Training & Safety

Prepare to tackle The Ride! We have crafted a 15-week training program to help you get Ride ready.

Get your training plan here.

Watch out for warning signs that you’re pushing yourself too hard. Are you experiencing any of these?

  • Fatigue
  • Problems sleeping
  • Low-grade fever
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased resting heart rate

If you feel these symptoms but still push yourself to maintain a training schedule, it will do more harm than good.

Just take some time out to let your body recover. You’ll find you won’t lose ground, but actually be able to return to training with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.

A huge part of safe cycling is to keep up your intake of calories and fluids so you don’t “hit the wall”.

What does it mean to hit the wall?
It’s what happens when the glycogen stored in your muscles is completely depleted. Your body runs out of fuel, and you can experience disorientation, headaches, and loss of control of your body and bike.

Hitting the wall can be very serious, but it’s easy to prevent. Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty. And drink plenty of fluids while you ride.

Drink up
Dehydration is common among cyclists, especially in warm weather, and can lead to serious problems secondary to fluid loss and inadequate body heat dispersal.

Try drinking every 15 minutes, and at least 25 oz of fluid per hour.

If you do hit the wall, get off your bike immediately, and eat and drink to fuel up.

Nobody wants injuries. Here are a few simple ways to prevent them:

  • Be sure your bike fits you correctly and is adequately maintained
  • Train wisely and consistently, and don’t overdo it
  • Stretch regularly to maintain good flexibility

Plus, take time out when you need it. Get off your bike, stretch, rest from time to time, and most of all, enjoy yourself! Remember, it’s The Ride, not a competition or race. Be positive, keep up a good level of fitness, and be willing to accept a few aches and pains. You’ll do great!

In nearly every sport, having and using the proper equipment adds to the enjoyment of the activity. Cycling is no exception. Moreover, having the right equipment when you ride increases your comfort tremendously. If you need a new bike or have questions about cycling gear, call the Ride office at [877] 699-BIKE [2453] and your Ride Guides can help.

A good bicycle that runs well and fits you properly is essential for The Ride. It makes all the difference to your comfort and safety and helps protect you from needless injuries.

Get your bike in shape
It’s definitely worth it to take your bike to a good shop for a proper fitting. If it isn’t the right size, there are parts that can be altered. If you’re not sure, one of our Outfitters will be happy to help.

If you haven’t been riding lately, get your bike over to the shop for a tune-up.

Once you know your bicycle fits you well and is tuned up, be sure it’s well maintained. The last thing you need is a bike that breaks down during The Ride.

A good helmet is key for all cyclists. All Riders are required to wear a helmet while on The Ride and all training rides before the event. That’s because cyclists without helmets are roughly seven times more likely to suffer head injuries in a crash, and a cyclist who sustains a head injury is 20 times more likely to die than a cyclist who suffers other injuries.

Helmets are mandatory on The Ride.

Choose one that fits securely on your head, is well ventilated and certified. All Ride participants must wear a certified bicycle helmet.

Whether it’s very hot or cool outside, it’s important to protect yourself from exposure.

It’s smart to wear special fabrics that vent perspiration, keep you cool and help prevent heat stroke in in hot weather. Remember to keep up that essential intake of fluids.
Plus, always protect your skin and eyes from overexposure to the sun.

Cool-weather training? Be sure your cycling outfit keeps you warm and dry on the inside. Layering to keep warm is especially important for cycling, as it minimizes the effects of wind chill.

It’s always worth investing in the right gear for the weather.

To stay safe, it helps to remember this is a Ride, not a race.

What to wear and carry

  • Wear a helmet and carry a patch kit, tire levers, a spare tube and a pump at all times.

Rules of the Road

  • Know and obey all traffic signals, signs, markings, laws and regulations.
  • Always use hand signals to indicate that you are going to make a right or left turn or are about to stop; motorists and cyclists need to know what you intend to do. If your hands aren’t free as you slow or stop, call out “SLOWING” or “STOPPING.” When stopping, pull to the right edge of the road. Move completely off the road to rest or make repairs.
  • Always stop at stop signs and look right, left, then right again before entering the road.
  • Keep to the right of the road at all times and leave other Riders plenty of room to pass on your left. The exception to this rule occurs when preparing for a left turn or avoiding unsafe road conditions (potholes, construction, etc.).
  • Always make left turns from the appropriate left turn lane.

Smart safety

  • Always ride predictably and in control. Ride consciously in a straight line and try to avoid excessive weaving back and forth. In most vehicle-bicycle accidents, motorists say they never saw the cyclists or didn’t see them in time to avoid the collision.
  • Cycle with traffic, never against it. When moving from one lane to another, always give way to traffic.
    Keep to the right of the road at all times and leave other Riders plenty of room to pass on your left. The exception to this rule occurs when preparing for a left turn or avoiding unsafe road conditions (potholes, construction, etc.).
  • Drafting behind other cyclists can be dangerous and leaves very little room for error. These techniques should never be used in high traffic areas or on roads with frequent intersections.
  • Always be on the lookout for a person in the driver’s seat of any parked car you may pass. Parked drivers are notorious for swinging their doors open suddenly or pulling out into traffic without checking for bicyclists.

Best practices

  • Call out “ON YOUR LEFT!” when passing at all times. Also, don’t stop or slow down without letting other cyclists and drivers know your intentions in advance. Call out “STOPPING!” or “SLOWING!”
  • Ride single file when cycling with a group. Do not ride side by side.

Are you a returning Rider? The Ride needs your help! We are looking for skilled Riders to join our 2019 Rider Safety Team! These leaders will help us maintain the rules of the road and ensure that cycling etiquette is upheld throughout the event. As a member of the Rider Safety Team, you will still take part in all of the fun of The Ride—we’ll just ask that you keep an eye out for other Riders, encourage safe riding and assist if needed.

Sound like you?

Sign up for our Rider Safety Team today!

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