Welcome back to the Ride Don’t Hide Training Blog by Sugoi Performance Apparel.
We’re about a month away now from the big ride, I hope you’re all getting excited and more importantly getting out and enjoying some time in the saddle!
If you have been lucky enough, you may have gotten away without having to deal with any flats or mechanical issues along the way this year. If you haven’t been lucky, then you’ve probably had to deal with changing at least one flat tire right in the middle of a ride in the pouring rain like me! On this note, I thought I would talk a little about what I do before each ride and what I do in terms of maintenance on a regular basis to ensure my training rides and races go as smoothly as possible and what I bring with me to be prepared for when they don’t.
Before I go out for each ride there’s a few things I check. First, I check that my brakes are working properly by squeezing the levers and I also check to see if they are rubbing the wheels in any places when I’m not squeezing the brake lever by lifting one end of the bike and spinning the wheel, if they are that could be adding unwanted resistance during your ride and should be adjusted. Next I check that the quick releases for my wheels are closed so that I don’t find myself with only one wheel part way through the ride. From there I move to the tires, I slowly spin them and inspect them for any glass, nails or gashes in the tires. If you find anything that could compromise the tire it is worth a trip to the bike shop to see if the tire should be replaced to avoid a tire blowout while riding. The last thing I check is my tire pressure. On the side of your tire it should give suggestions as to the range the air pressure should be for your tire. I’ll usually pick a pressure somewhere in the middle and I avoid filling my tires’ air pressure to the max capacity. I find that ensuring I have appropriate air pressure in my tires reduces the amount of flat tires I get quite significantly so it’s worth checking before every ride.
As for regular maintenance, I’ll take my bike into my local bike shop every 3 months for a quick tune up. They’ll inspect my chain to see if it needs replacing, clean and re-lube my chain if not, tune my gears, brakes and give it a once over to see if anything needs to be replaced such as brake pads or tires. If I’ve ridden my bike in the rain I will give it a wipe down afterwards, clean my chain with a rag and put some chain lube on it myself, this can be purchased at any bike shop and they can suggest how much to use.
That’s all preventative, now what to do to be prepared for the inevitable! Yes, that’s right, we all have to change our own flat tire at some point. We’re not lucky enough to have our very own support car with bicycle mechanics like they do in the Tour de France! Firstly, if you haven’t changed a flat tire before and don’t know how, there are plenty of how to videos on YouTube, I would definitely watch a couple and practice changing your tire at home a few times, that way when it eventually occurs out on the open road you know how to change it. It gives me a lot of confidence knowing how to be self-sufficient when riding my bike and I strongly recommend learning how to service some of the smaller things such as changing a flat, adjusting brakes, removing a broken spoke and even fixing a broken chain. There are many free resources out on the internet and it is empowering knowing how to take care of all these things yourself.
I bring a few things with me on every ride, these include: two spare tubes, two CO2 cartridges with the inflator or a small hand pump, two tire levers, a patch kit, a good multi-tool, my ID including emergency contact info, some cash and my cellphone.
That’s all for this week. Good luck on your continued training!
Training Plans – Week 3
Beginners – 10K/20K Rides
Workout 1: 15 – 25 Minute Easy Ride
Workout 2: 35 – 50 Minute Easy Long Ride
Things to think about:
Think about what supplies you have brought with you and what you would do if you end up getting a flat tire. Giving these things thought ahead of time can greatly reduce anxiety if something does occur along the ride and can give you more confidence going out on your ride to begin with knowing you are prepared.
Intermediate and advanced riders – 60K Ride
Workout 1: 50 Minute Ride
Workout 2: 1 Hour Ride on hilly route
Workout 3: 1.75 Hour Easy Long Ride
Things to think about:
Workout 1: Add in 10 x 30 second builds, building from an easy to fast pace. Spread these out through the middle of the ride.
Workout 2: This ride should be performed at an easy comfortable pace. Aim for your cadence to be between 80 – 90 RPMs and avoid grinding your gears on the climbs.
Workout 3: Again use this as an opportunity to bring some fuel and food with you on the bike to experiment with. Nothing excessive, a sport drink, bar or a couple gels would be enough. Also think about what supplies you have brought in case a mechanical issue occurs with your bike along the way.
Dylan Gleeson is a Sugoi Brand Champion from North Vancouver, BC. He is excited to host the Ride Don’t Hide Training Blog, where he will share training, nutrition and apparel tips with you leading up to the ride on June 22nd! Sugoi is the official apparel sponsor of Ride Don’t Hide.