Sunday, July 28, 2013

Century Ride Ramblings and Insights

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:

 1.  DZnuts Bliss  What a FIND!  BUY this stuff, USE this stuff, anytime you are going out on a ride.  This chamois cream will provide protection and comfort on all your "lady parts".  Men, DZnuts is equally perfect for you.  I generously apply DZ directly onto the chamois of my cycling shorts, especially coating the seams that may rub as I repeatedly pedal.  I also use the cream post-ride in case I feel any potential saddle sores forming -- so I stay ahead of the game.  Thank you, David Zabriske for making such a wonderful product.  I only wish it came in industrial size tubs.

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.

3.  Roctane!  For me, chewing bars and waffles on the long rides is, well, not enjoyable.  I've sort of fallen in love with the Roctane products by GU.  They are designed for longer and more intensive rides with more caffeine in each packet.  I find these little 100 calorie packs give me a little wake up call when I need it.  They're also way easier for me to eat then fighting the wrapper of a bar and trying to swallow it down with a gulp of water.  Roctanes are easy to ingest and quick to take effect.  I like all the flavors and haven't had a bad one yet.

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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