If you’re gearing up for a cycling trip across Colorado, congratulations! You’re in for the journey of a lifetime.
But, you’ll need to do a little bit of planning and preparing before you leave home to make sure you enjoy the ride and make the most of every minute.
Whether this is your first big cycling tour or your hundredth, no worries, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the most important steps to take as you prepare for your Colorado bicycling tour. Plus, we’ll share some top tips for cyclists of all skill levels.
Keep reading to learn more about preparing for your big adventure. By the time you touch your tires to the pavement, all you’ll need to do is relax and enjoy the ride.
Preparing for Your Colorado Bicycling Tour
Even if you’re an experienced cyclist, planning ahead will help you get the most value out of your trip.
You’ll arrive feeling confident, prepared, and ready to take in the natural beauty of Colorado’s dramatic countryside. Plus, you won’t have to worry about lagging, falling behind, feeling rundown, or realizing you packed poorly halfway through your tour.
Practice and Training
If you aren’t currently cycling regularly, you’ll probably need to do a tiny bit of training before your trip. That way, you won’t be combating fatigue and exhaustion throughout your tour.
For the best results, you should start with a few rides and workouts during the week, with more intense exercise on the weekend. Don’t overdo it!
Consider the type of tour you’re taking when you start to train. There are easy, intermediate, and advanced options, and you’ll be placed in a group with similar skill and fitness levels to your own.
You don’t have to be in peak condition to take a colorado cycling tour. But, do keep in mind that conditioning your body ahead of time will make your trip more enjoyable, no matter how challenging the ride.
That way, you can spend your breaks from cycling sipping water, snapping photos, taking in the beautiful scenery, or making new friends; rather than gasping for breath.
Are you giving your body the fuel it needs to perform properly?
Cyclists prepping for tours often don’t eat enough. Or, they get plenty of calories but not the vital nutrients required for an extra boost of power and endurance.
Remember that you’ll need to get enough nutrition to power both your training and your tour. And, unless you’re a local, you’ll need to compensate for cycling at a higher elevation, too.
Leading up to your trip, be sure that you’re eating plenty of complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
These foods help your body use oxygen more efficiently, which is vital at altitude. Plus, they will help you maintain a high energy level, rather than the series of peaks and crashes you often feel after eating simple carbs like sugar and flour.
For the best performance possible and to help you stay hydrated, you should also reduce your sodium intake before your cycling tour. Once you’re working up a sweat on your ride, you can replace this mineral through sports drinks and other supplements.
Are you a chronic over-packer? If you’re used to traveling with stuffed suitcases and bags packed to the brim, you’ll want to pay attention to these tips.
Since you’ll be touring with a group, you won’t need to bring along a ton of extra gear for bike maintenance and repair or spare parts.
If you’re planning to rent a bike, a helmet will be included. Leaving this large item at home should free up plenty of space in your bag.
And, unless you’re taking a strenuous multi-day cycling trip, you won’t need to worry about packing special shoes or bike pedals.
Colorado’s weather can change several times over the course of a tour, ranging from warm and sunny to misty and cold. So, you should pack comfortable cycling or workout clothing in a few basic layers.
Shorts, t-shirts, and running shoes are all must-pack items. You should also bring along a nylon shell for rain protection and a long sleeve top to help insulate.
Don’t forget; you’ll want a small day-pack for use on the trail. This is where you’ll stash your camera, extra water, sunscreen, and probably a snack or two.
Adjusting to Altitude
If you’ve never been cycling in thin air, Colorado’s altitude might take a toll on your performance at first. But, you can combat the effects of riding at altitude with a bit of planning.
You should spend a few days acclimatizing before starting your bike tour. This will give your body a chance to adjust to the altitude.
For the first day or two, you may feel short of breath or experience symptoms like a racing heart or dizziness during exercise. Don’t worry; this is totally normal. Your body will begin to adapt in 24 to 48 hours.
Keep in mind; your body will need extra rest and hydration while it works hard to adjust to your new surroundings. So, it’s not an ideal time for late nights or hard partying.
If possible, spend a week of vacation time at altitude before your ride. It’s almost certain to improve your performance! Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to do some light training and exploration on a city eBike tour.
Simply put, Colorado is high and dry. That’s why you’ll see so many locals walking around carrying their water bottles.
If you aren’t used to the altitude and moisture-deprived air, you’ll need to drink even more water than usual, especially while your body is working hard to acclimatize.
For the best results, you should add one or two quarts extra to your daily routine a few days before leaving home. This will give your body a head start on adapting to Colorado’s altitude.
You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol, leading up to your cycling tour. These major dehydrators can disrupt your sleep cycle, slow the process of acclimatization, and ultimately leave you feeling down.
Once you’re cycling, don’t forget to hydrate regularly! You can also add a sports drink or electrolyte mix to your routine to help you retain sodium and other essential minerals.
Ready to Ride
Now that you’ve mastered some basic planning and preparation, you’re ready to start planning your Colorado bicycling tour.
Take a look at all the options available before booking, and decide which trip is best for you.
And, when in doubt, contact us with your questions. We’re happy to help!