How to Prepare for a Ride

by Crystal R. Mendoza Paulin

With the start of fall comes the start of Ride— or Bike— season! This means that several organizations around the country are gearing up to host Rides for fundraising and to increase awareness of the cause they represent. Participating in a Ride is a great way to not only support a good cause, but to also get friends and family supporting you too! Plus, cycling is good for you!

If you decide to participate in a Ride this fall, you certainly don't have to take it as seriously as a competition or a race. The most important thing is to have fun, so we've compiled a few things to get you ready for the big day:

1. Check with your doctor

It's important to participate in a Ride in good health. There could be a variety of reasons why a Ride may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor before registering to make sure it's safe to Ride. If you decide not to Ride, you can always register as a Virtual Rider and show your support that way!

2. Familiarize yourself with the route

If you're still not sure if a Ride is right for you, take a look at the Ride map or, better yet, visit the actual Ride site yourself. Getting to know the route can help you feel more comfortable about your decision to participate in a Ride. I like to know where water and break sites are located throughout the route so I can look forward to them during the Ride.

3. Build a Ride Kit

Sunscreen, water, and a route map are great things to keep on hand during the Ride. Putting these things together a few days before the Ride means you have less things to do the morning of the actual event. You can also put protein bars, trail mix, or other snacks in your kit to keep you going!

4. Check the weather

Weather can be a big factor in your decision to participate in a Ride. Keep an eye on the weather in the days leading up to the Ride to make sure you're properly prepared. (Adding an umbrella to your kit is often necessary!) There's nothing wrong with changing your decision to Ride due to sudden changes in health or climate. Your safety comes first!

5. Stay Cool

Sometimes Rides are blessed with warmer than warm weather. If you're facing the prospect of cycling in hot weather, it's important to stay cool. The best way to do just that is to stay hydrated at all times. Take note of where water or cooling stations are located on the route so you can take a proper hydration break.

If you need a little extra cooling power to get you through the day, we might have just the thing.

6. Have fun!

Go out there and have fun! Tell your friends and family, post about it online, take lots of pictures, bring your pet, and have a good time!