Two wheels and the open road – is a cycling challenge calling you? There’s no question that cycling is an incredible way to get outdoors and stay fit. But if you’re thinking of taking your daily cycle habit to the next level, there are a number of things to consider first. Read on to discover how best to prepare for a 12,000km cycle challenge!
Equipment you’ll need
When you are kicking your cycling game up a notch, having a few items on hand will help to improve your performance.
A lightweight road bike
The sky’s the limit when it comes to how elite you want your road bike to be. Bikes can range from $500 up to $10,000. For a more in-depth assessment of which bicycle is right for you – come into 99 Bikes and speak with our friendly staff.
There is a difference between a basic helmet and a road bike helmet. Helmets can be designed for better performance, and a good helmet should be light weight and breathable to keep you cool when you’re working your hardest.
Don’t leave home without this – particularly on a long ride! You’ll be ready for punctures with all the necessary tools packed into a compact kit.
Clothing and kits
A professional cycling kit will help with comfort and performance. Don’t underestimate how important it is to have gloves for colder climates, and cycling eyewear as opposed to your regular every day sunglasses.
Planning your trip
Planning your trip is key to success in your training. If you head out without thinking about where you’re going or how far you want to ride, you’ve not set yourself up for targeted success. To reach your quota, think about how many rides you need to do in the month to reach 1000km. Will you do a few short early morning rides and one long ride on the weekend? And how many kms do you need to cover to take you a step closer to your goal? Create an itinerary for your weekly and monthly training to reach your distance goal and to mix your cycling up and keep it interesting.
Great Aussie bike rides
If you want to change things up and go on a ride that offers you spectacular scenery – there are some great Australian bike rides that can help you on your way to achieving that 12,000km cycle challenge. Head to Victoria for the stunning Queen Victoria Loop, a 250km loop – a ride that isn’t for the faint hearted and one to do towards the end of your training to get your fitness levels up. The Great Ocean Road is a picturesque and iconic ride – the most popular section is from Lorne to Apollo Bay. In NSW, try the Akuna Bay and West Head loop in Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park for a nice 40km route. Or for something totally different, try a trail ride in Tasmania such as the Darlington to Haunted Bay trail in the National Park. Or if you want to smash your monthly goal – take a ride from Cairns to Cape York, a tropical, coastal ride that in its entirety stretches out to 1600km.
There are loads of great apps out there to keep you tracking along with your kilometres. Some of our favourites include Strava, where you can follow other local riders and compete for the title of KOM (King of the Mountain) in segments near and far, and also keep track of your weekly progress. We also like Garmin Connect – an app created by Garmin where you can share your stats and photos of your rides, as well as discover maps and new routes to tackle. This app gives you access to Garmin Coach where you can receive personalised advice, articles, videos and more! You can connect with friends and compete in challenges, allowing you to earn badges and cheer on friends.
Support a charity
Why not pick a charity that’s close to your heart to push you that extra bit harder? Once you commit to doing some riding in order to raise funds and awareness for a charity, you have more than one reason to get out there and get some pedalling done.
If you want to join in with some other like-minded cyclists, there’s plenty of cycling charity rides happening throughout the year. Some of the rides include the Great Cycle Challenge Australia, Tour de Cure Can4Cancer, the Bowral Classic and the Ride for Relief.
Visit 99 Bikes in store and online for the best gear to support you on your cycle challenge.