my first race

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by pedalforrest, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. pedalforrest

    pedalforrest New Member

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    so next weekend i ride my first charity ride/race.Iam excited & a little nervous,but it should be fun.does anyone have any advice for the rookie?
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I take it this is a ride, not a race as in no structured categories, no distinct starting time with a given pack, no official finish line and sprint and no prizes on the line for getting to the finish ahead of someone else. No problems there, it's just that races are a different beast than fun rides, charity rides, century rides, etc.

    If it's the latter then first have fun and enjoy the day. Don't start out too fast in the excitement and realize you've likely got a long ride ahead of you so take your time to loosen up and to find a pace that's fun for you. Ride very predictably around other riders and give extra space if you haven't done a lot of group riding. Don't cut hard left or right or suddenly stop for no apparent reason if there are folks close by and communicate your intentions before doing something like taking a hard left or right turn for that rest stop you just decided to stop at or the water fountain you just spotted to fill your bottles. And that means being aware of when folks are around and possibly following you closely, cyclists do that all the time to save energy so don't be surprised, just glance back from time to time and be aware of folks around you and then act predictably when you do something other than ride a steady speed in a straight line.

    Eat and drink regularly, on the bike if you're comfortable doing so, at the rest stops if not. Try to minimize the length of time you spend at the rest stops as warming up again and again after overly long breaks isn't much fun and it's better to take short stops in the five to ten minute range, get some food, refill bottles, take care of bodily needs and get on your way.

    Carry enough tools, spare tubes, inflation devices, etc. to be self contained but they'll usually have pumps at rest stops if your tires are a bit soft and you can often get some assistance with things like flat repairs and small bike adjustments but it's still best to be as familiar as possible with these tasks in case you have a flat and no one is around to help.

    If it's a longer ride than you're accustomed to then definitely pay attention to things like wearing good quality bike shorts, using chamois cream, carrying enough food and liquids, and pacing for the whole day and not just the morning when you feel great.

    Mostly though have fun and enjoy the ride.

    -Dave
     
  3. pedalforrest

    pedalforrest New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Yes it is a ride and not a race.
     
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