Counting down the days! We are now only 3 weeks from Cycle Queensland. Perhaps time to dust off the old bike and to go on some practice rides. Cycle Qld is a big event and the distances may seem daunting – especially 100km on the third day! Don’t be dismayed! It doesn’t take much effort or work to be breezing through the days and enjoying every minute.
Firstly, Bicycle Queensland do provide a comprehensive training regime for the cycle tour preparation. It is very extensive and is sure to put you in great shape for the tour and then some. Personally, I think it is a bit much but if you are one of those people who likes to be well prepared, perhaps even over prepared, this is probably a great programme for you.
For the rest of us, don’t worry about not making the distances on the day. The route is usually set so you get a regular breaks throughout the day. You will rarely be riding more than 25-30kms without a gazetted rest stop. So, we don’t ride 100km, we ride 4 x 25km rides! Which equates to about 2hrs of riding between stops. This is something that should be practised. Pick yourself a convenient loop of about this distance and see how you go. Make sure you can do this ride twice in one day, two days in row. Probably a good one to get a few laps on the weekends between now and CQ.
That being said, distance can be daunting and if you haven’t ever ridden over 80km in one day before. It would probably be a good idea to see how it feels before you get to CQ. Perhaps take your loop and ride it three times with a break in between.
The sorest part of me is always the bum. To avoid this, I ride as often as I can. Every day if possible. The rides are quite short – to the shops, to regular events, to work. These all add up to a decent amount of riding in one day. Say, commute to work 6km x 2, shops 4km x 2, movies 5km x 2 – we’ve already done 30km in one day without even trying. Basically, we want to practise getting on the bike every day no matter how sore the bum is. So, frequent rides are the key.
Hills. This year the route does include a few hills so it’s not a bad idea to include a few in the preparation. If you already live in a hilly area and do them every day, you’ll be fine. If you live in the flat lands or don’t ride regularly, it would pay to give a hill a go once a week. Like the BQ recommendation, try to make it at least 1km in distance of climbing.