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How to plan your first road bike ride

How to plan your first road bike ride

A pleasant introduction to everything needed for road bikes.
More and more people are choosing to use bicycles for a road bike ride trip that just walks away. However, road bike travel is not an easy task. It is more likely to be a difficult task. For friends who are in the impulsive period, it is better to sit down and learn about the knowledge, such as vehicles, Equipment, pre-training, etc. Let’s move on and look down.How to ride a road bike for the first time?Here are six things that can make your first road bike trip successfully.

1. Be realistic

How healthy are you? Can you run to catch the bus with no effort, or take a flight of stairs to make you breathless? There is no need for heroism here, and we recommend keeping your first outing short and sweet.

If you are already moderately active, then the first 15-mile ride, the goal is to complete it in an hour to an hour and a half.

If you are not confident about your health, try planning a route that stops at 5 miles, so you can choose to increase the distance when you feel good, or go home when you feel bad.

road bike ride

2. Wear the correct kit

We have a complete guide on what to wear for road bikes and commuting, but the most important item, apart from the helmet, is a pair of suitable and best bib shorts.

Bib pants are the best because there is no waist elastic to cut into your belly, but any cycling shorts are better than nothing.

Shorts should be tight-fitting, because loose materials will wrinkle and rub, so it is not recommended to wear underwear with a bib. You don’t want to add extra seams to avoid wearing your most fragile and valuable body parts.

If you don’t like to show off your curves in tight clothes, you can wear comfortable, loose-fitting shorts or tights over cycling shorts.

The best cycling suit is very suitable for your upper part, but it is almost essential for your first ride. If you don’t have one, a close-fitting T-shirt will do, or a thicker sweatshirt in cool weather.

Remember that a lot of heat is generated when you step on the pedals, so dress lighter than usual. A good rule of thumb is that if you feel a bit cold the first time you walk out of the front door, you should feel comfortable once you walk away.

Related story:Electric bicycle maintenance: how to look after your ebike

road bike ride

3. Bring the right toolkit

When you first set foot in this big bad world, you don’t need to carry out a lot of roadside repairs, but you need to bring the basics of puncture repairs.

All you need is a spare inner tube of the correct size, several tire levers and a small pump.

You should also bring a basic multi-function tool in case you need to make simple adjustments on the road, such as saddle height.

We do not recommend that you ride your bike for the first time at night, but if it is not a sunny day, please consider whether you should install front and rear lights so that other road users can see yourself.

If the chance of rain is very small, it is also worth bringing a light jacket or waistcoat, and some cash or debit card for emergencies. Bring your phone, even if you don’t use it for navigation, just in case.

4. Plan the route

road bike ride

As we said, keep it short at the beginning and aim to ride on roads with no big hills and least traffic. If this is not possible where you live, consider driving in a place that is more suitable for you.

It may sound weird to recommend this on a bicycle website, but if you can focus on biking rather than avoiding cars at first, you will have more fun, especially during the first few miles of your bike ride.

If it helps motivate, the goal is to go to a cafe halfway through to quickly boost caffeinated morale.

There are many free (or partly free-most have paid upgrade options) online services and apps that make it easier to plan your route, including services and apps dedicated to cycling.

These allow you to plan exactly how far you want to ride and tell you if there are any hills along the way. Please pay attention to let the software choose your route, because not all platforms are accurately calibrated for the location suitable for cycling.

Some people do not distinguish between small farm tracks and dual carriageways when suggesting directions, so if you have any questions about the suitability of the road, Google Street View is your friend. As a general rule, avoid road A as much as possible, as cars will usually drive faster on these roads.
road bike ride
Most GPS bike computers have some form of built-in navigation and the option to download routes to the device. However, even if you don’t have a bicycle computer, you may have a smartphone, so why not use its built-in GPS to navigate your pre-planned route?

If you feel you need it, you can install a handle phone holder for most phones, but in any case, you should be able to hear the instructions in the back pocket.

5. Get your bike ready

Your bike shop will sort out the essentials for you, but you can easily check some basic things. It is also worth learning how to perform basic pre-ride safety checks.

Your saddle should be at a height where you can step on it freely, and your knees should be slightly bent when the pedals are at the lowest point. If you can lay your feet flat on the ground while sitting in the saddle, it is too low and you will hurt your knees.

Your tires need to be properly inflated, and it is best to use an instrumented track pump (also called a floor pump). The correct pressure depends on your weight and the exact size of the tire.

There are many online calculators and apps that can give you advice in this regard, but for a typical 80 kg rider with 700×25 mm tires, we recommend that you start with a pressure of 100 psi for the rear tires and 90 for the front tires. psi.

Lighter riders can go lower, and heavier riders should go higher. As you gain experience, you may want to try higher or lower pressures to fine-tune your ride. Try to adjust in 5psi increments.

Before getting on the road correctly, take some time to familiarize yourself with your bike and make sure you can operate the gears and brakes comfortably. If your bicycle is equipped with clipless pedals, please practice clamping in and out.

It is a good idea to release one foot a few seconds before you stop. This way you are less likely to forget and tip over awkwardly while still.

Try to shift gears through gears, but avoid the simplest two at the rear when you are in the larger sprocket at the front, and avoid the two hardest at the rear when you are in the small ring. These gear combinations force the chain to work at extreme angles, which can put unnecessary stress on your drive system.

Don’t operate two shift levers at the same time, and get in the habit of slightly releasing the pedal when shifting. It will make everything work smoother and reduce the chance of accidental chain drops.

You should be able to ride comfortably with your hands on the brake cover for a long time, and from there you need to be able to switch front and rear gears.

When you want to drop very, very quickly, you can use drops. The important thing is that you can safely brake from the hood or drop, so try both and make sure you are comfortable moving from one to the other. Do one hand at a time so you never let go of the barbell completely.

Related story:6 things you might not know about your bicycle chains

road bike ride

6. Be prepared

On this day, eat a carbohydrate but not overweight breakfast, and give yourself an hour and a half to digest it. Something like porridge is ideal, or toast with jam, or “jelly” if you are American.

During such a long journey, you may not need to eat too much, but it is best to develop the habit of carrying some food with you-so bring a banana or a square of pancakes.

You should also put a bottle of water or energy drink in your bottle cage and try to drink it every 20 minutes or so, even if you are not thirsty.

The rest is up to you, so get on the saddle, have fun, and be safe outside!
road bike ride
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