5 Tips to Prepare for Summer Riding

April 15, 2014

Spring is in full swing here in Missoula, and in the Tours department we are all talking about summer touring plans. Here are the top five ways I prepare for summer riding:

1. Get off your duff

The most effective thing I can do to ready myself for summer riding is simply to get out of my chair, be it at work or at home. Winters are long, cold, and dark in Missoula, and I am not brave enough to ride throughout the season. I try to find other ways to get moving, but I’ll tell you a little secret — I hate the gym. I will happily walk two miles in a howling blizzard rather than spend 30 minutes on the treadmill. Whatever your preference, just get up and move, make your heart beat fast and your breath come quick. One of my co-workers sets her wind trainer up in front of the TV, riding sprints or up hills during the commercials.

2. Train with a friend

I find many bogus reasons NOT to get outdoors, especially if the weather is a little sketchy. And so I have joined a couple of cycling/hiking groups and made friends there. If the ride doesn’t kick my behind —because I didn’t show up — those friends will. I’ve come to hate letting them down by my absence, and I’ve come to love the camaraderie and the shared accomplishment. Plus, there’s usually ice cream at the end.

3. Take off the studded snow tires

Half the staffers at Adventure Cycling use studded tires on their bikes in the winter, and ride every day. Others use regular tires, and they ride every day too. However, when the roads are very bad, everyone falls at some point. If you've been avoiding a spring ride because you have yet to change out your tires, grab a drink, your tire irons, and a pump, and get to work!

4. Buy and wear sunscreen

Yes, it’s overcast and still only 40 degrees, but Old Sol is still up there, and the worst sunburns I’ve ever suffered have been on cloudy days. Now that my outdoor activities are conducted in daylight hours, I am diligent about UV protection. My goal is to live to 108, and skin cancer is no part of that equation.

5. Adopt Nike’s slogan

Get out there and ride! Be it epic or limited, hardcore or laid back, carbon fiber or beach cruiser, just ride for the sheer joy and freedom that your bicycle embodies. Just do it.

Post by Mandy Hale | Top photo by John McCormick | Middle photo by Chuck Haney | Bottom Photo by Josh Tack

ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2014 Guided Tours today!


Shelby Humphreys April 15, 2014, 11:27 AM

Looking for inspiration as I train to ride the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier this year. Shout out from a local Missoulian!

Mandy May 13, 2014, 9:16 PM

My inspiration is in the amazing scenery I get to ride in, here in Western Montana. Have fun on Going to the Sun!

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