Saturday, February 22, 2014

Absolute Beginners: Mid-season Training

Sagan winning Tour of Oman. (Image Credit.)
Believe it or not, but there are only 14 more training weekends before the AIDS/LifeCycle! That means its time to stretch the creaks out, clean and lube your bike, and hit the road. If you've been neglecting your training up to now, no worries. There's still plenty of time to be fit and ready for the ride.

I've made 32 posts about training. The important ones to absorb at this stage are:

I'm not a professional, but these articles all contain my observations about what makes for a successful training season with citations to authority where it was available. In a nutshell, here is what you need to remember:
  1. Hydrate. On a 30+ mile ride, make sure you're draining both water bottles.
  2. Eat. You need to be fueled up before, during, and after your rides.
  3. Train. Time on the bike is probably the only thing which will improve your riding.
  4. Work your way up to 60 miles. If you can do this, you can ride the ALC.
  5. Work your way up to back-to-back days of 30+ miles each. Ditto.
  6. Rest at stops, but don't dwaddle. You get sore; you get hungry; you get irritable.
  7. Ride with mates. Sometimes you'll need to ride alone, but friends make the ride rock.
  8. Be safe. Listen to the safety speech and follow the rules on every ride.
  9. Dress in layers and in bike clothing. Street clothes are not up to the task, are bulky, and detract from your ride.
  10. Keep your bike in good working order. Get a bike fit! Bring your bike into the shop or learn how to clean and maintain it.
But above all: ASK your Training Ride Leader if you have any questions. If you've not already done so, see your doctor if you are embarking on this from level 0.

Your Bear

Over the next couple months, I'm going to write a few articles with the lead-in title "Absolute Beginners," explaining some of the basic principles of cycling. Most of the information is stuff I've learned from other cyclists, bike shop mechanics, classes I've taken, and Google searches. Please help me out and comment with corrections, additions, or supplements which will help my readers learn about how to operate their bikes!


  1. Hi there. I have no idea how I landed on your blog but I was looking for some information/inspiration to do something. And that something turned out to be the Aids Lifecycle ride. Not this year ofcourse but 2015 for sure. I am currently at 0 level of fitness but this is something that I want to do. Doing good for myself as well as others... win-win, right? But the problem is I dont know where to start or how to start. On both fronts - the fitness level as well as to ensure that I am in the starting lineup next year. Any help/advice you give will be more than appreciated. Thanks and best of luck!

    1. Excellent news, Sonila! I'm so pleased you found us and pleased to be the conduit! Even if you're doing the ride next year (and even if you change your mind about that), you're welcome on our training rides. Go to and search the calendar for training rides near you!