With the right equipment and the right preparation, the whole 100 miles is a worthy, rewarding and attainable goal. So, how do you get ready? First off, take care of the essentials. The right equipment will make or break your day. Not just for the day of the big ride, but for all the rides you will do to prepare, remember the HIPP essentials:
You’ll need a way too carry water and/or sports drink on your rides. This is crucial to your heath, performance and safety. The most common methods are water bottles or a hydration backpack. Both work very well.
Before each ride, you’ll need a way to check and add air pressure to your tires. Tires with low air pressure are more difficult to ride and steer and are more susceptible to punctures. Even if you keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressures, punctures can happen out on the road. You’ll need the tools and the knowledge to be able to change a flat tire by yourself, just in case. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as difficult as it sounds, and most bike shops have hands on classes that teach this necessary skill.
In order of importance, protection is the most crucial of the HIPP essentials. A bike helmet is required for the Tour de Summerlin and should be the one accessory you never leave home without. After protecting your head, the next most important area to protect should be covered by a pair of good cycling shorts. Cycling shorts, with a padded chamois insert are designed to be worn next to the skin, (read-no underwear!) to prevent chafing and sore spots. This is also the reason they are tight. Moving fabric is abrasive fabric over 100 miles. If you are uncomfortable with the tight fitting look, there are skirts and baggy shorts that go over the skin tight fabrics for a functional, yet more casual appearance. After a helmet and shorts, sports eyewear and gloves are probably the next two items in line.
Once you have taken care of hydration, inflation and protection, you can look to additional performance items. Cycling shoes have stiffer soles and can attach directly to your pedals. This can be a very welcome performance addition if you suffer from sore feet. Beyond that, a cycling jersey features pockets on the back to carry food and essentials.
Time for a Bike Tune
When searching for the right accessories, you’ll make at least one trip to the local bike shop (preferably McGhies Ski, Bike & Board). This is the perfect opportunity to have your bike inspected and tuned for the big ride, and all the training rides that will precede the Tour de Summerlin. Do this now, before the summer rush at the shop. Let the shop professionals know that you’ll be riding 100 miles and you want to be sure your bike is ready. It’s the perfect time to inspect tires, bar tape, saddle condition and shifting performance. It would also be a great idea to ask for their opinion on your riding position and their advice on any body parts that may be bothering you. Saddle height, saddle angle, bar position, and brake lever position are all easily changed and very important to making any rider comfortable.
Now It’s Your Turn
Once your clothing and equipment are in order, its time to work on building an aerobic and muscle base that can get you all the way to your 100 mile goal. The key here is to start slow, with attainable goals that make it obvious for you, mentally and physically, that you can do the whole thing.
Start by a visit to your doctor to be sure there are no issues that would prevent you from starting this program. Once you get the all clear from the doc, its time to make two plans:
Preparation for the ride
A sample Preparation Plan is as follows. This starts 8 weeks prior to the event, somewhere in early to mid February. The idea is to start with easily completed rides and varied paces. By varying your pace, some days you’ll push your body, other day’s you’ll be out to rest. An important part of training is recovery and your easy rides are a way to loosen, but not tax your muscles. The chart below is in miles. If you miss a day, don’t worry too much. The closer you get to April 21st, the more important the rides. This is not set in stone, but it is a good plan that would make you ready to ride.