Final Countdown to RAGBRAI
Okay, here we go, less than one week until RAGBRAI begins. Here are a few last minute tips for preparing for this ride.
There is no cramming for RAGBRAI. Hopefully you have accomplished all the riding in preparation that you wanted to. But if not, it’s too late. Any training you do now won’t help you for the ride and will only make you fatigued. You won’t get in any better shape this last week but you can make sure you are fully rested so that next week you will be fresh and able to make use all the fitness you have. I’m not suggesting you don’t exercise at all, just go out and keep your legs loose. You don’t need to ride more than 20 miles at a time and don’t push too hard. It’s a good idea to go for a short spin on Saturday to make sure your bike gets to Council Bluffs in one piece and in good working order.
This last week is also a good time to go over your bike one last time and make sure everything is in good working order. Check to make sure your tires don’t have cuts in them, there aren’t any rattles or squeaks – these are signs that your bike is asking for maintenance. Go through a checklist of clothing, shoes, helmets, gloves spare tires/tubes, tools and everything else you want to take with you.
Finally, as you embark on your ride, remember that it is not a race. Pace yourself and ride within your ability. You know from your training what pace you can ride. On RAGBRAI, plan on riding 1-2 MPH slower than what you rode in training. This will help ensure that you can make the distance each day. Also, be sure to eat and drink regularly but not to overdo it.
So, enjoy your ride. Take in the countryside, enjoy the towns’ hospitality and treasure the friends you meet along the way. I’ve enjoyed providing these training tips for you this season and I hope they have helped you with your preparation. Have a great ride!
Look for me at the Expo on this coming Saturday in Council Bluffs. I’ll be at the Cyclesport Coaching booth selling and signing my new book, ‘101 Cycling Workouts’. Stop by and say hi, and feel free to ask any last minute questions about your upcoming ride or anything related to training.
Coach David Ertl
David Ertl is a USA Cycling Level 1 (Elite) Coach and owner of Cyclesport Coaching (www.CyclesportCoaching.com) . He coaches individual cyclists, the Des Moines Cycle Club Race Team and the JDRF Greater Iowa Chapter for the Ride to Cure Diabetes. He can be contacted at Coach@CyclesportCoaching.com .