10. Keep well-hydrated: a good rule of thumb is to carry at least 50% more water than you think you’ll need. You never know what might happen, and getting dehydrated is a quick way to hit the wall and deplete your energy stores, which leads to fatigue and injuries. Use electrolyte powder to replenish your sodium and other electrolytes – it’s possible to overhydrate and flush out your electrolytes, which can be as bad as – or worse than – dehydrating.
11. Keep your glucose levels up: bring plenty of energy bars, energy gels, or energy drinks with you and snack along the way to keep your energy level up and prevent bonking.
12. Know good body positioning: Stay centred in your cockpit, with your weight evenly distributed between your front and back wheels. This requires moving your body back and forth in the cockpit as you climb/descend, and will help you stay on your bike (as opposed to off it, on the ground).
13. Get out of your saddle: one of the common mistakes beginners make is always staying seated. Getting out of your saddle takes the weight off your saddle and onto your pedals, moving your centre of gravity lower and making you stable (think Formula One car versus double-decker bus: which would you rather be in when taking a corner at 200 km/h). So when the going gets rough (i.e. technical terrain) or when you’re going over undulating terrain, get out of your saddle.