Friday, September 26, 2014

For Those About To Ride

I would guess that a large majority of JBar Cycling readers will be participating in Saturday's BDB100. Since the inaugural BDB100 on October 1, 2006, the event has grown, evolved and matured as it has become the apex of the season for a lot of cyclists. For many riders, the spring and summer have been spent with an eye forward to the BDB, and now it is time to roll.
Seasoned riders all know the drill for preparing for a long day out on the road, but for many, this will be their biggest ride, so a few reminders may be appropriate as we get ready.

- Is your bike in good order? It's a little late to address major problems, but look over your tires and make sure they are properly inflated. Lube your chain.
- Check the contents of your flat kit. You don't want to flat, only to discover that you never replaced to CO2 cartridge to gave to a buddy back in June. I carry a couple of tubes and CO2 cartridges.
I was advised to do so on long rides with the caution of, "If you flat at mile 10, do you want do a 90 mile ride without a flat kit?"
- Do you have fresh batteries in your computer or is your Garmin charged?
I'm a numbers guy. I want the feedback while on the road and I want to see the stats at the end of the ride. It's frustrating to pull up to the start as your Cateye starts flashing or your Garmin indicates 10% charge.
- Take food and hydration. This may not be a big deal if you plan to stop at each rest stop and finish mid-afternoon, but if you're trying to make good time, you need to be prepared. You may plan to make a stop at 30 miles, only to find yourself in a smooth paceline that is rolling on. You don't want to get off of that train, so hit the start with a pocket full of gels and maybe a third bottle. I also take some single serving packs of electrolyte mix. Some folks are not picky, but I'd rather drink out of a ditch than choke down the dreaded blue PowerAde often served at event rides (Do they give that shit away because they can't sell it?). Being self-contained keeps your options open.
On the recent Wampoo Roadeo metric, I had full intentions of making a couple of stops, but ended up going the distance without a stop because the pack I fell in with was too good to leave. I had plenty of food, but really had to stretch my fluids. It was a thirsty finish, but worth it.
- Be safe and considerate of others
 That means no ear buds, no aerobars in a pace line, riding predictably, and respecting established groups. Most folks will be glad to have another rider join them, but don't just barge into a group that is obviously trying to stick together. We all make mistakes on the bike, but if someone calls you out for something, they are usually just trying to insure their own safety and the safety of the group. This is particularly true if you are relatively new to riding in a group or are unsure of the many, often unspoken, rules. Either respect and accept the advice or move on.

For the first time, I've elected to forgo the century. It is a slight self-inflicted blow to my ego, but 68 miles will allow me to avoid the inevitable suffering that seriously sets in at around mile 80, and most of my little ride pack had the same plan. We plan to be watching over a cold IPA and some food as most of the hundred milers come in.

Be safe and enjoy the ride.

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