First large ride tomorrow -- tips and tricks?
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  1. #1
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    First large ride tomorrow -- tips and tricks?

    I'm giong on my first large (organized, fully supported) ride tomorrow.

    http://www.roundrocktexas.gov/home/index.asp?page=635

    I'm taking the 40 mile option.

    Any tips for me?

    What not to do? What to do?

    It's been suggested to me to try to start out near the front so that faster people can pass us early, and slower people stay behind us.

    I'm thinking I should bring less water/food with me than our normal 40 mile training rides,since they will have water and food stops for us. Is 1 water bottle enough then, since I'll be able to refill every 12 miles?

  2. #2
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    One water bottle will be plenty if you are going to stop at all the rest stops...it will probably also be good even if you only stop once...it's not that hot this time of year...summer would be a different story

    In 40 miles, I wouldn't eat anything but that's just me....
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

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  3. #3
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    Regardless of where you start in the pack, be mindful of faster riders overtaking you without annoucing their presence. Just be extra vigilent about where other riders are in relation to you. Ride predictably, and use hand and voice signals to indicate what you're doing. The crowd at most mass start rides thins out more quickly than you'd think so it's usually only nervewracking at the start and at the stops.

    I wouldn't stop more than once on a 40-mile ride, if at all. If there are more frequent stops, I'd think about bypassing them.

    Otherwise, just enjoy yourself.
    You can't change people. They have to change themselves. Just like babies.

  4. #4
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    Divide the ride into three parts and pace yourself. Set a realistic finishing time goal based on your times for a solid (but not spectacular) training ride of a similar distance. If you have a heart-rate monitor, be sure to stay well below your aerobic threshold during the first third of your ride. During the second third, ride at but not higher than your aerobic threshold and you will be ready for a strong finish.

    Know the course ahead of time and be mindful of the location of any sustained climbs. Also be aware of any places where you can make up time such as long, gradual descents or wide shoulders.

    Finally, be aware of the wind. If the last part of the ride is into the wind, pace yourself accordingly in the beginning.

    Good luck and enjoy your ride.

    Chris

  5. #5
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    I was in a large group ride recently, and someone wouldn't let me off the front of a fast pack. I think she had been told to find a big guy going fast, and stay behind him. She wouldn't let me get off the front of the paceline! I turned around and told her to let me move back, and she said "I'm fine, I want to stay behind you." I told her that I wasn't fine with pulling for the next 40 miles, and she had to let me off the front. I can do 26 without a draft for a while, but not forever.

    So, if you want to draft a big guy, that's fine, but let him off the front of the paceline at some point.

    Sorry for the rant, that's my own little pet peeve. If you are used to riding in a group, fine. If not, don't try it with complete strangers.

  6. #6
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    You'll have a great time! With stops every 12 miles and no summer-time heat I think one water bottle will be enough, and you'll not need to bring any food. The bigger thing will be co-existing with alot of other riders on the road.

    You should keep to the right side (not necessarily extreme right, of course) unless you're passing someone - or maybe a better way to say it is to keep the left side clear unless you're doing the passing. That way faster riders and cars have room to pass you on the left, which makes it more predictable and safer for everyone.

    If you are passing it helps to let the person ahead know with a gentle, but sufficiently loud, "passing on your left", or the ring of a bell, if you have one.

    Signal turns and point out any road hazards for riders behind you.

    If you stop along the way, be sure to pull off the road so as not to block other riders.

    Ride predictably.

    Have a great time. Congratulations on your first big ride...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    ........In 40 miles, I wouldn't eat anything but that's just me....
    If it's only 40 miles, I'd eat everything that looked good, particularly brownies, PB&J sandwiches, melon & other fruit, cheese crackers, etc.

    Why not? You'll still finish before lunch. Then you can eat again!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by My Own Private Idaho
    I was in a large group ride recently, and someone wouldn't let me off the front of a fast pack. I think she had been told to find a big guy going fast, and stay behind him. She wouldn't let me get off the front of the paceline! I turned around and told her to let me move back, and she said "I'm fine, I want to stay behind you." I told her that I wasn't fine with pulling for the next 40 miles, and she had to let me off the front. I can do 26 without a draft for a while, but not forever.

    So, if you want to draft a big guy, that's fine, but let him off the front of the paceline at some point.

    Sorry for the rant, that's my own little pet peeve. If you are used to riding in a group, fine. If not, don't try it with complete strangers.
    Wow! At 5'4 and 118 pounds, I'm an accomplished wheelsucker , but that's bad form on her part. I don't usually get on strangers' wheels, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't expect to stay there the whole ride. There are guys that I ride with who'd rather pull, but I at least offer to share the load.
    You can't change people. They have to change themselves. Just like babies.

  9. #9
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    Right! And make sure to check every food stop on the way.

    We still hear it from the only guy from the group who bothered to investigate the last food stop a year or so ago and literally gorged on sushi and baklava.

    Quote Originally Posted by MerlinAma
    If it's only 40 miles, I'd eat everything that looked good, particularly brownies, PB&J sandwiches, melon & other fruit, cheese crackers, etc.

    Why not? You'll still finish before lunch. Then you can eat again!

  10. #10
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    Loraura, you're going to fly through this and wonder why you didn't do a metric century if the food is good. Don't worry at all and enjoy the food.
    “To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit — ever. They’re like the Viet Cong — Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower.”

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Loraura]I'm giong on my first large (organized, fully supported) ride tomorrow.

    http://www.roundrocktexas.gov/home/index.asp?page=635


    - One bottle full of water. One full of accelerade or gatorade.
    - Inflate tires right up to the limit.
    - Wear your high end clothing.
    - Lube your chain.
    - Lots of sleep.
    - No drinking (alcohol) tonight.

  12. #12
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    probably should bring some food just in case. don't know how many miles you've ridden this season but it's probably not as many as Dave, so who knows how your body will react. Your choice to go with a 40miler also points to this precaution.

    If you're gonna draft someone, make sure they're ok with it. Some people just do not feel comfortable with strangers drafting them. Of course sometimes if it's a big pack its inevitable, but if you're relatively new to big pack riding, don't do anything squirrelly, and don't be caught somewhere in the pack where you don't feel comfortable (or they with you)

    Have fun, it's gonna be great. make sure you keep hydrated.

  13. #13

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    Draft a tandem.

    unless it's hilly, then they'll scream away on descents and bog on the hills--generally. If it's windy, find somebody you're comfy riding with. Two ways I start group rides--up front and hang on as long as I care to-then drift back to buds who ride slower. Or in the back and pass 'em as you go--careful of the traffic on hills. Don't make your first one a contest.

    Have a good ride.

  14. #14
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    OK, I just need to add... I think all this talk about drafting is seriously misguided. As your first organized 40 mile bike ride I'd say that riding at a comfortable pace of your very own is going to be far more pleasant and alot safer than tucking up behind someone else's wheel. Drafting has its place for some riders in some conditions, but from the tone of your question and the look of this ride this is not the time to draft or to even think about it.

    Just ride at your pace. 40 miles might feel like a long ways to go today, and it might feel like that tomorrow too, but your pace will be just fine. By this time next year you'll be wanting to do the longer options.

  15. #15
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    On organized rides I always bring some food (a gel or a bar) just in case. Maybe I'll forget to eat enough at a stop, or there won't be anything I want to eat. Or they might even be out!

    I agree, on your first organized ride, don't worry too much about drafting. Just ride.

    Start out easy, I see too many riders get all amped up in the beginning and go hard only to fade later on. It's not a race. Don't spend too much time at rest stops- enough time to sample the food and refill bottles without hurrying, but don't loiter too long. You'll get cold and stiff.

    If you have to get up early, pack your bike (and pump) in the car the night before, and pack your bike gear into a small bag too. Packing the night before lets you do it at leisure and gives you more time in the morning. Double check that you have your shoes and helmet- can't ride without those. I always pack more clothes than I think I will need in case it's colder or warmer than I expected. Print out the directions to the event and put that on top of the gear bag.

    Pack some shorts to change into after you are done, and a small towel to wipe off.

    Don't forget sunscreen!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PdxMark
    OK, I just need to add... I think all this talk about drafting is seriously misguided.
    I agree with Pdx. This is not the place to ride your first paceline. No reason to overinflate your tires either. Have fun. Hang out with someone your speed who has a beat up bike and has a few miles in their legs. Oh, and have fun and post a report with pictures.
    "Another shot of the 6th Street Bridge. I guess I'm feeling sentimental because word is they're going to tear it down and build a replacement." DrRoebuck

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  17. #17
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    40 miles?......shoot....I do solo 40 all the time with 1 bottle and nothing to eat....My advise is find someone or a small group who rides at the same pace you do and enjoy the day....and do the 63 .....LOL

    A couple of weeks ago I did and organized 100K and stopped at 2 of the 5 rest stops, I rode with some kids from Appleton, we had a great time, there was a pork roast with 2 beers afterwards then my wife and i went out for a steak dinner....lol.....I earned it.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

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  18. #18
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    Just be careful around the rest stops - lots of accidents happen there with merging traffic, riders blowing past etc...

    When passing, don't go more than 3 wide - e.g. don't be the rider who makes it a 4 abreast situation. Just wait a moment and if you see a slow group going 3 abreast, ask if they'll let you by. What happens is, at 4 abreast you run out of lane and the speedster behind you comes blowing up to pass, has no room, crash ensues.

    If you see a really fast guy on a fully faired recumbent, with his freak flag flying, yell "hey Johnny, we love you!"
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  19. #19
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    Thank you all for the tips!

    I'll be riding with my husband, so I'll have a buddy the whole way. We ride together daily, and are used to a common pace.

    I ride all our weekend rides with a HRM, so I'll make sure not to get caught up in the adrenaline at the start.

    We're not worried about racing or drafting or pacelining or any of that, just a recreational group ride. We've done several 40 mile rides on our own as a pair with no trouble, so I'm not worried about the distance. I'm sure we could do the 50 or 63 miler. I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret not picking a longer distance. Hopefully the 40 mile route will provide a mostly child-free ride. Don't get me wrong, I love my kid.... it's other people's kids that annoy me!

    We went to pick up the registration packets this evening. Where am I supposed to put the number they gave us? On me or on the bike?

    We both just checked over our bikes, aired up our tires to correct PSI, took off our commuting racks, and are getting our clothes laid out now.

    I was worried about bringing too much stuff, because 1) I'm an overpacker and 2) We've done all our rides to date self-supported, so I'm not familiar with what options there will be at rest stops. Sounds like I'm worrying too much, and should just bring water and a goo or two and call myself packed!

    OK, I gatta go figure out which Jersey I'm wearing and clean up my shoes....

  20. #20
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    The number is usually worn on the back of the jersey...

    You'll have a great time and If this is like most rides, you'll be able to ride the 62 if you choose...They usually follow the same route for the first part and the shorter distances just split off earlier...

    Have a great time and let up know how it goes
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
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    I find that on an organized large group ride, there is a bigger risk of over-eating than under eating....I am a sucker for oatmeal-raisin cookies....that is the reason I will SKIP a rest stop!
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

  22. #22
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    I always bring along a Cliff bar or two. When I stop it's for a real short period of time, usually not more than 5 min. or so. I've found that when I stop I have a very hard time getting up to pace again. If I'm with the club and we stop for 15 min. I really suffer trying to keep up for the next 4-5 miles. I tend to eat & drink on the bike whenever possible. Gatorade & Cliff bars....yummy!
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  23. #23
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    We had a great time! I posted a ride report here:
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...97#post1829097

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