Most people prefer to ride in a group, and we can’t blame them. After all riding in a group is a lot of fun. You get to bond with your friends, meet new people, and challenge your cycling skills. But cycling alone can be just as fun as riding with a bunch of riders.
There are some rules and etiquette to follow when riding in a group. It requires you to keep up with other riders. If they pedal fast, then you need to pedal just as fast. Otherwise, you’ll get dropped. Although it does help you improve for the better, there are days when you just want to explore new places on your own and enjoy your time on the bike. Cycling alone gives you an opportunity to clear your head. You can set your own pace and stop whenever you want to. Being a solo rider does come with several benefits, but it is not without disadvantages.
Cycling accidents are a regular part of cycling. Road bikers can get struck by a vehicle. With mountain biking being a riskier sport, accidents are more common. You may also experience unexpected hiccups like a flat tire, get stuck in the rain or you might get lost. When you go solo, no one will be there to help you in these unfortunate instances.
With careful planning and preparation, you can be sure that your cycling adventure goes as smoothly as possible.
Give Your Bike a Full Inspection
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A quick run-through of your bike parts and components is crucial to prevent any major problems from occurring. You want to make sure that your bike is in tip-top shape before your trip.
Check the tires for any cuts or nicks. Check both tires for adequate tread. While you’re at it, make sure that the tires have the proper air pressure. You will see the recommended pressure on the sidewall of each tire. Check the wheels as well. Spin the wheels to check that they don’t rub on the brake pads or anywhere on the fork or frame. Don’t forget to check the brakes. To ensure that the brakes are engaging, try pulling the brake levers hard while pushing the bike forward. Another important thing you need to check is the chain. Check to see if the chain lubricated. For your safety and comfort, set your saddle to the right height.
Plan Your Ride
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Spring is upon us! Many of you are probably preparing for your next adventure on the bike. We bet you are eager to get back to the trails. Or maybe you are planning to explore places you haven’t been to before. When are you planning to go?
When exploring new places alone, navigation can be a bit of a challenge. Make sure that you plan your route before your trip. It can be tempting to rely on apps like Waze or Google Maps to help you get to your desired destination. However, you need to consider that smartphones die and lose signal in some areas. As tempting as it is, do not rely solely on your smartphone for navigation. Use multiple navigation tools to keep you on track. Aside from your smartphone, it is a good idea to use a map and GPS.
Know where you’re going and determine how long it will take you to get to your desired destination. Training is a must for long distance bike rides. You want to make sure that you are physically prepared for this trip. Remember, fatigue is one of the most common causes of injury. You become more prone to crashes and accidents when you’re tired.
Tell Someone Where You’re Going
Remember the movie 127 Hours? The film stars James Franco, a canyoneer who got trapped under a boulder in an isolated canyon in Utah. What started out as a fun and exciting adventure ended up in a disaster. He got hurt and was stuck there for 5 days. Worse, no one even knows he was there.
If you are planning to go cycling alone, please tell someone where you’re going. This way, someone will go looking for you in case you go missing or if you get into an accident. Telling someone about your plan may save your life.
Bring a Bike Repair Kit
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Nearly everyone will experience a flat tire at some point. That said, it is important that you have the necessary tools and equipment to fix a flat tire. This is especially important when cycling alone. Remember, no one will be there to help you when this happens, so you need be prepared for something like this.
Fixing a flat tire is an easy task. Provided that you have the necessary tools, you’ll be able to get back on the road or the trails in just a few minutes. If you want to learn how to do it, there are lots of online tutorials out there. Or better yet, ask a friend or someone from the local bike shop to teach you.
A bike repair kit includes a hand pump, tire levers, and a patch kit. Whether you’re riding in a group or cycling alone, we highly recommend that you carry a bike repair kit with you. Don’t let a flat tire prevent you from getting on your bike.
Bring Cash When Cycling Alone
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Going on a cycling adventure is fun and exciting. However, no matter how prepared you are for this adventure, some things do not always go as planned.
During a cycling trip, you may experience a flat tire, get stuck in the rain, get lost or worse, your bike may get stolen. We sincerely hope unlucky instances like these won’t strike on your cycling adventure, but you need to accept that there will be some hiccups along the way. With cash or a credit card on hand, you’ll be able to buy yourself some food, book an accommodation or even hail a cab in case any of these happens.