6 Tips to Help Prepare You for Spring Bike Rides

The calendar page has turned, days are getting longer and warmer and you want to get outside and ride! If you are thinking about riding to work or have an upcoming charity ride, these tips will help you get ready to pedal this spring.

Stretch.  Take care of your body.  Do some light stretching or even throw down a yoga pose or two before you head out and when you get back. This is a great way to limber up and then cool down post-ride.

Take care of the machine. If your bike sat in the garage all winter, it will need some lovin’. Consider bringing it into your local bike shop for a quick tune up, or better yet, slap it on a repair stand and do it yourself! Clean the bike, inspect the brakes and wheels, inspect the drivetrain, inspect all cables, and check your tires.

Check your clothes/other equipment. Inventory your on board repair kit to make sure you have a few basic tools, tubes, mini pump, etc. Be sure the cleats on your cycling shoes are sound. Treat yourself to a new pair of cycling shorts (especially if you can’t remember when you last got any). The same thing goes for your helmet. Sweat, sun and the elements eventually wreak havoc on helmets, so it may be a good idea to get a new one.

Prepare for unpredictable conditions. Be ready for swings in the weather and dress and ride accordingly. Even over the course of a day, the spring season can bring extreme temperature changes and severe storms.

Take it slow. I am not at all implying you are out of shape from the winter… but admit it, keeping in decent cycling shape can be tough especially if you live in a colder area. Take it easy on your first ride or three! After a few weeks of regular rides, you will feel stronger and faster and ready to dial up the intensity.

Break up your old routines. Spring is a perfect time for fresh starts. It is easy to do the same route over and over, especially if your time is limited. But why not shake it up? Think about finding a new rail trail in your area to explore. Try a group ride. No group rides in your area? Start one yourself. Sign up for a charity ride or a sprint triathlon to give yourself a training goal.

Have fun as you head out on the road or trail!

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