Preparation for the ride Around the Bay in a Day
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2 June 2006
Introduction: Sunday October the 15th thousands of people will attempt to ride their push bikes, kick bikes or even unicycles around the Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne. This is a guide for a novice rider how to prepare for the event. Before you even touch your bike make sure you are visible on the road (BRIGHT COLOURED CLOTHES always) and your helmet is sound fitted properly!!! Allways obey the road rules and think that the cars won't be necessarily paying any attention to you. June: 4 months to go. Register for the event to ensure you get to enter the event you want to. You can do this on the internet. All the relevant information can be found at http://bv.com.au/. You should be riding atleast 3 days a week various distances. You can use any bike you want to. The idea is to get your body used to riding. Set yourself up a schedule. You could perhaps ride two shorter rides before or after work. When training for an over 200km ride, a short ride is an hour. On your day off ride a longer ride about 2-2.5hours. Listen to your body. Pay attention when you get hungry. Take a water bottle or two with you. Experiment on different nutrition. Find out what sort of foods suit you and give you energy. Read bicycle magazines or watch The American Flyer for motivation. Stretch well after each ride. July: 3 months to go. Increase the distances. Your short rides can now become 1.5hours and longer ones 2.5-3 hours. You will be fine with 3 days a week regime. You may choose to improve your fitness levels by choosing other activites twice a week. The ideal number of total active days per week is 5. This is enough to increase your fitness without burning you. Good cross training activities are martial arts, yoga, raquet sports, team sports, swimming, jogging, rowing or weight lifting. What ever you like is good. You must enjoy being active, otherwise a psychological burn out is inevitable this early on in your preparation. August: 2 months to go. Now it is time for you to really start thinking about the actual ride. Your base should be strong after two months of solid training. Start organizing the bike that you will take on the days' ride. If you don't own a road bike or your back can't stand 7-9hours being bent over, slick wheels on a mountain bike is a great option. You will be able to keep up with other riders while staying comfortable. You can still train with a heavier bike to upkeep your strong base, but do experiment with long long rides at this point as well. Try a 100km ride twice this month with the bike you are planning to ride in October. The other rides can still be done with any bike. Increase your riding days to 4 a week if you possibly can. Your shorter rides can still remain at around the 1.5hour mark, but push yourself on your days off and see how long you manage to ride at this point. Also practice stopping and starting. It is amazingly difficult for the body to start riding again in the afternoon after a ferry trip across the bay between Queenscliff and Sorrento. Ride for a few hours, have a coffee or a cuppa tea and a snack and ride another hour after your stop. See how it feels for you. Keep up with your cross training as well. September: 1 month to go. This is your crunch time. You will need to ride a lot this month. Keep up with your every second week 100km ride routine using your event bike and shorter rides and medium rides (1-3h) in between your big days. Stick with 4 riding days per week if possible with two shorter rides and two medium to long rides. Look after your muscles by stretching. Yoga is a good way to balance monotonous movement of your legs. The longest ride you will have to do this month is 140km. Only do this once. You can do this in the end of the month. If you can ride 140km in one day, you will be able to push the last 70km (given you will be riding the classic 210km event) on the day quite easily as there will be mobs of riders to pull you along, the spirits are high and your adrenaline levels will also be increased. Wear the clothes you are planning on wearing on the day. See if they keep you comfortable for a long time. Some good investments are arms and legs that you can roll up or down with weather changes, padded knicks, a bike jersey with a long back and big pockets (you will be given one of these), gel cushioned gloves and a bright coloured rain shield. Be prepared for rain or shine. It could be beautiful and sunny like in 2005 or torrential rain storm like in 2004 or anything in between. Experiment with snacks you are planning to carry with you. Have your bike serviced by a professional mechanic towards the end of this month. If you get a chance to ride in a mob, it's a good idea to do so. It will give you a different perspective to your space on the road. October: 2 weeks to go. It is really time to ease off now. You will not improve your fitness levels anymore. Only ride for fun and to keep your body remembering what it is like to ride. Keep checking that all your equipment is in top knick. Organize atleast two spare tubes, tire levers and a pump to take with you on the ride. Make sure you know how to change a tire. Have a short practice ride carrying everything you will on the day; food, drinks, clothes and tools. If you feel too bulky try to see if you can substitute anything with something lighter or flatter. Remember the actual ride starts at 5am and it will be dark. Make sure your bike has both front and back lights. Bicycle Victoria will send you a letter before the event, which you will have to bring to Melbourne with you. Either on the Saturday the day before or early on Sunday you will have to pick up your event packet. Make sure you read and follow all the instructions properly. Then the only thing you will need to do is arrive at the start line and you will be riding a very long distance all day on Sunday. Have fun training! See you there!
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