You’ve decided to head to a warmer climate to pedal before the season in the northern hemisphere changes to become more favourable for riding. To make the most of your concentrated block of training you and your bike will need to be running in tip-top shape. Apart from hours on the trainer to prepare your body for a big up-kick in riding time, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got everything you need for an intense block of riding.
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It’s not a bad idea to give your bike a once over before leaving to ensure it’s running smoothly after time on the trainer or in the garage. Replace your old chain from last year, slip on some fresh rubber and put in some new brake pads. Consider wrapping on some fresh bar tape and leave with a clean bike running perfectly smoothly.
Whether you travel with a bike box or bag, remember you can pack a lot of your clothing in between the spaces your bike takes up. Instead of checking another bag put your shoes, helmet, water bottles and riding clothing into plastic bags in the empty spaces. Just remember to check the weight restrictions for bikes with the airline you are traveling with to ensure you will not incur extra fees.
While your packing list will include all your essential riding gear like plenty of kit, your helmet and shoes regardless of the weather forecast remember to pack gear for a variety of conditions. A raincoat, gloves, neck warmer, vest and, arm and leg warmers will allow you ride if things turn cool and wet. Keep in mind the weather and temperature at elevation can rapidly change. So if you don’t want to miss a day of riding travel with a good selection of clothing.
Another important consideration is spare parts for your bike. Plenty of extra tubes will prevent you from spending an afternoon traveling to the local bike shop and a spare set of brake pads will allow you to switch them out if wet or grimy weather wear down yours faster than on your local roads. Remember to bring a multitool that will allow you to reassemble your bike and make any necessary adjustments once you’ve landed at your destination. A pump powerful enough to get your tires up to pressure will also be needed in your group. Don’t forget lube, a couple of rags awell-stocked flat kit.
Bring plenty of material for downtime as spending countless hours in the saddle may leave you low on energy to do other things. A good book and cards to play with your riding friends can go a long way to filling the time between rides.
Your muscles are likely to get sore and require some maintenance so pack your roller, a matt to do some yoga and stretching, and any equipment you regularly use for self-care. Sun screen and chamois cream should go in with your toileteries. Bring some laundry soap to wash your kit if you don’t expect to have access to a washing machine. Any nutrition products you are use to using should come along with you as well.
Now that you are all packed and ready to go remember before you leave scope out some routes and read up on the riding in the area so you take advantage of the best roads. Whether you choose to hit popular training spots like Mallorca, Girona, North Carolina, Tuscon, California or a destination more off the beaten track a little preparation will go a long way to helping you enjoy your riding holiday.