Worried about preparing for a bike tour? Concerned about what to eat, when to eat, and how to stay safe and on course? This article addresses those concerns.

This article and others provide all the tips and guidelines which, if followed, will make a long-distance cycling tour as pleasant, enriching, and safe as it can be. Included how often to eat on the road, what kinds of a food group to intake, how not to get lost, what safety precautions need to be taken, and what factors the cyclist should be mindful of the road.

What to Eat

Of course, the cyclist must drink water frequently and eat a snack every hour and a half, on top of main meals. Energy bars, such as Cliff Bars, are suitable for this purpose: this is because, in any case, the snack must be rich in sugars and a good variety of vitamins and minerals, and energy bars are specifically made to ensure they contain a good chunk of the RDA for most essential nutrients.

Eat protein-rich food in the mornings. It can be anything with a high amount of meat, cheese, or other dairies, fish, or beans. These foods will digest slowly and help prevent feelings of hunger before lunch. Lunch should be rich in carbohydrates as well as protein. Dinner should be rich in everything and large. A brew or two at the end of each day is a perfect way to get all the necessary calories into one’s system.

How to Stay Safe

Never cycle in the dark. Leave very early in the morning, most preferably at first light. It will give the cyclist the compound benefit of not only never having to worry about when the sun is going down, but in fact, usually arriving at their destination before the peak of midday heat (between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.). It will prevent heat fatigue, reduce UV exposure, and give the cyclist the entire rest of the day to explore and relax.

It leads on to the next point, which is, of course, wear sunscreen. Apply initially no later than 10 a.m., earlier if it is very sunny and warm, and reapply every hour or so. Also, be sure to cover everywhere: finding you have a little bit of bad sunburn on the back of your calf is not fun in the shower.

Study the traffic laws of wherever you are going to be cycling, and use cycle dedicated paths wherever possible (besides, they’re much nicer to cycle on than a road!). Look out for such things as cross-traffic at corners and turnoffs, and always make your intentions extremely clear to traffic.

Perhaps most importantly, always know where you will be at the end of the day before you leave. Know how many miles you are going to cover. Know the terrain and where the points of civilization are, even if they do not seem particularly sparse. It is certainly possible to get lost on long-distance cycling trips. Spending 14 hours on a bike navigating a mountain road with no phone signal is somewhat terrifying (a good reason why it is a good idea not to travel alone).

So, if these tips and guidelines are followed, factors of physical danger, feeling hungry and exhausted, and the risk of getting lost in any way will all be minimized. The pleasurable aspects of a long-distance cycling trip – and there are undoubtedly many – will be thoroughly enjoyed, making it a truly memorable ride.


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