When people plan a multi-day trip, they usually prefer travelling in their own comfort zones and use transport options that are less stressful and easy. However, the thrill and experience of riding a bike for a multi-day trip is definitely an unmissable option for riders. Even though it can be a challenging task, a multi-day bike trip is nothing but a road trip but with bikes. Another difference would be the stress it can have on your body.
Such a trip requires a good amount of planning and is really different compared to a regular ride in your city. It not only pushes the limits of your bike but also your own physical limits. Just like we prepare ourselves for any kind of trip, taking up such an adventure has its own checklist. Let’s go over some of the essentials to help you have a smooth ride.
Getting your body warmed up and ready
Riding a bike for long hours can sometimes cause mental strain and physical exertion to your body. Taking fairly long rides before the main trip can help in conditioning your muscles for the strain it’s about to endure. If you don’t get your body ready, you’ll experience extreme pain in the neck, lower back, and buttocks. Another fun way to get your body prepared would be to engage in cycling or swimming. Cycling helps toughen up your muscles too and it gets your back ready to be in that riding posture. Cycling also requires almost the same amount of focus on balance.
While you’re working on your muscles, the food you intake can also help speed up the process of keeping you physically ready for a big ride. It’s recommended to maintain a healthy protein-filled diet of eggs, oats, yogurt, and fruits. Avoid processed or oily food. Essentially, maintaining your fitness plays an important part.
You may feel sore while riding so practice and do a few simple stretching exercises in advance. When you stop for food and before you hop on the bike again, make sure you’ve done a few stretches. Even before you make this trip, ensure that you’ve improved that flexibility in your back, neck, and thighs.
Packing the right food
For a long trip on your bike, it is essential to carry the right food to help you stay active and keep your energy levels high. Don’t pack heavy food as it will add extra weight in your bags. Ideally, carry light foods like chocolates, energy bars, cheese slices, and dry fruits such as raisins, almonds, and pistachios, as this helps with fatigue. If you’re wondering where you can store all this so you can easily access it, we’d advise buying a tank bag. Also, stop for fruits, soups, salads, sandwiches and jam or peanut butter biscuits. You don’t need to pack every food item, as you would find shops if you’re taking a popular route. Along with eating, staying hydrated is something that should always be on your mind. There will be times when you won’t feel thirsty but ensure you’re drinking water as it helps with soreness of muscles. Invest in a hydration pack as it’s incredibly convenient. If you want to treat yourself to a heavy meal, we’d say keep it for dinner. Remember to always munch on food stuff kept right in front of you in the tank bag, even if you’re not feeling hungry. If you wait to feel hungry you’ve already lost the battle, as you’ll later start feeling the fatigue. Take enough short breaks to eat, hydrate and stretch your muscles a little.
To make your ride easier you will need to carry the right gear so that there are no hiccups on your journey. So here’s our gear check-list.
1. Motorcycle Jacket
A good motorcycle jacket contributes to giving you a very cool look on the road. You could also customize your jacket to give it a unique look. Apart from the stylish appearance, it helps improve your visibility to other vehicles and that keeps you safe. Choose jackets that have reflective strips to increase your visibility. Your jacket will also help you feel comfortable from the strong heat or wind. If it’s going to be hot, look for jackets with zippers that play the role of vents. Another benefit is that jackets can be additional protective layers against bugs and insects.
2. GPS system
If you don’t have a separate GPS gadget, it’s alright. Most smartphones have GPS nowadays and come with GoogleMaps. You’re gonna need this to avoid traffic jams and stay on the right route so you’re not over exerting yourself by figuring out routes. It’s best to invest in a good and strong phone holder for your bike. If that’s not an option, it’s always good to research well for your trip and check your phone in intervals. Preferably when you halt your bike because checking your phone while riding is not very responsible and the road is certainly full of idiots.
3. Portable Charger
The long ride will require long hours of battery life for your phone. So it would be smart to carry a portable charger, since you wouldn’t wanna be stranded without your phone giving you directions. You can recharge the portable power bank at halts you make on the way. Maybe at restaurants or certain shops. Remember to pack a multi-socket pin so that charging is easier.
4. Biker Gloves
Gloves will give you a good grip on the handle and reduce the strain on your hands. The padding on the gloves help reduce the vibrations from the bike and this would prevent your hands from feeling numb.
5. Biking glasses
We are not talking about the usual Sunglasses, as that will affect your visibility. Instead, there are specific glasses available for bikers which prevents small particles from getting in your eyes. An added benefit is that they can also protect you from the sun’s extreme brightness during the day. Make sure the frame fits you perfectly so that it’s not moving or falling off when you’re riding. If you look up online there are a variety of options. You could buy the ones that come with foam padding so that you’re protected from strong winds and dust. Don’t use normal sunglasses but make sure the glasses have a side covering. Also, it’s important to use the ones that are not heavily tinted or affect your visibility in any way.
6. Flip-Up Helmet
A flip-up or modular helmet can be more convenient as it protects your entire head and is also less suffocating. It’ll help make it easier to drink water or have a quick snack or even ask for directions on the way, as the chin bar exposes your mouth area. Just make sure that your helmet is ISI approved and fits you properly.
7. Flat Repair Kit
If you’re on a multi-day bike trip, it is likely that you may pick up a puncture at some point on the way. We hope it doesn’t happen but it’s always good to be prepared and avoid getting stranded with no repair shops nearby. So make sure you have a tubeless tire bike or maybe rent one. Carry a flat repair kit that will get you up and running pretty quickly. It’s not the final solution, but it should last you long enough to get to a garage and get it fixed properly.
8. Portable Air Compressor
If you get a flat tire you’ll need to reinflate the tire after using the flat repair kit and a portable air compressor will help you with that. So you’ll be able to reach a nearby garage and get your tire fixed instead of being stranded and waiting for help.
9. First Aid Kit
In this goes the famous ORS and glucose for energy. If you face any muscle sprain or joint pain, any balm or Volini works well. Ensure you’re carrying a tablet for headaches, stomach pains, a cold or fever. It’s always good to keep an antiseptic cream and mosquito repellent too. Once again, being prepared for misfortunes is the best way to ensure nothing comes in the way of your trip. And having a first aid kit is just one of those ways of prioritizing your well-being.
These are just a few of the essentials. Depending on the weather and destination you choose to visit, you could pack clothes and cosmetics accordingly. Ultimately, the main player in this journey will be the machine! Ensure you’ve chosen the right bike depending on the terrain. If getting a new motorbike is not in the budget of your trip, you could always choose to rent one for the days of your travel. This way, you have a solution and don’t need to postpone the adventure!