The Do’s and Don’ts to Completing Your First Big Charity Ride

Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com Riding

If you are a casual bike rider and have opted to push your personal limits and go for a big event, have you found yourself perplexed about preparations?

Oftentimes, those making the jump from one level of fitness to another find themselves wondering about what to expect.  Most riders just want to make it to the end of the ride.

Yet, we are here to offer our tips to help you to not only finish your big charity ride – but also, enjoying every pedal stroke of it.  Enjoy our do’s and don’ts of mastering your charity ride.

Do prepare your bike in advance.  This is an obvious but overlooked first step. Give your road bike a once over.   Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  As an example, your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Consider replacing worn bike parts and purchasing new cycling accessories you may need. 

Do know the course and aid stations.  Review the course.  Identify aid station sand watch the weather.  Primarily, you want to anticipate your needs as you tick off each mile.  For instance, learn or write down on a card to put in your jersey the mile markers for the aid stations.  You may also make note of the mileage between aid stations.  You may end up passing through the earlier aid stations only to stop more frequently at the the aid stations later in the event.  Having this knowledge is helpful mentally and helps you gauge your energy during the ride.

Do pack extra cycling accessoriesIf the event offers drop bags, you may consider placing extra gloves, a rain jacket, lube, and maybe even a small towel in your drop bag.  Pack your nutritional and clothing needs to pair with the aid stations so that you ride with the items you need and can gather extra when needed.  These necessary items can make all the difference in avoiding discomfort in poor weather and /or poor riding conditions.

Don’t forget the basic essentials. Lay everything out the night before. Basic essentials include your every day cycling apparel: helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottles, food, and sunscreen.

Don’t go out too fast.  Pace yourself. It’s tempting to go out too hard when you are feeling fresh and the enthusiasm is high.  You’re going to be in the saddle for a long day; so be mindful of your pace, as well as, your ongoing nutrition needs.  Eat and drink as needed and avoid consuming too much at the aid stations.

Don’t compare yourself with other riders. If this is your first big event, most likely, you won’t be in the front group.  Sometimes that can be discouraging; other times that can be comforting. Regardless, it is important to benchmark your success based on your own achievements.  Be inspired by fitter and faster riders and celebrate in your achievement of finishing your big event at your pace and in your way.

Most of all, enjoy the ride!  Take these do’s and don’ts and create your own guidelines to successfully master all of your big, epic rides!

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