Long-Distance Bike Races: Dare To Do the Distance

Key Items

  • Long-distance bike races are popular because they offer adventure and encourage you to challenge yourself.

  • Long-distance bike races range from 10 to 1,400 miles.

  • Preparing for a race and recovering properly afterward are essential for a successful ride.

Cycling brings you back to childhood. There's undoubtedly something nostalgic about riding your bike outside. You may want to conquer a long-distance bike race when you develop a passion for riding.

Cyclers globally challenge themselves daily with new distances, terrains, and locations. Long-distance bike races are a way to dig deep and discover what you're made of.

Pedal Popularity

Long-distance bike races are popular: Many participants even describe them as life-changing. They offer a fantastic mental and physical challenge. You must train consistently for these races, which requires self-discipline and commitment.

Training for races encourages you to discover your abilities. When you complete a race, you gain confidence in yourself. This encourages you to tackle even more challenges.

Looking back on your success after a race is rewarding. It helps your mental health and self-confidence. A challenge forces you to be resourceful, focused, and engaged.

Challenging yourself makes you mentally, physically, and emotionally stronger. It gives you a sense of purpose. People challenge themselves to learn new skills, try novel experiences, and boost their well-being.

Venture out into the world and bike through tall mountains, green hills, and famous landmarks. Meet new people from around the globe and experience different cultures.

Long-distance races are held all over the world. From Kansas to Israel, find a race that fits your needs. Learn tips on how to complete a long-distance race for safety and effectiveness.

Tips for Conquering a Long-Distance Bike Race

Preparing for a long race is nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time. This mix of emotions makes it easy to leave out essential items from your bike bag or skip a step getting ready for the race that morning.

Here are some tips for your next race so you cross the finish line with pride.

Keep a Steady Pace

Starting too fast means losing steam near the middle of the race. While you may have covered a lot of ground initially, you'll likely slow to a snail's pace near the end. Focus on endurance, not speed. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise wins.

Bring Snacks

Your body needs fuel to crank out those miles. Carbohydrates are great for replenishing glycogen stores in your muscles so they operate more effectively.

Focus on convenient snacks that take up minimal space. Some essential carbohydrates for fuel are granola bars, dried fruit, and trail mix.

It's hard to eat and drink when on a bike. Use gel packs for energy while on the go. It's not a messy liquid and doesn't require you to chew, so there's little chance of choking.

Invest in Proper Equipment

Find handlebar extensions, look for a good helmet, and invest in chain lube.

Handlebar extensions are more comfortable for the arms and shoulders. A good helmet is protective and light. A dry chain hurts you and your chances of winning. If your chain is dry, it might break, get stuck in the wheel, and even cause a wreck.

Keep your equipment in top shape for a smooth, fun ride.

Get Professionally Fit

Getting a professional fit for your bike is helpful because it ensures maximum comfort and mobility. Having a bike that fits precisely to you improves performance.


Some rides are a few hours long, whereas some are days long. Know when to rest so you get the most from your race. Pushing through the pain is beneficial for finishing, but pushing too much too fast leads to injury and sometimes failure. Listen to your body and park it when you need to.

Look Into Support

Almost anything that's tough is better with family and friends. Gather a team to improve your performance if you have a long ride ahead. Some teams consist of another rider who helps you start and finish the race.

Recruit sponsors that pay to support you during your ride. They cover expenses for traveling, riding, and equipment. In exchange, you typically represent their company by wearing their logo, giving them shout-outs when you win, and promoting them on social media.

Think of the Finish Line

Don't think about how much you have left. Think of the finish line. Focus on the feeling of relaxing after you succeed. Use the thought of finishing as a motivator to keep going.


Cycling is a big part of training if you're prepping for a ride. However, cross-training is even better. Cross-training combines different types of exercise to train for an event.

Add some strength training and flexibility into your training program. Instead of improving only your cardio fitness for biking, focus on strength for pedaling up hills and flexibility for keeping muscles loose even after 50 miles of biking.

What To Bring

If you've never completed a long-distance bike race, you're probably curious about what equipment to bring. You need specific supplies to perform at your best and stay prepared for accidents.


A backpack is a perfect accessory to hold your items. It must be small, convenient, light, and flat against your back. It's dangerous if it's too big, heavy, or bounces around while you ride.

Choose a material that's weather resistant. Even if it's sunny, you're likely traveling 50+ miles, so the weather is bound to change. Focus on reflective materials, so you're easier to see in the dark.

Water Bottles

Consider bringing more than one water bottle. It would be best if you had half your body weight in ounces of water daily for essential living functions. Imagine how much you need for a 100-kilometer race! Have double to triple the recommended water amount with you to avoid dehydration.

Complete hydration improves energy, muscle performance, and recovery. Drink excess water before and during your race to perform better. Drink enough water after your ride to improve recovery.

Bringing a blender bottle is a great way to get some quick protein. Carry some protein powder with you and make a shake on the go.


The sun emits harmful UV rays that damage the skin. Sunscreen is beneficial for preventing wrinkles and some forms of skin cancer.

Dr. Anna Chien with Johns Hopkins Medicine says, "Wearing sunscreen is one of the best — and easiest — ways to protect your skin’s appearance and health at any age. Used regularly, sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging."

Getting a sunburn is painful and distracting while cycling. Bring strong sunscreen and reapply every two hours. Sunscreen works best during the first two hours of application; then it starts to lose effectiveness — even more so if you're sweating.

Small First Aid Kit

Accidents aren't always predictable. Even if you don't experience a crash on the race, you might come across someone who's down. A first aid kit of bandaids, gauze, and alcohol pads prepares you for any injuries.


No, not a power saw. Pack a mini inflator, pump, or tool kit into your bag for unexpected events. A broken bolt or loose chain might ruin your race.

Tire Patch Kit

It's not hard to pop a tire when you're traveling 350 kilometers over gravel. Keep a tire patch kit in your bag so you're able to hop back on the saddle in no time. You might also be able to help someone else who's damaged their tire.


Bring a flashlight or headlight with you. Sometimes, you ride early in the morning or late at night. Clearly seeing the path ahead of you prevents wrecks, injuries, and damage.

Consider a reflective vest or clip-on lights so you're always visible to drivers or other riders.

Go Racing

You know how to conquer a long-distance race and what to bring with you. Now, look into various races to understand what to expect.

New England Parkinson's Ride

This ride takes place in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. It's an excellent opportunity to raise money for a fantastic cause. Mark your calendar for September, and choose from their 10, 30, 50, 62, or 100-mile races.

BikingMan Brazil

Explore Brazil through a loop near Sao Paulo in this 1,000-kilometer race. Expect gravel and bumpy terrain as you master the miles. This race usually takes place in September.

Morocco Bike Adventure

This breathtaking ride is over 2,400 kilometers long. It's made up of gravel and carries you through the Atlas Mountains. This yearly race is sure to bring out your adventurous side. Look out for this ride every October.

Holyland Bikepacking Challenge

This race in Israel is known for its rough routes. The terrain is challenging and stretches over 1,450 kilometers. This ride typically occurs in October.

Even if you miss these particular races, there are thousands worldwide all year round!

Tougher Terrain

Want to step up your racing game? Nations across the world offer races with varying difficulties. Some are on smooth asphalt, while others are on jagged mountain trails.

These are some of the most challenging races in the world:

Mallorca 312

The Mallorca 312 bike ride takes place on the Balearic island of Mallorca. The island attracts cyclers because of its long, curvy, smooth asphalt roads closed to the public during races.

These roads allow bikers to test their skills by maneuvering with gravity down the slope. You cycle from sunup to sundown to cover more than 300 kilometers.

Unbound Gravel XL (Dirty Kanza)

This ride in Flint Hills, Kansas is famous for a good reason: It's invite only. Although they have a shorter version of the ride for everyone, the entire 350 miles of gravel is for the best of the best. You must complete the entire cycle within 36 hours.

Cape Epic

This race is one of the toughest races in the world. The eight-day ride leads over 650 cyclists across more than 600 kilometers of varying terrain in South Africa. Bikers compete in teams of two and must stay together until the end of the race.


Once you've chosen your race, it's time to focus on how you recover afterward. Recovery is vital after a long-distance bike race. Riding for long distances causes small microtears in the muscles.

After your race, eat both carbs and protein to give your muscles the necessary nutrients to heal stronger.


Stretch your biceps, glutes, hips, and calves to return to tip-top shape. These overworked muscles get a build-up of lactic acid and microscopic tears, resulting in tension and fatigue.

Stretching improves oxygen and blood flow to the muscles, aiding in recovery. Yoga is an excellent way to stretch your body.


Rest is crucial for recovery. Without rest, it's harder for your body to recover. Injuries happen when muscles don't have adequate time to heal.

Take at least one week to rest after a long-distance ride. Don't jump straight back into intense training when the week is up. Take it slow and ease back into training with low-impact exercises to start.

The Finish Line

Long-distance bike races are exciting and challenging. People worldwide set goals to reach the finish line after hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometers on the saddle.

Pack your backpack, get fitted for your bike, and fill up your water bottle because it's time to start pedaling. Think of the feelings of accomplishment, success, and self-confidence waiting for you at the finish line. Focus on the benefits of biking your way to a new life!

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