Riding at High Altitude
Rides through the Rocky Mountains mean beautiful scenery, challenging trails and…altitude challenges. It’s important to prepare properly for high altitude rides. Even the most experienced riders can be caught off guard by altitude changes.
Know What to Expect
Acute Mountain Sickness can occur when adjusting to high altitudes. You should be prepared for headaches, fatigue, a stuffy nose and dizziness. The good news? Once this occurs it doesn’t usually get worse and will subside on it’s own.
Take Your Time
If possible, give yourself a few days to adjust to the new altitude. It’s important to know that even if you’ve had a few days to adjust, the first few days of riding will require extra effort. Take it slowly, stay hydrated, enjoy the scenery and be safe.
Accept New Limits
High altitude biking requires more frequent and longer breaks. Make sure to account for these in your schedule and be prepared with nutritious snacks and water to enjoy during each break.
Be Prepared for Weather
The Rocky Mountains are known for quick and unpredictable weather changes. Temperature drops also occur quickly in high altitude environments. Make sure you have rain gear and layers that can be quickly changed
- Stay hydrated
- Wear sunscreen – you have an increased likelihood of sunburn at higher altitudes
- Alert your group if you don’t feel well
- Make sure to bring appropriate attire for all weather conditions
- Consult your doctor before the ride for advice on managing altitude