7 Steps To Prepare For Autumn Bike Events
1. Plan your ride: If you plan, you can prevent poor performance and be a safer rider. If you know your route you can be prepared for any challenges along the way. There is also a safety factor involved. It's important to know any steep road grades you may encounter or where a road maybe closed. If a road is closed, plan an alternate route. So write it down, put it in the calendar, and map it out; we're going riding and nothing is going to stop us.
2. Check your equipment the night before: Are you going out early to ride? Best way to reduce mental stress before your ride is to have your gear ready. Check your tires, gear, frame and all the essentials to ensure that the only thing that will stop you on your ride are the traffic lights.
3. Nutritional timing: Obviously this doesn't have to be down to the minute but you want to get the most out of what you eat and when. For example, it's great to eat carbohydrates before a long day in the saddle. What's not good would be eating that big plate of spaghetti 30 minutes before the ride. Give yourself enough time to digest the food you consume. The same goes for calories out; eat on the bike roughly every 30-45 minutes to help keep the bonks at bay.
4. Track your ride: Going on a long bike ride can be a great experience but sometimes so do the roads that you've enjoyed and the speed that you were going. In this technologically savvy world we live in we can track nearly every aspect of our day. Why not our rides? There are great free programs like; Map My Ride, Strava, and Garmin Connect that will allow you to keep track of all you rides and recreate them whenever you want. So you can enjoy the sights and leave the tracking to the computers.
5. Roll with the punches: So you wanted to start your ride at 9:00am but you woke up late and the cat needs fed and the dog needs walked and your kit needs washed. We've all been there but the best thing you can do is take a deep breath and go with it. Riding for most of us is our time to clear your head and to have fun. So don't stress even if it means cutting some miles off the ride. Make sure you stay on track, get on the bike sometime in the day, and you will come back feeling lighter and happier.
6. Challenge yourself: Remember all that tracking we talked about? Well here is a great way to put it to some practical use. Did you ride that last segment in 10 minutes? Next time challenge yourself to ride it in 9 minutes 30 seconds. Anytime you get a chance to challenge yourself on a ride (within reason) take it. Because, even small challenges on rides daily can lead to big gains in the future!
7. Reward yourself: You deserve it! All that hard work of planning, riding and challenging...someone has earned an ice cream cone! Part of the joy of riding is the euphoria and fun of decompressing afterward. So take that detour past the gelato stand or coffee shop, grab a seat and enjoy a well-deserved pastry.
Now start planning that next ride or event! You can find Aero Tech Designs at the Sea Gull Century, Apple Cider Century, and the Hilly Hundred this fall. Hope you see you there!