One of the most critical aspects of cycling is comfort. It’s what becomes a limiting factor for many just getting accustomed to riding yet also what could make the difference in a podium finish on a grand tour.
Sportives are among the most exciting and satisfying events on two wheels. They’re also extremely demanding. Get it right and your day will go like a dream; you’ll enjoy fantastic riding, good company and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Get it wrong and there’s a whole world of pain coming your way. The difference between the two is in the preparation. As the wise old man says, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.”
You want to be comfortable, dry, warm and safe when you train and take on your Sportive. Remember British weather changes very quickly and what starts out as a dry warm day can turn very quickly into a damp, windy and chilly day, orstart off chilly and get really warm later. So be prepared for all weather conditions
Whether you are riding to the corner store or across the country, you should be comfortable on your bike. If you have neck, back, or knee pain, saddle sores, or hand or foot numbness, your bicycle probably doesn't fit you properly. Good bike fit can also improve your pedalling efficiency and aerodynamics and actually make you faster. I strongly urge you to get a proper bike fit from a professional. Here are the basic bike-fitting principles:
It is a good idea to learn how to complete basic maintenance for your own bike; you don’t want your bike to fail 10km before the finish when your goal is within reach! The guide below should help you achieve this; however is a brilliant website www.bicycletutor.com with easy to follow videos on maintenance. If you don’t feel confident in doing your own maintenance then take it to your local bike shop. Always ride safely and never ride a bike that you think may have a problem.
Watching a Tour de France peloton turn and wheel like a flock of birds on TV, you’d almost think the riders were telepathic. But it all comes down to well-developed cycling skills, good communication, and a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s safety. When you’re not riding this quickly and the stakes aren’t as high, you don’t need such finely honed abilities. Nevertheless, the same group-riding principles apply.
As with any technique it takes time to learn well, but knowing just the basics will make theride easier and safer for everyone. Riding like a solo cyclist in a bunch is an easy way to cause an argument – or a pile-up.
The thing with high speed skills at anything, the art is usually best ‘learned' at lower speeds first, and then transferred to high-speed situations. However, while it's a given that highly skilled riders can surely teach us cool manoeuvres, their actions are not always functional or even observable at lower speeds (i.e. these tips work best when you're going fast). That is, you may have to progress to somewhat upper-level descending speeds (over 40mph) to see some of the following tips REALLY working for you properly.
Today is the Big Day you have been waiting for. Let’s make sure we get the pre-event preparation correct.
As most people tend to lead a busy life, ‘grabbing’ an unhealthy breakfast or missing breakfast altogether is more likely to occur due to having a hectic schedule with work commitments, family commitments etc. It is important not to skip breakfast as there are many health benefits to eating a balanced breakfast, specific to weight management, improved mental wellbeing and enhanced exercise performance.
This is just to warn you about your long winter runs. Some of you have been "bonking" out on some of the long runs. In other words, running out of Glycogen. This can be dangerous and can put your training back, as it takes a long time to recover from such an episode. Therefore, this is to warn you against this ever happening.