As the warm weather approaches, so do those bike events that you committed to for the summer. Maybe they are charity rides where you will ride 25-40 miles. Maybe they are races that you have been training all spring for or maybe they are multi-day rides where you will be riding anywhere from 150-300+ miles! Whichever big event you have coming up, you will have to prepare in someway. Here are somethings you may want to think about before you line up at the start line.
No matter what distance your ride is, it is important to train before the event. This will make the event much more enjoyable and you will get better results. Also when training for a ride you may be able to identify any issues your bike may have and you can get them fixed ahead of time. A lot of charity rides offer training rides and programs for you. Check your event’s website for training info. If you just need to log some miles on your bike, check out some of our group rides: Group Ride Calendar
If you are training for an event it is VERY important that you get your bike serviced BEFORE the ride or race. Nothing is worse than getting 10 miles out on your 150 mile charity ride to find out that your bike doesn’t shift out of the hardest gear or that your brakes are rubbing on the wheel. Get your bike into the shop before you start training to make sure everything is working properly. Visit our service page for more information on repair services.
Getting your bike fit properly is probably one of the most important things you can do to prepare for events and races. Bike fits can even benefit a causal rider.
It is important to know the difference between fit and sizing. Bike sizing is a process of measurements that determines what size bike you should be on. Bike fitting is a little bit lengthier process where you meet with a Fit Technician who takes into account your riding style, physical attributes, strengths, weaknesses, aches and injuries to make the bike fit you, instead of you trying to fit the bike.
You can read more on the topic here: Sizing Versus Fit. A bike fit will make a world of difference however you are planning to use your bike this summer. It will bring you more comfort and add power and efficiency to your pedal strokes.
While you are on the ride it is important to be prepared for anything. You may want to have a small bag that attaches under your seat so you can carry a few key items with you. Things you may want to pack:
- Spare tube
- Tire Levers
- Frame Pump (a small pump that attaches to the frame of the bike)
- CO2 cartridge with CO2 inflator (you would use this instead of a frame pump)
- Nutrition bar or gels
- Cash (in case of emergencies)
- Tire & Tube patches
Most events will have mechanics present to assist with any mechanical issues, but they most likely are only located at the start area and at rest stops. So it is important to have the necessary items to do a quick fix that will get you to the next rest stop where a mechanic can assist you further if need be. It is also a good idea to practice changing a flat tire at home before it happens out on the course. There are a multitude of videos online to help with the process, so spend some time one evening practicing!
Events and races are supposed to fun and enjoyable. So make sure to plan ahead so that event day is less stressful and so that you are able to finish with a smile on your face.
For all your event preparations stop into any of our ERIK’S locations and we will gladly help set you up for your next big ride.