Make sure your bike is ready to go
Make sure your tires, brakes and drivetrain are in good repair. It may be worthwhile taking your bike to a shop for a checkup. Old, cracked or worn tires typically get flats more often than new tires.
Know some basic repairs
At minimum, it's good to learn how to put your chain back on in case it comes off. Knowing how to inflate your tire or change a flat are skills that often come in handy. Of course, this means it's a good idea to carry a small bike repair kit, air pump, tube patch kit, and a spare tube that fits your bike. With the latter, even if you can't change the tube yourself, someone else might be able to assist if you have the tools and tube.
One tip on fixing flat tires: It's always worth the extra time to determine how you got a flat. You want to check your tire for embedded glass, thorns, nails, or any other sharp object that may have caused the flat to begin with. If you don't do this, you run the risk of getting another flat with your new tube for the same reason.
Pump up your tires
One major cause of flat tires is hitting a pothole or bump with an underinflated tire. It can pinch the tube and cause it to get two small cuts, which look like a snake bite. To avoid this, keep your tires inflated to the maximum PSI, which typically is printed on the side of the tire.
Get a good bike fit
Having your bike fit you properly makes for a more comfortable ride and makes you more efficient. If you do get a bike fit, make sure this is before your big ride so that you can ease into the new riding posture.
Consider buying clip-in bike shoes and pedals
Stiff bike shoes help transfer the energy from your legs to the pedals. When clipped into your pedals (not unlike ski bindings), you can accelerate and climb faster. While road shoes are most efficient, they are also awkward to walk in. There are a variety of bike shoe designs that trade off a slight bit of efficiency for better walkability.
Don't try anything new on the day of the ride
It's always best to try new things ahead of time so there are no surprises during your ride. This goes for clothing, bike changes and nutrition.
Don't overlap wheels
Don't let your front wheel overlap with the rider in front of you. Why? If that rider turns or swerves, their back wheel will hit your front wheel and you will likely crash.
It's significantly easier riding behind another cyclist, especially in windy conditions. Just make sure that you don't overlap wheels. You may also consider taking turns at the front. Drafting can be a highly orchestrated dance for top riders, but knowing just the basics of drafting can help make long rides easier.
Too often, new bicyclists look just in front on their bike. It's best to look a bit farther down the road. It helps you avoid hazards.
Look where you want to go, not where you don't
When people look at things – like potholes – they often ride into them. It's called target fixation. Instead, look at where you want to go.
Stand on the pedals now and then
Bringing a little variety to your pedaling can help stretch muscles and relieve some stress. You don't want to be fixed in one position for the entire ride.
Don't forget to eat
Your body has a good store of energy, but eventually it will run out. It's called bonking. Snack along the way or at rest stops to keep your body moving. Losing energy and slowing down can lead to negativity. A sports drink or energy gel can quickly turn that situation around.
Break long-distance goals into smaller goals
Long rides can seem daunting at the start. Breaking them into smaller rides can make them more manageable. For example, only focus on getting to the next rest stop or milestone.
Discomfort is temporary
Discomfort is different than pain. It goes away. Sometimes you just need to crank through it.
Ride with a companion
Having someone ride with you can make the time go by faster. It can also help motivate both of you toward the finish.
Increase your pedal power at training rides for the Baroudeur. Please join us for weekly group bicycle rides that preview sections of the Baroudeur routes, giving an up-close sneak peek at the texture and character that defines metro Detroit. You'll also build camaraderie with other riders while enjoying a workout.
There are a minimum of three distinct groups based on speed and distance, so we have something for everyone from the competitive cyclist to the weekend cruiser. All of these no-drop rides depart at 6 p.m. from WSU Parking Lot 34 on Ferry Street just west of Woodward. Cyclists of all abilities are welcome to join the complimentary rides. Free parking is provided.
You are encouraged to arrive at 5:50 p.m.
|2017 date||Start time|
|May 2||6 p.m.|
|May 9||6 p.m.|
|May 16||6 p.m.|
|May 23||6 p.m.|
|May 30||6 p.m.|
|June 6||6 p.m.|
|June 13||6 p.m.|
|June 20||6 p.m.|
|June 27||6 p.m.|
|July 11||6 p.m.|
|July 18||6 p.m.|
|July 25||6 p.m.|
|August 1||6 p.m.|
|August 8||6 p.m.|
|August 15||6 p.m.|