STARTING EACH RIDE
Start your ride steady and have a good 20 minutes to making sure you are warmed up before start to pressing on little and try to plan your route so you don’t have a big hill in the first 10 minutes. The same for the end of your ride and make sure at least the last 10 minutes is at an easy pace to warm down.
PREPARE FOR ALL WEATHERS
Make sure you have checked the weather in the area you will be riding and always take a cape or gillet to put on if the weather changes. Always wear slightly more clothing than you feel you need and you can always unzip or take clothing off during your ride. If it’s going to be sunny don’t forgot to wear sun screen not forgetting the back of your leg and hands.
NUTRITION AND HYDRATION
This first plan the rides are quite short with no need to eat on the ride but make sure you have a good meal around 2 hours before your ride. You should be drinking every 20mins and use a carbohydrate based energy drink.
Some of your rides are over 1.5 hours and you will need to eat during these. The OTE bars and gels are very good but while you are doing slightly shorter ride try different things to eat and my favorite was jam sandwiches.
“Make sure these are right and it will make your ride so much easier!”
RIDING IN THE RAIN
When the weather is wet and you know, you ride is going to be wet there are some simple things that you can do to make the ride better but the main is there are some great products on the market now to keep you dry but there will be a point where the water will start getting through.
Try to wear layers of clothing as if the weather dries up then you can take them off and put in your back pocket.
Lots of overshoes have open soles but for when its wet try to find some where the overshoe covers the whole shoe not just the top and for the winter months most shoes have a vent in the front to let the wind through to keep your feet cold, place some tape over the vent to stop the water coming in.
Wear a cotton cap with the peak the front to keep the spray off your glasses to keep you vision clear.
When it’s wet it easy to forget the drink and eat but make sure you feed at the same rate or even more as your body will be working hard to keep warm as well of the effort.
If the weather is very bad, try to ride a little higher level to keep warm and a harder short ride maybe be better in these conditions.
DELIVERY OF THE POWER
The delivery of power is the most important thing when riding a bike and being effective in you pedal stroke will share you energy and all the power going to the pedals leading the speed on the road.
When you are riding try to keep you cadence to around 90 to 95RPM and focus on keeping you upper body relaxed and avoid pulling on the handlebars. The wont make you ride any faster and will force your pelvis to relax. This is bad as your pelvis is you platform to push from and is it relax as you push down the pelvis will move up. If you ride with a relaxed upper body you can lock in your core and have a solid platform to push from.
The second main point is to pedal leading with your heal not your toes so you are able to use you ankle to flip over the dead spots on the pedal stroke. By doing this you will be able to pedal less power for the whole 360 degree and on average this can give you 3 to 4KHP for no extra power.
YOUR CONTACT POINTS
That’s your hands, feet and bum. The main thing will be your bum; always wear cycling shorts that suits you best (the most expensive are not always the best for you) and if you are having trouble try different saddles. When you are starting your ride don’t fasten your shoes to tight, as your feet will swell a little during the ride. When riding always ride with gloves or mitts to help with sore hands and if your wrists hurts a lot then think about raising your handlebars a little or tilting your brake levers a little.
FEEDING DURING THE RIDE
You should be drinking every 15mins and use a carbohydrate based energy drink. For longer ride when you need more than two bottles take a powder sachet so you can just add water when you can. Stay away from fizzy drink but if you do run out of energy a quick can of coke will save the day.
For all rides over 1 hour you should be eating every 20min and from the start of the ride when you wont be feeling hungry yet. If you get the feeling that you are running out of energy then it’s a little to late and start getting the food inside you. You should start the ride with high carbohydrate foods using energy bars or cereal bars and jam sandwiches are always good. Make the sandwich, cut into four and wrap each quarter in foil to unwrap during the ride. As you get to the latter stages of you ride move more into sugar based foods such as energy gels or jelly babies are good.
You want to keep you braking to a minimum as you will have to waste energy getting back to the right speed again. When you are riding try to look as far up the road as possible so you are able to predicted is there are any obstacles coming and maybe slow a little by letting off the effort instead having to brake.
If you do have slow down by braking try to apply the front and rear brake evenly so you don’t skid by applying the rear brake to much or the front with the back wheel coming into the air.
The front brake is the most effective to slow yourself down quickly but always stay on the saddle keep your weight at the rear of the bike to prevent the back wheel leaving the ground and in extreme situations you can go over the front of the bike which would cause damage to you.
If you lock up any of the wheels you are out of control of the bike and when either wheel grip again the bike will more than likely to throw you off.
Building confidence while cornering: On all rides I would like you to do the below and when picking route that have lots of corners practice this but while you do this put half a bar less in your tyres.
Braking into corners: Think just as you are driving a car where you should always do all of your braking before you turn into the corner and then power through the corner.
It the same on the bike apart from applying the power but with not braking you will speed up. I used to always cover the brakes in the corner but this is a bad because I used to apply the brake a little through the corner. So I used to take my hands right off.
Riding on the wheel through corners: From the moment you easy for the corner I would like to stay on the wheel in front and don’t yet it go. You will need to build confidence with this but try to ride on someone you know is good at cornering.
Remember the more you have to chase coming out then that will waste energy and the further down the line you are the worst it will be and try to stay in the first 10 at least.
“ I know this helped me but they get round then you will also”
Using your weight through the corner: When you have let off the brakes and you are starting to turn do the following.
- Inside foot up and press all your weight onto the outside pedal.
- Push all you weight onto the outside handlebar (this is very important as you can get away with the rear wheel sliding but not losing the front).
- If you feel to front wheel is still going to slip then pull up hard the inside handlebar. This take a lot of practice but it really works keeping the front wheel from sliding.
Sprinting out of corner: Getting out of the corner fast and make sure you are putting the on straight out of the corner. If you have lost the wheel in front then you can make up the ground doing this but you will have to be careful that you don’t run into the back of them.
People worry about hills and yes they are harder but if you ride them at your own pace and rhythm then you should be Ok. Build into the hill by starting easier going through the gears steady trying to keep the same cadence. The big mistake people do is see a hill think oh dear and straightaway engage bottom gear (you wouldn’t see a hill in the car and go straight from 4th to 1st gear). On the hill try to relax sitting down riding a good cadence don’t worry about others dropping you they will wait at the top. If you do start struggling then just focus on are paddling without trying to look at the top and count 20 pedal revs. When you have done this just keep repeating till you get to the top.
Descending can be scary so relax and go at the pace you are comfortable with. While going downhill always have your hands covering the brake leavers and best to be on the drops of the handlebars. Try to use both brakes the same to stop skidding or going over the handlebars. If you are corning try to do all your braking before the corner and just be covering the brake through the corner. Keep your inside pedal up to stop it catching the floor and press your weight on the outside pedal to give you some extra grip. Like in the car you will be able to recover if you loss the rear but not your front and the bike is the same. If you are worried going into corner then press your weight onto the outside handlebars to help the front wheel from slipping. On long descending don’t freewheel for long periods of time and keep your legs ticking over. Don’t really press on the pedal but keep your legs going
As you start training you will learn to hate the wind and become obsessed with its direction but try to go out with a head wind and return with the wind behind you. Don’t forget that as a rule the flatter you ride the winder it will be but if you can ride in the lanes that in general are not straight and this will give you short but some rest bite.
PAIN AND SRETCHING
The right warm up warm down will help the recovery of your muscles and help them from stiffening up to much but with training and long periods of time on the bike you will have some discomfort or pain. To help this while you are riding move around a little like getting out the saddle and stretching your back a little or don’t be afraid to change your grip a little to take the pressure from that area of your hands. If your hamstring are starting to feel tight then while freewheeling try to drop your heal to the floor while leaning forward to stretch them a little. If your quad starts to tighten unclip your foot out of the pedal on a downhill, sit on your foot and stretch your quad. Don’t worry if you need to stop for a short while to have a little stretch or to relief to pressure off somewhere.
CHANGING AN INNER TUBE
If you get a puncture while out on your bike, it’s quicker and easier to just replace the inner tube, rather than faff on trying to patch it up. From experience, we’ve found it’s never a wise idea to wait for a puncture; it’s best to practise the technique at home. Some tyre and tube combinations can be quite tight, needing thumbs of steel, don’t give up, persevere and you’ll get there in the end.
- 2 x tyre lever
- 1 x mini OR floor pump
- 1 x new inner tube
If you’ve suffered a rear flat, shift your gears to the outermost gear at the back and innermost at the front to make it easier to get the wheel off.
If you’ve got v-brakes release them before removing your wheel. This is not something to worry about if you run disc brakes.
Release quick-release skewer by pulling outward on the lever. Once open, use your other hand to unscrew the nut so it clears the lips on the fork. Releasing tension in the skewer helps drop the wheel cleanly from the forks.
To remove front wheel, guide it straight down out of fork. For rear wheels, pull rear derailleur back to keep chain clear of cogs. Guide wheel both down and forward.
ACCESSING PUNCTURD INNER TUBE
With wheel separated from bike, deflate tyre. Remove dust cap and lock ring. Unscrew and then press tip of Presta valve to ensure all air is removed from the inner tube.
Use thumbs to push bead of tyre towards centre of rim. Loosening the bead will make it easier to use tyre levers.
- Get tyre lever aligned with spoke. Scoop tyre lever under bead.
- Once engaged, push down on lever to lift tyre over rim
- With end of tyre lever under bead, affix lever to spoke.
REMOVING PUNCTURED INNER TUBE
- Remove valve of inner tube from valve hole.
- Pull inner tube completely out of tyre.
- Cast an eye over outside of tyre and use fingers to inspect inside for cause of puncture. Alternatively, always stash a bit of cotton wool in your jersey pocket, so you can run that around the inside – it will snag when it catches on the sharp item, instead of hurting your finger.
- Connect pump to inner tube valve. If struggling to connect, press down on tyre to push valve fully through valve hole.
- Inflate inner tube to pressure noted on sidewall of tube.
- Start at valve, begin to push bead of tyre over lip of rim.
- Continue pushing bead over rim. This is easier with some tyre/rim combinations than others. If your combination is tight, push tyre bead into middle channel of rim to create some slack
- Use thumbs to ease final section of bead over rim (this will need strong thumbs and may involve swearing).
- Once bead is over rim, check both sides of tyre to ensure no inner tube is poking out. If so, remove tyre and start again
INSTALLING NEW INNER TUBE
- Remove dust cap, lock ring and unscrew Presta valve tip on new inner tube.
- Use pump to inflate inner tube so it holds its shape.
- Insert inner tube valve into valve hole and screw on lock ring. If valve is not pointing straight it can lead to a puncture.
- Place the rest of inner tube inside tyre.