Put Your Best Pedal Forward and Gear Up - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Put Your Best Pedal Forward and Gear Up

For those new to Bike Touring: Put Your Best Pedal Forward and Gear Up

Getting ready for your bike tour need not be a grind, but there are some basics that are good to take into consideration before the big day when you swing your leg over that crossbar and take to the road. For those who are new to this great way of spending a vacation, then Lizard Head Cycling have a range of different tours available and you might like to start off with an easier route, such as the Whiterock Canyons tour (Utah), Glacier National Park (Montana), Trail of Apaches (Arizona) or the Texas Hill Country.


Setting Up Your Bike

For those of you who will be renting your bike through us, this will be taken care of by proper sizing. For anyone renting or buying privately, having your bike set up to optimize comfort and performance is really important. You will travel faster, further and more comfortably with the bike adjusted to your body.

Unless you are already experienced in assessing and choosing bikes, buying a bike means making the effort to visit the retailer. You will be able to try out different bikes and get a sense of what suits you and what you feel happy with. Different brands can have different types of frame and shape; the bike shop should be able to assess the frame geometry likely to be most suitable for you and steer you in the right direction. Once you have chosen the model of bike you want, you may still need to fine tune it to your personal specification by raising or lowering the handlebars and saddle; and making sure that the pedals are aligned.

The material your bike is made of is another important part of your decision making process. Most frames are now either carbon or aluminum. Carbon has the advantage of combining the best of the qualities needed to transfer pedal power efficiently with absorption of shock from the road surface, giving a more comfortable ride. Aluminum is as efficient, but has no shock absorption properties at all, meaning you will feel every knock and bump in the road. Both of these materials are subject to material fatigue over time. Slightly heavier than these materials, but more durable is titanium. With no significant fatigue and free from the perennial problem of rusting which accompanies steel, a titanium frame will be your friend for life. However, if you only want a bike for occasional use, then titanium is probably going further than you need to.


Physical Preparation

You aren’t preparing to do the Tour de France or the TransAmerica, so you don’t need to feel as though you must fit in months of intensive training before you start your bike tour. It is a good idea to get a quick once over from your doctor and they can give you any medical advice they think appropriate for you personally. Because Lizard Head do supported tours, you don’t need to go out and cycle for miles with a backpack laden with camping gear, clothes and equipment. Getting some practice in will help to prepare you physically and mentally for your forthcoming adventure. Start off easy and gradually work up. Don’t feel you have to start day one of practice by covering the number of miles you feel you may need to be able to get under your belt during the tour. Do pace yourself and remember that your body may complain at the end of the first few practice sessions, but you are likely to feel better once you have slept overnight.

If one month prior to your tour with Lizard Head Cycling Guides, you can ride 2 or 3 times a week equally 75 or more miles, you will do fine on any of the tours mentioened about.

Making sure that you get the right nutrition and enough to drink is important. You will lose a lot of fluid when cycling and you need to make sure that you stay well hydrated. Advice on nutrition focuses on ensuring that you are replacing the calories you are burning. Because carbohydrates are easily processed by the body for energy and you will be burning a lot each day on your tour, high quality carbs are essential to maintaining those energy levels.

Taking Care of the Details

It is a good idea to make sure that you have a cell phone that will work in the area you are planning on touring. Should your regular phone not be covered, you might want to think about buying a cheap mobile just to have with you in case it is needed.

You should make sure that you have your ID in a waterproof pouch and make a copy of it to keep separately, just in case for some reason the originals get mislaid. Take more than one credit card with you, for exactly the same reason. You don’t want to find yourself miles from home with no access to money.

It’s a good idea to have some form of security for your bike. If your bike has a serial number, then make a note of it and keep the number somewhere secure. You should think about adding your own identifying numbers to the bike as well. Engraving your state ID on the bike is easily done; some community schemes will do this for you. Otherwise you can get an engraver at your local hardware store and do it yourself. Keep your bike protected by investing in a good lock and make sure that you discourage would be thieves by using it whenever you have to leave your bike unattended and out of sight. No matter how much care you take, accidents can still happen and ensuring you have cover to protect you in the event of theft or damage could be a lifesaver. You may also want to consider registering the bike with the National Bike Registry; registration does attract a small fee, but the police do check this database when trying to recover stolen bikes.


Think about the clothing, protective or otherwise, you are likely to need on your bike tour. Go over the packing list sent by Lizard Head Cycling to make sure you the have essential wear.

All in all the hardest part of a tour with Lizard Head Cycling is getting to the trailhead.  Upon arrival all one has to do is pedal their bike and enjoy the inspiring landscapes.

Our Very Best,
Lizard Head Cycling Guides

Written by Lisa Gilbert

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 at 9:33 am and is filed under Featured Posts.
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