Make sure you know your route (hopefully, it won't be thick with cars and traffic) and be certain you are familiar with the planned rest stops. Keep in mind, you'll be doing more than resting, as you'll need to replace lost fluids, stretch, and check yourself to be sure no injuries are developing.
And when body and mind are set to go, take some time to learn how your equipment works and what it takes to keep it in good running condition, too. Meg Lynch, a trip leader and consultant for Backroads, says that the most common mechanical pitfalls are flat tires and chains falling off. You can fix both of these mishaps on the road if you have the know-how and tools.
During the trip, you might need to do a few repairs on yourself as well. The most common injuries are "road rash" on your knees and legs from falls. If you're not with an all-inclusive tour, be sure to bring the equipment you need to take care of minor mechanical problems and injuries.
Both Conviser, and Lynch agree that the most important thing to remember while on a biking tour is to keep drinking water. No one ever seems to hydrate enough. You need to drink water continually before, during, and after a ride. Lynch suggests using a water bladder, where fluid in a flexible bag and holder is strapped to your back, and a tube from the bladder is conveniently located next to your mouth while you ride.
Some other key things to bring and use on a bike tour include the following:
- A helmet;
- A baseball cap to wear under the helmet or sun visor to wear over it;
- Sun block;
- A buddy;
- A rain jacket and pants;
- High-energy snacks;
Conviser adds that if you want to feel good after a bike tour, you need to make sure you recover properly. After resting for a day or two, get back on your bike for some gentle riding, to make sure your muscles don't stiffen up. This is also a good time to begin a new sport, like running or swimming, to start exercising your muscles in a new way. Don't think of a bike tour as a one-time event but as one piece of an overall healthy lifestyle.