So now your heart yearns to do something more daring and you’ve decided to try cycling down the coastline? At first thought, doing such trips look like a simple affair – what with the host of eateries lining the route and easy to find accommodations. But then, there are hordes of people out there, and like you, all vying to do the Lance Armstrong stuff in their own little way. For most people, riding a bike is just a breeze – a no-brainer stuff: just sit tight and pedal. But no, any pro cyclists worth his salt will warn you of the consequences. This type of enterprise requires preparation of both mind and body. Having an all terrain bike makes for perfect sense – these can take you almost anywhere without wearing you out. But you may find them heavier and tougher to manage while on the long road. The cross-country bikes come with the lightest and efficient pedals. If you are not sure, check with your dealer about new bicycle types, especially the Bianchi variants. These are expensive bicycles with a full alloy frame, Hutchinson tires, Reparto and Shimano fittings. These cycles are geometrically designed for long riding hours. Go for only the best when it comes to performance, power and comfort!
Once you’ve got hold of your bike, get familiar with its lines and responses. When it comes to cross-country, you have to unlearn certain aspects of daily cycling routine and get trained in the correct way of pedaling, breathing, cornering, hydrating, as well as how to eat, how to grab your water and even when to rest!
Ideally, you should start your training regimen about seven or eight months before the D-day. Experts suggest that you should begin building your endurance level with exercising and cycling, gradually increasing the time spent every week. Push-ups, pull-ups, shoulder presses, upright rows, side raises, prone and side planks, crunches and low back extensions, step-ups, lunges, squats, straight leg deadlifts and hamstring curls are all great exercises for wannabe cross-country cyclists. These exercises, performed with lighter weights, will help you build endurance and strength. After six weeks, pump up your intensity by increasing speed and doing some highways for a week, the next week traffic routes, the week after off-roads, and then take rest the following week. The entire period of training should also involve medium to intensive “cross training” with weight lifting, resistance building exercises, breathing exercises, and compulsory rest!
Repeat the regimen for the a few months till your D-day. Remember, to pace your distance and speed based on your target. If are targeting to do a 585-mile trip, gradually increase the mileage during your weekly training and find your threshold. If your average tour mileage is 60 miles a day, you should work up to riding 40 miles a day. With good training, you’ll find that you can sustain your riding without fatigue and muscle soreness.