You’ve decided you want to take on the Champions Ride this October! You have 31 days to hit your riding target, which might seem daunting! We have a couple of handy tips in store that will help you get prepared for the big event.
Here’s our top tips to prepare for Barnardos Australia Champions Ride
Be smart with how you’re breaking up your riding goal, remember it’s a marathon not a sprint.
No matter if you’re riding 50km or 500km, rest is important – you might feel like Tour De France star Cadel Evan’s when you’re on the bike day one – but if you don’t pace yourself early your body won’t hold up for the duration of the challenge!
I’d recommend starting off slow, building up some steam and confidence with some shorter rides during the week, followed up with a larger ride to end your week and slowly increasing your rides as the weeks progress.
There’s no perfect time to update your cycling wardrobe then before a cycling event! You’re putting in the hard work for a good cause, so treat yourself to something new and shiny. Here’s some staples to get you started.
A new helmet, cycling helmets are mandatory in Australia, so make sure you’re wearing one whenever you’re on your bike – plus they keep your noggin safe! Look out for a model with lots of ventilation holes to stop your head from getting too sweaty!
Load up on some front and rear lights, if you’re riding early in the morning or later at night these are a must have to stay seen from others out on the road!
Get your hands on a new cycling kit! Cycling shorts/ bib shorts, is a great starting point, they have special padding in them which helps keep your behind from hurting on longer rides. Just note that there are male and female variations with padding in different places. Just note that there are male and female variations with padding in different places.
A cycling jersey (make sure it fits so you can be nice and aerodynamic!). A cycling jersey will keep you from soaking up all that sweat and has the added bonus of having pockets to pop in your nutrition and extra clothing and goods (jacket, sleeves, gloves, keys etc).
A waterproof jacket is a must, it doubles up as something to keep you warm and dry when the rain comes down! Just note, that not all jackets are built the same! There are different levels of waterproofing and breathability, so make sure to pick up an option that will best fit your needs.
Some other great items that you should consider and some gloves (especially on crisp mornings), a gilet/vest (a great versatile item) and arm sleeves these are great for sun protection and if you get the warmer options great to take the bite out of a winter morning.
Lastly, if you’re looking for some extra power and control when you’re on the bike try out some clip in cycling shoes, mountain bike SPD shoes are great for beginners as they’re easy to clip in an out of your SPD pedals and they have recessed cleats so you can walk around on them easier. If you want to learn more about SPD shoes and pedals check out this video!
You’re going to be spending some serious km’s on the bike so don’t forget to plan out a couple of rest days in between your ride days, particularly after longer rides as your body will need it!
As part of your recovery properly stretch out your body and muscles. Great pieces of equipment you can use to make your recovery easier is to use a foam roller to properly roll out your muscles, and a massage gun is a great tool to get tighter to reach areas!
Be sure to drink lots of water (even when you’re off the bike) and if you’re looking to replenish your glycogen stores (to get that pep back in your step), treat yourself to an after-ride recovery drink.
Your bike will be your best friend on this journey, so make sure to take care of it! If you’re bikes making some interesting sounds (metal rubbing on metal) bring it in for a service and let the experts take care of it.
Check your tyres for wear and tyre pressure, you have your recommended tyre pressure on your tyre wall so make sure to keep it pumped up (your tyres will naturally deflate over time) and if your tyre is looking bald – it’s time to replace them!
Lastly, keep your bike clean, this includes your drivetrain – make sure to degrease and lubricate your chain, to help aid some nice and smooth shifting. There are plenty of great kits that help make cleaning your bike easy such as this Maintenance Kit from Morgan Blue. If you don’t know how to do this check out this video for some tips.
Don’t be afraid to switch up your regular riding route, it’s important to keep your ride interesting and fun!
You will most likely be spinning the pedals more than a handful of times, so why not go out and try riding in a few different spots.
If you want a break from the main roads try out a rail trail, which is great if you’re looking for a lighter ride.
If you want to spice up your ride, then head off the beaten track and try out some gravel riding! There are several tracks available around Australia, just make sure to check the grading to see if your bike is suitable and to find a trail to best match your ability.
Lastly, if you think your ride option is a piece of cake, try adding some elevation to your ride goal, some mountain climbs will add in an extra challenge element for you! Just make sure to pack some extra energy bars and gels with you!