So you want to ride farther than you ever have before, awesome! But the last thing you want is to get 25 miles out and find yourself exhausted without the energy to make it home. In today’s post, let’s talk stretch rides and upping your miles without breaking your bod.
The easiest way to 'bonk' is to roll out without enough fuel in your tanks. If you’re going to be pushing yourself to new distances, make sure you’re not skipping breakfast (or dinner if it’s a night ride). On the road, your body is converting all those carbs, fats, sugars, etc… into energy, and once they run out, the trip can start to get painful. Eat a decent meal before you ride, and if you’re going 50-100 miles, bring some high-energy snacks on the road. Eat before you get hungry, drink before you get thirsty, and your body will happily help you explore for hours!
The second easiest way to kill the fun is to push too hard too fast. When you’re covering new distances, don’t fall into the trap of riding at your everyday pace. Back the effort off a little bit, especially when you’re just heading out. Riding at 75% (slow enough that you could maintain a conversation with a buddy) is a good rule of thumb for not over-exerting. Try to find the pace that feels like you could just keep riding forever and you’re in the money. You can always push hard and get those intervals in on the way home, but you don’t want to get winded while you’re still putting space between you and home-base.
Rest / Refuel
Almost as important as fueling your body, is listening to it on the road. If you feel yourself starting to drag, pull over for a snack, drink, and a break! Burritos, coffee, and beer are all popular mid-ride snacks – just be sure to drink water too because the beer and coffee won’t do the best job of keeping you hydrated (though they will help ease tired muscles and give you the mental boost to make it home). There’s no shame in stopping for a bite, in fact, finding new places with delicious treats is one of the best parts of long, wandering, exploration rides!
And the most important part of any ride, have fun! Pick a destination you’ll enjoy, bring a buddy, give yourself a goal to find 3 sweet new murals, 1 awesome new bar, some instagram gold, or just ride until the sun hits those mountains over there. Whatever your motivation, having something to look forward too when your body starts to fade will keep you pedaling with a purpose. And the next time you head out, you’ll find yourself going a little bit farther.
We’ll see you out there.