By Greg Masterson, president of MACC
1. Use the Eddy Merckx training method “ride lots.”
2. Ride hard and soft miles – meaning have a day to relax and ride easy, perhaps even see some of the scenery we usually whiz by. Of course, we can\’t forget to ride hills.
3. Pay attention to proper hydration and nutrition. The rule of one bottle an hour is not unreasonable. On rides over 1.5 hours, something in addition to water is a good idea. Gatorade, Exceed, Powerade are all effective. Juice mixes are good sources of carbs but do not have everything the sports drink have. On century rides, high carb/low fat solid foods such as figs, fruit and nutrition bars are good.
4. Pump your tires at least to the recommended pressure.Underinflating your tire creates unwanted rolling resistance. A wider tire on the back makes sense because the rear tire receives most of the stress.
5. Show up at all rides early. This relieves stress and gives you more time to check your equipment, which of course, you checked the night before.
6. When standing up in a pace line or climbing, slide forward off your seat over the course of 3 pedal strokes and rise slowly over the course of 3 more pedal strokes so you won\’t fall back. If in the second position in a paceline, do not overlap the leader\’s wheel on the left because the leader nay pull out to the left at any time and take you down. If you must overlap wheels in a paceline, do so only on the right.
7. Learn to do a bunny hop.It\’s a lot easier than a trackstand and can prevent damage to your wheels caused by running over major potholes. All you have to do is stand on your bike, crouch down, then rise quickly and pull your feet up while simultaneously pulling up on the handlebars.
8. Pick your spot and times to do what you want to do during a ride.
9. Keep your bike clean, especially the chain. Do not carry unnecessary weight like large key rings.
10. Check your position on your bike. Raise or lower your seat. Try lowering your stem to become more aerodynamic. You should make all adjustments in small increments – a quarter inch or so at a time.