Hydrate poorly: Not only do you need to make sure you have ample water with you, but plan ahead and mix in/bring extra hydration mix such as Skratch Labs. Plain water won’t replace the electrolytes you lose.
  • Forget to Eat: Sometimes having an eating schedule, say eating every 30 minutes or hour, prevents you from eating too little. For instance, a 140 lb male can burn 600-800 calories an hour at endurance pace. Generally, you want to try to replace those half of the calories burned each hour, 60-85% of those calories coming from carbs.
  • Batteries: Don’t forget to charge your phone, bike computer etc.. especially if you need them for navigation or emergencies.

  • Long distance riding is amazing. You get to see so many different things all powered by your own strength. It doesn’t matter how slow or fast you ride or if you’re riding for fun or as a training ride. The  goal should be to have an enjoyable ride. Follow the helpful tips above to set yourself up for success.

    Guest Blogger - Reese Ruland 

    Instagram: @Reeseruland

    Picture Credit: @Adamjcon

    Long Distance Rides - The Dos And The Donts