Things to Think About as You Prepare for a Long Ride (or) Even Freshman Riders Can Rock Bike MS.
About the author: I am a bicyclist, some might even say a serious one. I delight in all things bike. I even
work in the bike industry, as the Marketing Coordinator for Western
Bikeworks, the premier bike shop sponsor of BikeMS. There's no kind of
bike-riding I don't like, although distance road riding is my favorite. - Maria Schur
As you embark on your next hard ride, consider your head as the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Although training and fitness matter, the higher truth is that endurance
events happen up top, in the brain. Bryce Courtney states it simply in
his book The Power Of One: “...The mind is the athlete, the body is simply the means it uses..."
One mental preparation
trick is to peek at a map of the route several times in the days
before the big ride. Visualize the start, where many experienced riders still get
butterflies from the excitement. Picture what you'll be wearing: "cute power" really does help! If you look good, you feel good and if you
feel good, you can rock whatever it is you want to rock. Maybe even jot
down some strategies to re-read over breakfast on the big day. Things
like breathe deeply, smile, enjoy the view.
Make a list.
Forgetting your shoes or helmet can be a ride killer. Double check for
essentials before leaving home in your car: shoes, helmet, water
bottles, sunglasses. Pump your tires up to pressure the night before and doublecheck them before bed. It's way more fun to fix a flat at night at home than in the morning at the start line.
Time equals distance. Using a bike computer is a great way to is get the
feel of how long it takes to ride certain distances. If the idea
of riding 33 (or 100!) miles is overwhelming, consider the time
instead. You'll be pleasantly surprised to see how a little math can help you calculate your finish time. Don't forget to factor in rest stops. They may feel short, but six ten minute stops adds up to a whole hour.
There are a ton of great training guides you can follow. Riding your goal distance spread out over a
week for several weeks in a row will help your performance on ride day. Resting is as important as training, especially
in the three or four days before the event. See if you can add an hour of sleep for a few nights. Eat and drink healthfully.
The day of the ride: eat before
you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty. A general rule of thumb is
100 calories and a full water bottle per hour, but every body is
different. Use your training rides to determine
the types and amounts of fuel you need to feel good. Consume the same electrolyte drink and food you've
been training with. Inside info: Western Bikeworks will be
providing Louis Garneau's LG1 electrolyte replacement powder.
remember, all of this will pay off. You'll have fun. You'll
accomplish a physical feat. You'll make friends. You'll experience
beautiful vistas. You'll enjoy a celebratory feast. But, most
important, you'll be making a difference by raising money to fight
Multiple Sclerosis. Charity rides like this spread good health to
participants and recipients alike. Thanks for riding!