With the sun shining and Summer in full swing, we're smack dab in the middle of bike season! Riders all over the world are stacking the miles and stretching their rides to new lengths, but all that awesome time in the saddle can have some downsides too.
In today's post, we'll talk long ride relief and the things you can do to keep yourself comfy when you're pushing a century or more!
For the purposes of this post, we're going to assume you've got your internal needs covered: water, food/fuel, etc... and we'll focus on keeping your outsides happy on the road. Step one in that pursuit is to suit up.
A lot of people have hangups about lycra, but once you've ridden a mile in that sweet sweat-wicking, seat-padded kit, it all finally makes sense! Proper ride attire makes the wind slip past you, aids in evaporation to keep you cool, and a proper-chamois makes all those miles in the saddle slip by like nothing.
If you're looking to ride upwards of 100 miles, you'll want to do it in something spandex-y (and you'll wonder how you ever road any other way).
This one's no fun to think about, but it's even worse to experience - chafing. Even in the paddiest of kits, a little rub the wrong way can really snowball into a searing pain after a couple dozen miles. That's where anti-chafing cream comes in handy.
Junk Jam was created by one of the guys that won the Race Across America and it's practically magic balm to keep everything down there smooth and pain-free. Strong enough to keep you spinning from coast to coast, it also provides much-needed relief when you find yourself hustling through the heat in jeans on the way to work.
Again, it's one of those "how did I ever ride without it?" wonders.
Fit and Feel
Last but not least, your body's happiness on those long rides is incredibly reliant on your bike's fit and feel.
Adjust your saddle until it's dialed in just right. Tweak your bar angle (and work on your core) until your hands and wrists can handle hours on the handlebars. Consider a shorter or longer stem to "shrink" or "stretch" your reach. Make sure your cleats are secure and angled for maximum comfort. Really fine-tune everything, because something that "feels a little weird" on those trips to the grocery store can turn into real aches and pains once you're mid-way up the mountain.
If you need some help finding your fit, check out our write-up on the subject or swing by your local bike shop! Shops will offer pro-fittings to get you situated perfectly and into a position where you can pedal like the pros - for miles and miles and miles.
And now you're ready to push those personal bests! Ride happy, and we'll see you out there.