Training for LOTOJA has kept me on the bike and off the ole blog for quite awhile. In an effort to build mileage and time in the saddle, my weekends have been packed with 100 plus mile rides. Confession: I am really scared about LOTOJA. I've never ridden 206 mile in one day, or even in two days! I'm nervous about all of it.
The good news is, I'm learning. Those hours I spend hugging the shoulder of highway on my bike leave plenty of time for me to gain wisdom and insight into what it takes to ride a double century in one day. Here are a few of my observations:
2. Traffic. I've noticed that cars and trucks on the scenic byways and mountain roads comes in packs. Rarely is just one car alone on the open road. So be aware that when one passes you, there are probably others right behind them. Keep your core engaged and your arms and hands comfortably snug on the handlebars. No need to have a death grip on your bike when a semi roars by. Just hold secure with your hands and keep your legs moving - that will help you keep your balance if the wind shifts while you are riding. Same goes for the downhill descents. Loosen your grip, lower your center of gravity, and race down the mountain at a speed YOU are comfortable with.
4. And last but not least, keep your nutrition in check. What I mean is, don't forget to eat! Thirty minutes or an hour come pretty quickly when you are focused on the road in front of you. Don't fall behind on calorie intake. You're going to eat a lot on long rides. Be prepared. Pack more than you'll need. You'll appreciate the choices you have when a GU sounds bad but a ProBar is just the ticket. Plan to fuel throughout the entire ride. If you've ever bonked before, it's not a pretty picture. And nutrition is the key to helping you cross the line with energy and a smile on your face!
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