Written by Kevin McCormick, Get Faster, Go Further
Thankfully, some warm weather has arrived, and the outdoor riding season is soon here (already here for some of you).
Here are some tips on transitioning from indoor to outdoor riding.
This is critical before getting outside on the roads.
Make sure your tires are in good condition, especially your rear tire if you use a wheel-on style trainer. Never use a trainer specific tire for outdoor riding
We do much less gear shifting on the trainer. Make sure your shifting is working.
Confirm that your brakes are working, and your brake pads are not excessively worn
Create a list to ensure you have everything, especially if you need to drive to the start of your ride. Gloves, helmet, sunglasses, bike lights, computer charged.
Bike lights – if you removed them from your bike, put them back on. Lights should be used even when riding in full daytime brightness
Do you use a trainer skewer? Switch to the normal skewer for outdoor riding.
Route planning – do some pre-planning to choose a route that is appropriate for your current level. Think about food and bathroom stops.
After a winter of indoor riding bike handling skills are out of practice. Choose non-technical routes for the first several rides. Also, be careful riding around others until your comfort comes back.
Always carry your phone and identification with you
Repair kit. Make sure you put that back on your bike, and have the following items: Spare tube, CO2 cartridge, tire levers, money, COVID mask
Start practicing (on the trainer) to keep your head up, eyes looking forward so that you are used to it when you are outside. This will reduce the early season neck pain.
It’s exciting to finally get outside for a ride. Try to control that excitement and not hammer right away. Start gradually, and build from there, just like you would on the trainer.
In the early season the weather can be very cool in the morning and then warm up. Plan your layers accordingly. A vest and arm/leg warmers are excellent pieces of clothing to make you comfortable for spring and fall riding.
Remember your sunscreen
How will you carry the nutrition you need? When riding inside we have easy access to nutrition. Make sure you plan for how you will carry your required nutrition or where along your route you will stop to refuel.
Riding inside is a very controlled environment and relatively easy to control your intensity. Outside, there is less control (wind, temperature, hills). Make sure you plan for enough fuel. A common early season mistake is to under fuel. If anything, plan for more than you think you’ll need.