Are you aiming to join your first extreme cycling event? Today, we discuss 11 tips for you when you’re planning on joining an extreme cycling event.
What is an “extreme” cycling event?
These are usually events that often test the cyclist’s endurance and capability. The track or path is often prolonged and isn’t always on smooth roads.
1: Familiarize yourself with your bike
What’s important to remember is that when the event starts, it’s only going to be you and your bicycle. Since your bicycle is going to be your partner, it is critical that you know every single nook and cranny of it.
Practice repairing your bike by yourself. After all, if there was anyone who was going to help you mid-race or mid-event, it will have to be yourself
2: Study up on the event route
For some extreme cycling events, there is a certain amount of freedom given for cyclists to plot their own path. When you’re joining an extreme event, look up the location. What’s in between point A and the end? Fully plotting out your game plan will help you keep surprises down to a minimum.
3: Gear up!
Once you have a better understanding of the route and location of the event, it would be in your best interest to wear appropriate gear. If it’s going to be cold, dress accordingly.
4: Test your bike thoroughly
Go for test runs to see if your bike is outfitted for safety, comfort, and maximum output. As extreme cycling events can be over long distances, being comfortable is important. This is something that you must remember before you undertake any form of cycling event. Prioritizing your comfort is a great way to keep a healthy relationship going with your bike.
5: Don’t skimp out on training
Endurance and stamina is the name of the game. If you’re planning on at least completing the track, it is important that you consistently train yourself.
6: Know your limitations
While finishing the course is ideal, it is important to avoid pushing yourself too much. You can always try again when you’re more prepared. The chance to try again is one of the best parts about going on a cycling event. You can always aim to succeed but understanding your limitations is what will buy you more chances to join another event.
7: Plan your meals
Remember that eating smart should be part of your training. Avoid any foods that can impede your success. Once you have found the right balance, you can start to plan on what celebratory food you can have once the event is over.
On the flip side, do not go overboard with eating. It is important that your body be given every opportunity to rest and recover. Yes, even from eating. Rest is just as important to success as the rest of the training is.
9: Keep water near
Whenever you are planning on doing something strenuous, keeping hydrated is a good way to avoid cramps.
10: Set rewards
Plan your reward ahead of time. This is crucial in helping keep your motivation.
11: Prepare your post-event routine
Knowing how to cool your body down after an extreme event is crucial. Keep your support group nearby.
Now, before you go off to join your extreme event read the tips above and see which ones you can start to apply today!
Joining endurance riding events or ultra-long-distance races is a great way to challenge yourself. It pushes you to go beyond your limits. But of course, nothing beats adequate preparation before you compete in the race track.
We have compiled numerous tips and tricks for extreme cyclists who want to become successful in their chosen race.
Before the ride
1. Learn how to fix your own bike.
During racing, you are the only one responsible for your bike. If it suddenly conks out, better be knowledgeable about fixing it. So before you embark on your cycling journey, visit your local bike mechanic and ask for tips on fixing broken bike parts and other problems such as a puncture or a flat tire.
2. Plan your route.
Anything unexpected during your rides may set you up for failure. When preparing for an ultra-long-distance race, it is wise to check the route for any unsurfaced track or busy roads. Look also for nearby bike shops so that when something goes wrong with your bike and you cannot fix it, you can have it repaired right away.
In doing so, you can prepare and adjust accordingly. A great online tool to use for planning your route is the Google Street View.
3. Wear the right biking gear.
Aside from the biking route, it also helps to know the weather forecast on the day you will be racing so that you can dress appropriately to ensure your riding comfort. For cold or wet long-distance rides, it is recommended that you bring a lightweight rain jacket as well as a pair or arm and leg warmers to keep you warm and comfy.
So that your butt will not become sore, make sure to wear padded bib tights or biking shorts. For better skin protection and reduced friction, apply petroleum jelly on the part that comes into contact with the saddle.
Also bring a saddle pack where you will keep the extra gear you need during the race.
4. Set up your bike for comfort.
Your comfy bike gear will amount to nothing if the bike itself will easily cause body pains, exhaustion, and discomfort. So before you set out for your journey, make sure that your two-wheeled baby is up for snuff.
Check the handlebars and the seat to ensure that they are of just the right height. The rubber or covering on your handlebars may need to be replaced for better grip and comfort for your hands. Your wheels should also be inflated correctly.
5. Add an intensity ride to your training each week.
Building the power you need to get going during a race is essential in your training. This is possible by including intense rides through systematic intervals. Of course, you start with a warm up, perform a mixed intensity ride, and cool down.
During the ride
6. Keep pushing the pedals.
Each stroke on your pedals will take you closer to the finish line. Keep that in mind whenever you feel tired and would want to stop. Before you know it, you are already at your destination and celebrating with your cheering friends.
7. Motivate yourself with food.
Make your rides more exciting by bringing healthy food that you want to eat rather than going for the usual sports bars and gels. Any food—as long as it is healthy—that you look forward to eating will make your riding experience less painful, more bearable, and more enjoyable.
Make sure to include salty snacks such as pretzels and pickles to replenish the sodium you lose while sweating it out. Excessive sodium loss can lead to cramping, so avoid that by eating salty food during your ride.
8. Do not forget to eat!
If there is one thing you should not forget while cycling, that is eating your food. During a race, you need energy from the food you eat. Forgetting to do so will cause not only hunger pangs but also weakness.
You might pass out even before you reach your destination. The effective technique to power up yourself is to eat often in small amounts. Set the alarm on your watch to go off every hour to remind you that it is time to eat. Ideally, eat at least 240 calories of carbs (plus a little fat and protein) every hour.
9. Drink lots of water.
Hydration is also important for long-distance rides. If you do not drink enough, it will be easy to faint under the sweltering heat. So make sure to bring two water bottles and mount them on your bike so that you can reach for one easily.
After the ride
10. Celebrate your journey!
You have worked hard to prepare for the race, so making it calls for a celebration! Also, take the opportunity to evaluate how your ride went—what went right and what went wrong so that on your next rides, you will not commit the same mistakes again.
11. Work on your post-cycling recovery
Your body will surely take the brunt of your ultra-long-distance ride. You need an effective recovery method to restore your bodily functions to normal after an extreme cycling event.
This entails eating more carbs to replenish the lost muscle glycogen and salty food to replenish the lost sodium after a ride. You also need to do some stretching exercises to get your blood flowing and to loosen up any tight muscle. Do not forget to drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids, too. Read along on the blog always.…