Cinderella Conditioning Ride: 3-7-15

Today’s Cinderella Conditioning Ride with the Feather Pedals. Today’s was the longest ride in the series so far, with 52 miles planned (but my ride to and from the staging area made it 55). I had the very good fortune today to ride with a friend who is a cycling coach and former racer. It was truly like going to cycling college for a day.

The saying going “easy as riding a bike” but that pretty much only applies to the sorts of riding you do when you’re 12.

When you kit up and hop on a bicycle with the intention of riding more than 50 miles there a dozen things you can do wrong. My companion this morning, for instance made the comment as he was watching the other riders arrive at the staging area dressed as if the 39 degree temps we had at the ride start were going to be sticking with us instead of the forecast temps in the mid-70s. If you’re dressed to ride in frigid weather when it’s hot you’ll cook in your clothes, especially on a long ride.

I learned a long time ago never to go on a ride of more than a couple hours duration without plenty of water and food to take along. At a rest stop we had a conversation about food. My standard deal is a banana and a PB&J sandwich cut into quarters in my jersey pockets. My companion on the ride had an energy bar that looked pretty good.

A lot of recreational athletes, runners and cyclists alike, gobble GUs and shot blocks, Power Bars and Clif Bars. What you mostly get out of these nutritional shortcuts is sugar. A lot of it. And as my riding companion pointed out, the way the body reacts to all that sugar when you’re exerting yourself is to spike and crash.

Suffice to say, a shortcut on a ride route is a choice to skip part of the ride. A nutritional shortcut is a choice to skip feeding yourself properly.

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