Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are restricted to work from home and remain there to reduce exposure to the virus. This has led many to think about how they’ll best use their extra time. With gyms closed across New Orleans, some have turned to alternative ways to exercise and burn calories. One of the best forms of exercise is cycling, which burns a lot of calories and works your heart and muscles. For anyone interested in this physical activity, be sure to have the best long-distance cycling essentials below.
You must bring a repair kit with you to ensure a safe ride, no matter the distance. This is important to have, since you never know what you might experience on a bike ride. Therefore, be sure to bring a repair kit in your saddlebag just in case. This kit should include Allen wrenches, open-end wrenches, chain tool, screwdrivers, pliers, spoke wrench, duct tape, and zip ties. These tools will help for most on-road tire or bike repairs.
Likewise, you should also bring a bike pump. Few things are worse than a flat tire on the road, so it’s best to bring what you might need in case this happens. A small hand pump or CO2 inflator can fit in your backpack or saddlebag for convenience. You’ll never have to worry about patching or replacing a tube with this tool.
It goes without saying that you must bring a water bottle as well. Hydration is essential to any form of physical activity, especially cycling. The long-distance activity, heat exposure, and sweating all signify your body needs water and electrolytes. Avoid dehydration and weakness with the right water bottle. Be sure to fill it with your favorite sports performance powder to keep you energized throughout the ride.
Energy Gels and Snacks
You’ll need fuel as well. Long-distance cycling burns a lot of calories to keep you energized and maintain optimal performance. Bring along energy gels to give you the necessary sugars and energy your body craves. Energy gels are designed to give your body simple carbohydrates that your muscles deplete through intense physical activity, like cycling or running. They refill glycogen to keep your muscles from feeling sore during the performance. Still, you can always opt for high-calorie snacks like nuts, granola, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to give you more fuel.
Finally, the bike saddle is arguable the most important piece of cycling equipment around—it’s certainly among the best long-distance cycling essentials. It protects your posterior from serious physical injury and discomfort. Still, it depends on what kind of bike seat you get. Leather bike saddles have many advantages—they will give you the best mold, comfort, and durability throughout the entire ride. There are also foam and gel saddles which are more cost-efficient but may not provide you the same relief and hold. No matter what kind you get, make sure it’s properly adjusted with the saddle height, fore and aft position, and tilt to improve your comfortability.