How to Prepare for a Cycling Trip

Cycling can be physically demanding. And even when it’s a leisurely bike ride, its important to be prepared before heading out on the road.

1. Heads Up

This one’s a no-brainer – at least, it should be.  GET A HELMET!  New York State law mandates riders 14 years old and younfer must wear helmets, so set a good example for the kiddos and keep that noggin covered - especially if you’re riding on the shoulder of a  busy road.

2. Pump it Up

Make sure there’s enough air in your tires – especially if you plan on going the distance. Road bikes should usually be between 80 and 130 psi (you should be able to find the specific range on the side of your tire). The longer your tires go with low pressure, the more likely they are to pop. If you’re heading out for the whole day, it’s a good idea to pack a hand pump, just in case.

3.On the Topic of “Packing”

Depending on where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone, you’re going to want to bring a few things.

  • Hand pump
  • U-lock
  • Bike lights and/or reflective wear

Don’t want extra baggage weighing you down? Consider this: you’re a tad tipsy cycling back from a winery after dark and you bust a tire on some gravel because you didn’t check your tire pressure before you left (see Tip #2). Get a fanny pack. And maybe slow your roll through those wineries.

4. Speaking of Drinking

Bring plenty of water, especially if it’s hot out or you’re going long distances. Getting heat exhaustion on a rural road is not the best idea when you’re trying to have a fun cycling trip.

5. Know Your Stuff

And by “stuff” we mean traffic laws.

We’re all sharing the road here. Just how you'd prefer cars not to hit you, they'd prefer you not to be on the wrong side of the road. The same goes for joggers and pedestrians, too. Don’t cycle on sidewalks and if you pass someone on a trail, make your presence known by asserting “On your left!” or by ringing a bike bell.

Remember: don’t take yourself too seriously on the road. This isn’t a triathlon. The only person you have to keep up with is yourself. Well... and your kids, spouse, or whoever came with you to the Adirondack Coast. What matters is that you get to experience this beautiful area from a new perspective. So, what are you waiting for? Ready, set… explore!

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