A continuation of helpful suggestions to better your ride and have fun!
1. One of the biggest lessons I’m learning this year (being my first year riding almost every day of the warmer weather seasons) is to stretch. Stretching before and after your ride could potentially give you (overall) a better bike ride experience. Plus, stretching is good for you in general!
2. If you are an avid biker, it’s important to give yourself a rest day(s). I’m terrible at following this, but there are times where my legs simply say “I’ve had enough." You can go for an easy ride (that doesn’t push your limits) or simply take the day(s) to do some other form of exercise. It’s actually good to rest your muscles after you’ve pushed yourself, so they have time to heal. Happy muscles=happier ride!
3. If you go for a longer ride, think about fuel! Biking is a calorie-burning exercise that requires you to provide fuel for yourself. You should eat something before your ride, and if you go on a ride longer than an hour-you should pack some kind of snack. Nuts, dried fruit, or a bar of some kind (like Clif or Probars for example). Choose something that is nutritious and delicious to you and easy to pack into your saddle bag, jersey pocket or hydration pack. Fuel is just as important as water; don’t let yourself be caught without it!
4. A very basic tip-get your seat height right! There are many people riding bikes that have their seats either too high or too low, and that can negatively impact your ride. It’s a simple thing that you can either research and figure out yourself, or take advantage of your local bike shop. If you go to a bike shop, you can get one-on-one assistance as well as figure out if other adjustments need to be made (such as tilting the seat).
5. Sunglasses are something that you may or may not feel you need, but they can provide so much more than just sun protection. Firstly, they are great for sun protection (which is important!) but also they can help shield your eyes from debris and bugs. Nothing is worse than being on a bike ride in the middle of nowhere and having something get in your eye! I also learned you can get lenses that are not tinted-to use for night riding, neat!