10 ways to tackle the Big Fat Bike Ride On T' Road
Many of you are getting involved in our Big Fat Bike Ride On T' Road event on Saturday 22nd May so we thought we'd give you some top tips on how to tackle your challenge best.
- Pace yourself. If you’ve been training at a specific pace for a big ride then many would say to ride at that pace consistently but we all know that’s bloody hard to do! It’s natural to get caught up in the spirit of things and go faster to begin with and slow down as you get a little more tired but this is the time to remember the pace you’ve been training at! Once you’re closer to the finish line, use your motivation and more often than not your pace will increase to get you over that line. Remember you’re riding in a group that will be riding at the speed of the slowest rider so your pace will be affected by the others in the group too. Studies have actually shown that you can ride at a consistently faster pace when riding in the group so use the collective energy to get you pumped.
Use a tracker like veloviewer for the hills – it shows you a heatmap gradient for each part of the route so you can pace yourself accordingly by knowing what’s coming up. If you like the challenge of not knowing then ignore this point but it’s a great way to psychologically get a hold on your energy levels.
Don’t be averse to getting off and walking. Especially up hills. This isn’t the Tour de France love so take it easy, the Big Fat Bike Ride is there to challenge you not injure you or knock your confidence. If you need to get off and walk it, do it! No one’s judging here.
Do a practice run of the route. A good old recce is a great way to get your head in the game, it’s the only way you’ll be able to know the timings of your energy levels and therefore if you need to bring extra snacks for fuel. It’s also a great way to make sure your bikes happy on the different terrain and if you might need any bike adjustments before the big day.
Fuel up at café stops. It’s a no-brainer! Eyeing up that carrot cake but not sure if you should? You should. Make sure you have a good big breakfast, we recommend some porridge oats to keep you full and fuelled for the day but make sure you eat on your break.
Stay hydrated. Bring two water bottles – or more if you can! The more your body is hydrated the better it will work. MAKE SURE TO PEE AT THE CAFÉ STOP.
Communicate with your group. It’s important to keep your group up to date with what’s going on in the road and with your energy levels/speed. Make sure to let everyone know you’re stopping or slowing, especially for those riding behind you. Don’t worry about being embarrassed about slowing down, everyone’s sportive is different. Just because you need to stop or slow down doesn’t mean you’re any less capable than the others of the group. If you are riding with one of our Flampions then they will be well versed in communicating with the group – listen to them!
Stretch before, stretch after and stretch again in the morning! This will really help to ease stiffness and prevent any injuries. If you have a foam roller, give that a go after your victory pint(s) to ease your muscles. Make sure to drink lots of water after you’ve stretched as you will be getting all the toxins out of your muscles so best to flush it all out asap.
Stick to your plan. This is not the time to randomly take the scenic route to your café stop because you will regret it, stick to your planned route. Make sure you’ve got all your kit faffing out the way the night before so your organized and ready to meet for your groups start time.
Enjoy it – feel the wind on your face, look at the scenery, feel the buzz of your legs working hard and the sweet taste of coffee and cake (and of course the post-ride pint). Make sure to keep smiling and just keep pedalling.