85) Train specifically for whatever
event you’re targeting. If you want to
do well in a hilly road race, don’t spend
all your time racing flat criteriums. Have
your training and racing mirror the
demands you’ll be facing on the big day.
86) Don’t listen to those who say a
road bike should stay on the pavement.
Push the limits of a road bike and go
explore that dirt road—you might
actually enjoy yourself.
87) Utilize current technology to help
you get more out of cycling. Whether it’s
Strava’s social aspect that pushes you,
or one of the lower-cost power meters
that allows you to better perfect your
training, there is no shortage of tools
88) Give yourself between two to
three hours of digestion time after a
big meal before going on a hard ride,
otherwise the blood you need in your
muscles will be tied up in your gut.
89) Rotating your bike tires can
increase mileage dramatically, but be
sure to swap tires well before a flat
spot is worn into the rear. Cornering
on a front tire that has a flat spot is not
something that will improve the
enjoyment of your ride.
90) When selecting the correct size
cycling shoe, remember you’re going to
want a snug fit to minimize foot movement in the shoe, and since you’ll be
doing very little walking, you don’t need
much room between your toes and
91) Have fun. We ride bikes
because we love it. Soak in every ride
and enjoy it.
92) If you want to make some
significant gains in aerodynamics
without dropping a bundle on a new
frame or wheels, go with one of the
numerous aero-road helmets on the
market. They’re a proven advantage at
speed and won’t break the bank.
93) If you haven’t done it yet, go
with a compact crank. Few riders
outside of the elite-level realm need
standard chainring sizes. A crank with
50/34 or 52/36 chainrings is going to
ease the torque on your legs and get
you through the ride feeling better.
94) We know it’s so tempting to try
a new drink mix or supplement that
promises a 100-percent performance
increase the day of your big event, but
don’t. Go with what you know works for
you and what your body can tolerate.
95) A little leg embrocation can go a
long way in keeping your legs warm and
protected from cold and wet weather.
There are many blends available that
range in the amount of heat they
provide. Just beware of rubbing your
eyes after applying embrocation; it’s a
mistake you’ll make only once.
96) Wave or say hi to every cyclist
and pedestrian that you see while on
your ride. It fosters good feelings, even
if they don’t reciprocate. Maybe next
time they will.
97) When on a group ride, keep
your cadence above 90 rpm so that you
can quickly respond to accelerations. If
you’re in too big of a gear, it takes
longer to match the increase in speed.
98) Proper hydration begins long
before the day of an event. Always carry
a water bottle with you for the couple
of days leading up to the event and
consistently drink throughout the day.
99) Save the packaged bars and
drinks for on the bike. There’s no
better way to gain weight than by
eating calorie-dense bars and drinking
your calories when sedentary.
100) Race cyclocross. The bike-handling skills you’ll gain will benefit
your road riding, while the fitness you
can carry through the winter will set you
up for the best road season yet.
101) Correctly pinning a number on
your jersey requires more than just four
safety pins. Pin the number at all four
corners going through the jersey and
number at two points. Then add
additional pins in the middle of each
side to keep the number from
becoming a sail in the wind. ■
78) As Alberto Contador’s crash
reminded us on Stage 10 of the Tour,
don’t try to get anything out of your
pockets while descending. Keep both
hands on the bars, and focus your
attention on getting to the bottom in one
piece. Then you can rummage around
for your energy bar.
79) If you’re riding clincher tires on
race day, throw in a pair of latex tubes
to get the most performance out of the
tires. Not only are the latex tubes lighter,
they also are harder to pinch flat than a
butyl tube. There’s a reason why all the
best tubular tires use latex tubes.
80) Remember, chamois cream is
your friend. Don’t wait until saddle sores
become a problem before slathering the
chamois with it liberally.
81) Once you have found your
correct saddle height and fore-aft position, never slide the saddle forward or
back to compensate for too long or too
short of a reach to the handlebars. That’s
what different stem lengths are for.
82) Plan ahead for a summer ride
and fill a bottle halfway up with water
and put it in the freezer the night before.
You’ll have a decent ice block that
should keep your liquids cold for quite
83) As we found out at Dirty Kanza
200, having a spare derailleur hanger
in your seat pack isn’t such a bad idea.
They are small and light, and you never
know when you might be on the side of
the road wishing you had one.
84) Keep a riding journal so you can
look back on your training and spot
any trends after a strong ride, or a