I am lucky enough to live in Colorado, so I have the benefit of being able to ride in the Rockies. This can be absolutely breathtaking and provide you with such a sense of peace, but if you don’t come properly prepared, you may be in for a very different experience. Whenever I go on a multi-day cycling trip, there are a few things I make sure I have with me before I even walk out the door. Read on to learn why it is absolutely necessary to have your biker glasses and other gear items with you when you head out for your bike trip, and if you are in the market for some quality biker glasses, check these out.
- Don't Be Cheap: Invest in a Solid Bike
This may seem a bit obvious to you, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be riding a quality bicycle. Thanks to those old-timey photographs of people in black and white sitting on the old-school bikes with the giant front wheel, we are all aware that bikes have been around for quite some time. Luckily for us, biking technology has made some leaps and bounds since those days. We now ride bikes with the same size wheels. We can have front and rear braking controls, and we utilize the complicated and efficient gear systems to help us ride up steep mountains. Mountain bikes can come with amazing suspension systems and road bikes can weigh next to nothing. It doesn’t matter if you will be spending a few days in Moab, Utah riding their amazing trails on your mountain bike or cruising across America on a fancy cycle. The first step is procuring a quality and reliable bike that can take you from point A to point B.
- Prepare for What You May Encounter
The style of trip you are going to take will have a lot of influence on what you need to bring. Let’s start with discussing road bike trips, and then we will move on to mountain biking excursions. With road biking, you will first need to understand what will be provided. If you are going with an outfitter, or you are in a large multi-day race (like the Tour de France), it is quite possible your lodging and food will be provided. This will mean you probably won’t be responsible for bringing a tent or a sleeping bag with you on the bike. As you know, cycles are small and are built to be as streamlined as possible, so not having to carry extra bulky gear will help you keep your speed up on the road. If you are simply going by yourself or with a few buddies, there is a good chance you may have to carry the gear with you.
When packing for a trip when you will have to carry all of your gear, you want to be as selective as possible because every extra pound will be felt by your legs. It is also possible that you or your group will have a gear van. Someone will take your bag each morning and drive ahead to the next location, so your stuff will be there waiting for you. This is a great luxury to have, but not everyone can afford it. You may not be able to have a personal chef waiting with food for you with nutritious meals, so make sure to only bring healthy foods with lots of good calories for you to burn.
When you go mountain biking, you may not be traveling great distances each day. It is possible that you pack everything on your bike so you can keep moving from spot to spot, but it is even more likely that your team will find a place to camp and base all day operations out of your site. This will allow you to only bring what you need for the next few hours, so you won’t have to be as selective, but if you happen to go to a place like Moab, be sure to bring plenty of water with you each day. I don’t know how many of you saw the film 127 Hours, but the point is you never know what is going to happen, so you should always be prepared.
- Protect Your Skin As Well As Your Eyes
Take it from me, showing up for a multi-day ride without proper protection from the sun is like walking blindfolded across the street. There is a chance you will make it to the other side just fine, but there is also a solid chance something terrible can happen. Protecting your skin from the sun is incredibly important, but protecting your eyes is even more so. When you ride for long distances, there is always stuff hitting you in the face. Maybe you ride through the woods and you brush up against tree branches. Maybe you are in the desert and you need protection from the dust. Perhaps you are on a highway and you need to shield your eyes from small rocks that get kicked up by cars. It doesn’t matter where you are riding. Remembering your biker glasses is of the utmost importance. Personally, when I am picking out a pair of biker glasses, I prefer to have padded protection all the way around the lens. This will close off the inside of your glasses from the world around you, so you can make sure no dust or rain creeps up into your eyes. I also prefer my shades to be cheap polarized sunglasses, but that is just because I tend to lose glasses often, and I like to save my money for beer.
You should test out different glasses options before your trip and find something that works for you both functionally and stylistically. After you settle on a good pair for biking, set out all of your gear before you pack it up. This will help you decide if some of the items are not necessary and notice if you are missing anything. Once you determine that you are ready to go, pack everything as efficiently as you can and enjoy your ride. There really is something special about a great bike ride.
Photo Credit 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thirteenofclubs/5520354254/