Monday, February 9, 2009

Riding Tips!

I started today off with my personal trainer session at the gym, which was great as always. Laura is such an excellent trainer, she makes working out fun! Nothing like starting of the day feeling like you've already accomplished something.

I just got off the phone with my Uncle Alan who happens to be a very experienced cyclist. He's done all sorts of amazing bike events and really knows his stuff. Now, I know very little about bike, other then that I apparently needed a "road bike" for the race, or I "was going to make it very hard on myself." Thankfully, I have acquired a very nice bike just this weekend, and it's currently getting tuned up over at Helen's Cycles. Yay! So I now turned to my uncle for some advice. Uncle Alan had some wonderful tip and suggestions to share, both on the setup of my bike, as well as ways to ride more efficiently. I wanted to post today about what he said, since it's making me very excited to hop on my new bike tomorrow and start practicing!

1) Positioning myself on the bike. It is very important, since I'll be riding into the wind, to make myself as streamline as possible. Otherwise I am creating unnecessary resistance that will only make riding that much harder.
-Once I get going on the bike, I should lean my body down as much as I can support so that I can lift my head to see and cut through the wind.
-It's likely to be very hard at first, but it will ultimately help me to not waste energy, when I will need it for the run.

2) Practice using all the gears! It is important to practice shifting steadily through the gears when riding to best preserve your momentum as you ride up and down hills.
-It is important, as you approach a hill, to begin shifting into a lighter gear. Then as you ascend the hill, continue shifting one gear lighter at a time. This helps to keep you pedal pacing steady. If you shift from a higher gear to a lower gear very quickly, you'll just end up spinning your pedals really fast and loose a lot of your built up momentum. At that point just wasting your energy.
-As you approach the top of the hill it will be time to begin switching back to higher gears one at a time. As you start the descent down the hill, be aware of how your speed will pick up and shift when appropriately to maintain a strong control over the speed and energy of your pedalling.

3)When on the bike, be sure to keep your knees pointed forward above your feet. That way all the energy in your legs will push straight down into the pedals. If you would to aim your knees out, the angle at which you would push on the pedals would be less effective and ultimately waste a lot of energy.

4) Keep the bike as light as possible. The less weight you have the easier the ride.
-If there are water stations on the path, then only carrying one water bottle would be fine.
-If there are no water stations available, perhaps get a second water cage attached to the bike.

5)HYDRATION IS IMPORTANT!!! Your body will be more efficient in it's use and storage of the water during the race if you do this.
-Begin Hydrating yourself at least 3 days before the race.
-Be sure that you drink at least 8-10 full glasses of water a day.

That is all I have for the moment. Thank you for reading!

Uncle Alan, if I have not correctly expressed your advice please let me know. It is possible that some of the value has been lost in translation. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me tonight, I found it to be quite informative and encouraging!

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