Now that my wife, Lisa, and I have a foundation of training rides under our belts, we get to this point every year where the rides progressively get longer so that our physical and mental confidence builds so that we know we will be able to finish the one hundred miles solidly.
Some of the things I start realizing/thinking about that come with along with distance riding are:
· Knowing my different hand positions on the handle bars. One of my symptoms with ms is that my hands are always somewhat numb and they tire and ache easily if my they stay on the bars in one position for too long of time. I have a rotation of about seven hand holds that I go through in order to keep my circulation moving.
· Always making a point to stand up out of my saddle while pedaling for short periods of time to give my butt a break.
· Doing different kinds of pedal strokes so that I’m not just doing the same kind of pedaling all the time. For example I may focus on pedaling on the upstroke for a while and then switch to the down stroke.
· I have a distance alarm set on my cycle computer for every mile to remind me to take a sip of some water or electrolyte so that I never get to a point where I’m thirsty. Dehydration is your enemy!
· I keep my observation skills open to as much as possible while riding. You should be aware of vehicles and other riders around you at all times. I also enjoy just looking at my surroundings as I ride and get to notice different people and sights along the way.
· I also like to play different kinds of games along the way. For example with my bicycle computer I’ll time myself for a distance (ex: 1 mile interval) and see how I progress at different times during the ride or I’ll just try to calculate when I’ll make it to the next rest stop.
· I also have learned when I ride with on long distance rides sometimes I like to talk while I ride and sometimes I just like to ride in silence and think to myself. I think sometimes Lisa is probably happy when I take a break from talking since I tend to talk a lot of nonsense… :-)
In general for me when I do long rides it really helps to keep a variety of tactics in my quiver to keep my physical and mental well being from getting tired/bored. Variety is good!
The Rider Expo 2013 – August 28 *5:30-7:30 in Philadelphia. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the ride, drop off donations, pick up rider numbers and much more.
I’ll be working the area where cue sheets and route information will be handed out, so stop by and say hi!
For more information on the Rider Expo 2013 go to:
cheers - Chas