There is more to a bike ride than just hopping on your bike and going out. There are pre-ride & post-ride rituals, mid-ride stops, you can have a whole social network attached to them and much more. Over the years I have gone on a lot of bike rides and tried a lot of different combinations of things and these 3 are musts for any ride I go on now.
1. Plan your ride: This may sound super obvious but answering some of these questions before you go can help keep you focused on enjoying the ride. I like to go into rides knowing how long I am going for, what route I will (generally) take and what my expectations are for the ride(am I here for blowing off some steam, to get more fit, to tackle something I have troubles with). Doing these things for myself before my ride allows me to keep more focused on the riding at hand versus trying to answer these questions while I am out there. I am not trying to tell you not to just go out and do a ride and see where the trail takes you but, if you are trying to get the most out of your ride, taking some of the guesswork out will really help.
2. Bring a towel and a change of clothes: Over the years I have drank too many beers and eaten too many burritos after rides, in what turns into a petri-dish of a chamois. You just sweated, farted, maybe peed a little (if you did something really scary) in a reusable comfortable diaper; take it off and let yourself air out a little, you deserve it. Beyond the comfortability and sanitary benefits of changing out of your chamois and riding clothes it will also allow you to enjoy your post ride activities more. Need to go to the grocery store or want to have another craft beer? Well you can do so feeling like a well adjusted human being in some nice clean and dry clothes. As for a towel? The towel is to avoid inadvertently landing yourself on the sex offender list for indecent exposure. We all have reproductive organs but not everyone wants to see them, especially after they’ve been basting in a chamois all day. A towel is also a great place to stand when cleaning the bottom of your feet off to put on some clean socks. (I personally like to bring 2 towels with me)
3. Give yourself some extra-time: There is nothing that can destroy the mood of the ride more than feeling rushed during or at the end of your ride. Have a significant other patiently waiting for you? Don’t underestimate your time just to “receive their blessing”, give yourself an extra half hour to BS with your friends, stop for a coffee and just account for your general post ride pokey-ness. The post ride endorphin rush is one of the most amazing thing in the world and there is nothing like feeling rushed after your ride to spoil the fruits of your labor.
These are 3 rules I generally live by now that I have distilled down over years of not planning, sitting in gross garments and disappointing many people with my post-ride tardiness. Do you have some rules that you have developed yourself over the years? I would love to hear them! Message them over to firstname.lastname@example.org and i’ll share them on our instagram story this week.