HOW TO PREPARE FOR LONG RIDES ON YOUR EBIKE
Earth Day is a time to think about how we can live our lives in an eco-friendlier way. As far as we’re concerned, e-bikes should be the official sustainable sponsor of this holiday. They offer the perfect way to cut down on transport emissions – which account for one-fifth of CO2 emissions worldwide – as well as the opportunity to get out of the city and take in more of the natural world!
Our range of e-bikes are designed for everything from easy city commutes to more adventurous treks. If you’re planning one of those longer rides this weekend, there are a few things you should always remember before heading out, to make sure that you can enjoy your e-bike experience to the fullest.
Photo Credit: Guy Roginson
1) Check your e-bike
Sometimes, the most obvious things are the easiest to forget, so we can’t stress this first one enough. Check! Your! E-bike! Always check that your tires and brakes are in good working order before taking off on a longer bike ride. Likewise, make sure that your battery is fully charged and that your motor is working as it should be (which can be done with a simple test run outside your home before taking off). E-bikes are perfect for when you feel like taking a break from peddling but want to keep moving, so it’s always best to know beforehand that you’ve got enough juice to get you through your journey.
2) Get the Most Out of Your Battery
E-bike batteries need a little TLC if you want to keep them operating in peak condition. In general, you should charge them right before riding, but NOT right after – try to let them cool down for 30 minutes or so first. Likewise, try to unplug them as soon as they reach 100%. When treated properly, our e-bikes’ motors can carry you over a range of around 100km (as with our NCM C5 e-city bike) up to 120km (like the NCM C7 e-city bike or the NCM Milano e-trekking bike).
Photo credit: Greig Neilson
3) Eat right
If you’re planning on pushing yourself a little with a longer ride – let’s say three hours or less - it’s a good idea to eat carbs like pasta, rice, or pizza with fresh toppings the night before. You should aim to eat a similarly carb-focused breakfast like eggs on toast or porridge on the morning of your journey. The goal here is to keep your muscle glycogen (sugar) levels high enough as your body converts them to energy during the ride.
Keep this up while you’re riding, too. Bring water and snacks, taking a glug of water every 15 minutes or so and a bite to eat every 30 to 45 minutes (or whenever you’re hungry). How will you carry them? Our NCM and ET.Cycle e-bikes come with rack and rack straps pre-installed, making securely carrying your supplies a breeze.
4) Take your tools
Another one that seems oh-so-simple, until you forget to do it. Along with enough water and snacks, it’s always best to bring the basics tools (and knowledge!) that you need to fix a flat tire, especially if your route will take you through areas where it will take a while to find help. Also, make sure your phone is charged for directions (or pack a map if you’re feeling more old-school).
5) Some tips for maintaining momentum
While e-bikes are perfect for carrying you further distances and giving you a boost when you’re getting tired, longer tripes can still make for an intense ride. If you and your riding buddies are relatively new to rides of a couple of hours or more, there are a few tactics to make things easier if you start to lag a little.
Maintaining a constant position on the saddle can lead to discomfort, so don’t be shy about shifting your position when you feel the need. If the ride is a long one, it can also help to mentally divide the journey into two halves, to ensure that you don’t overdo it in the first half and use up all your energy early, resulting in a grueling end to a fun journey. Finally, if you’re riding with friends, take it in turns to take the lead, meaning that everyone spends some time at the front at the highest speed, while also getting time to ‘relax’ at the back too.
Photo credit: Jean Pierre Desjardins