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How to Prepare for and Save on Long-Distance Bike Rides

My day job keeps me planted in front of my trusty laptop for hours on end. On nice days, when the glare isn’t too bad, I take my stuff outside to a deck or nearby coffee shop patio.

But writing my latest credit card review or how-to guide in the bright sunshine isn’t quite the same as getting away on a true outdoor vacation.

When I really need a break, I like to disconnect as completely as humanly possible for a few consecutive days. The fewer distractions, the better. I put together a guide to preparing for a long-distance hike for just this purpose (along with a separate roundup of the best long-distance hiking trails in the U.S. – some of my favorites are on there).

Explore the World on Two Wheels

In this guide, I’ll explore another popular fitness vacation idea: a long-distance bike ride.

This is new territory for me. I’m an avid bike commuter and regularly take long rides for fun, but I didn’t complete my first multi-day ride until the summer of 2017.

In the sections below, I’ll share everything I learned in the months leading up to that week-long adventure, along with tips and best practices from experts with far more experience than moi:

  • How to train safely and sustainably
  • How to choose your ride type and route, if applicable
  • Basic logistical and safety considerations before, during, and after your ride
  • Equipment and supplies you’ll need for a safe and fun experience

Train for Your Ride

If planning a long-distance bike ride isn’t enough to get you on the regular exercise bandwagon, what is?

You’ll need to adjust your personal training regimen to account for your:

  • Age
  • Baseline fitness level
  • Medical status, including chronic conditions and prior sports injuries
  • Time horizon (time between training start date and ride start date)
  • Total ride length and duration
  • Ride difficulty (total elevation change and daily distance)

Successful training programs follow this format:

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