Autumn is here, and that means different things to different people. Some love autumn for the cooler weather and the leaves changing. Others love Oktoberfest, hot mulled cider, and football season.
It has been a bizarre year, with Covid-19, social upheaval, and the upcoming presidential election, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, you can still do some things that feel refreshingly normal, like going out for a long bike ride.
Some people even like taking multiple-day trips on their bikes. If you’re in good shape, there’s no reason why you can’t do some cross-country biking if you have the time and inclination.
However, while it’s great exercise and gives you an exploration opportunity, you still need to watch out for dangers when you’re on the road. Here are a few of them for which you should be on the lookout.
Bike Manufacturing Defects
If you have owned your bike for a while, you probably know all about its eccentricities, just the same as with car owners. However, you should certainly be on the lookout for things like manufacturing defects in bike frames. You must watch out for these because:
- Such a defect can easily cause an accident
- If you’re on a deserted highway stretch when you realize there’s a problem, finding help can be difficult
This is why it’s always a great idea to check over your bike and safety equipment very carefully before you undertake an ambitious road trip.
If it’s a new bike, you need to be doubly careful. Look it over inch by inch to identify any warping or other damage, and take a close look at your helmet, pads, water bottle, and anything else you plan to bring along.
Traffic is the most dangerous thing that a traveling biker can encounter. Generally, it’s not safe to bike down a highway’s side. The cars are going by you way too fast, and a deadly collision can end your trip in a hurry. The better options are to:
- Travel via any available alternate routes
- Stick to side streets and bike trails wherever you find them
Some cities and states have lots of bike paths, while others hardly have any. If you’re venturing into unfamiliar territory, it’s best to try and map out your route as best you can. The more you can stay away from highways and those massive eighteen-wheelers, the better you’ll feel.
You might like the idea of going on a bike trip by yourself. In a tumultuous year, a solo bike trip might sound like just the ticket to clear your mind and reconnect with nature.
The problem is that if you go by yourself, there’s no one to call for help if something happens to you, like if you fall off your bike and sustain an injury.
That’s why it’s best to travel as a group if this is something you’re serious about doing. If you have some friends, family members, or coworkers who are up for an ambitious bike trip, you should get to work recruiting them. You’ll enjoy the company, and you’re assuring everyone in the party’s safety.
Smartphones Not Working
You should definitely bring your smartphone with you, as should anyone else who’s coming along. The
issue is that if you’re biking through a more rural area, you might not necessarily get reception for them, even with the improved 5G that’s sweeping the nation.
You should bring road flares and perhaps a satellite radio with you. That way, if one of you does get in trouble, you can attract attention, and medical help should arrive relatively quickly.
Dehydration and Hunger
You also might think of yourself as a stud bike rider. Maybe you’ve been in some races and tackled some challenging terrain in the past.
Still, you need to come prepared if you’re going to be biking for days on end. You might pass convenience stores and restaurants, but there won’t be so many of them if you’re in rural areas.
Make sure to bring high-protein food with you, like energy bars and trail mix loaded with nuts, berries, etc. You should also bring plenty of water with you, so there’s little dehydration chance.
Biking as a group this fall can be an excellent bonding activity. You’ll get a tremendous workout, and you can reconnect with some family members and friends from whom you might have drifted apart. Just be sure to take precautions, plan your route carefully, and check all your equipment before you go.