How to get ready for your cycling holiday!
Here in the Netherlands and in other parts of Europe most people are preparing themselves for summer holidays. Always a great time to recharge the battery after long hours of work. For us cyclists, vacation is also a great opportunity to explore new grounds with our bike. Last year I took my bike into the French Alps. Let me give you some tips how to prepare yourselves for your vacation rides.
Time to climb? Get a mountain sprocket
Just like many fellow Dutchies I love to take my bike with me during my vacation. Since we don’t have real mountains (only some hills) in the Netherlands, it gives me great pleasure to ride in the mountains (apart from the suffering ofcourse). First year I went to the mountains I brought my race bike with me that had the same gears as I was using in the Netherlands. That wasn’t a good idea. The whole vacation I was suffering on all climbs because I hadn’t the right gear to peddle smoothly to the top of the climb. Back home one of my cycling friends gave me the tip to mount a larger sprocket (Check out my tech talk blog to learn the basics of gears). So I went to my local bike shop and bought a Shimano 105 11-32T casette. This new cassette gave me so much more possibilities in the mountains to keep a smooth pace. Even in the steeper sections of the climbs!
While you’re at your dealer it’s also a good idea to have a short holiday check for your bike. In a holiday check all the vital parts of your bikes are checked and if needed replaced. Think about your tires, brake pads and chains. Read all about the holiday check in Shimano’s Magazine.
Keep hydrated: a cycling bag is your helpful friend
It’s your holiday so it’s always great weather when going out for a nice ride. In sunny conditions you have to be extra sharp on drinking enough on your bike. But we all know when having a mountain bike ride on terrain you don’t know by heart, it’s quite challenging to grab your bottle from your bottle holder and have a sip while taking on a steep descent. Shimano found the perfect solution for that: bag with an ingenious hydration system in them. Take for example the Shimano Unzen bag. A lean and mean bag pack designed to handle adventurous off-road riding on challenging mountain terrain. I’ve been using this back pack for a while and it’s really awesome. Also for road racing this bag is really useful. Also very handy: these kinds of bags come in different sizes.
Warm weather at your vacation destination?
Is it warm weather at your vacation destination and you want to prepare yourself? Start thinking at the basics: your cycling kit. Nothing worse than cycling over-dressed in warm temperatures through the most wonderful vacation scenery. You’ll end up sweating like crazy and potentially having a cramp attack. Not a great experience while you are on vacation. Luckily my favorite cycling wear brand, Pearl Izumi, thought along with us and created cycling wear with the great In-R-Cool technology. In short: your personal air conditioner within your clothes. Want to know more about Pearl Izumi’s In-R-Cool? Check out my blog.
Hopefully these tips made your vacation even better. Enjoy your vacation. Ride your bikes and enjoy your adventures! By the way, let me know your plans, I am riding from London to Paris as holiday :)
About Marit Huisman
Marit used to race when she was younger. Since stopping racing she has devoted her time to developing women’s cycling and creating projects and initiatives to get women on the bike. Her best moments on the bike are riding with friends through beautiful areas and challenging each other. In her spare time she likes to play guitar and really hopes that she can play in a band one day!
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