Maybe you ride a century every Sunday, maybe you commute 10 miles a day for work, or maybe you haven’t ridden a bike since you were 12. Regardless of how far or often you bike, training for the upcoming ride should be a high priority.

Although Climate Ride is not a race, the more prepared you are physically, the more fun you will have. Training will get you over those California hills, help push you through the headwinds coming off Lake Michigan, or help you finish the fifth consecutive day of riding while pedaling up Capitol Hill. The Climate Ride staff will always be there to offer encouraging words and fuel you with snacks and electrolytes, but you have to crank the pedals!

As important as training is for a ride like Climate Ride, you don’t have to follow a strict training regimen to be adequately prepared. Anything that gets you out on your bicycle can be considered training. Can’t find the time to go for a 40-mile ride? Maybe you could bypass traffic and ride the scenic route to and from work while accumulating some training miles. Have some extra time during your ride? Pick a road you’ve never been down before, see where it goes, and try and find your way back.

Training gives you an excuse to explore your area and find new places. It can also add variety to daily routines if you go by bike when you would normally take other forms of transportation. If you are creative enough your training rides can almost be as fun as the actual event.

It is much easier to take in the scenery and reward yourself for all of the fundraising you have done if you can actually breathe. You’ll want to take advantage of views like this.

Plus, you don’t want to be exhaling tons of carbon dioxide on the ride! Training hard creates a positive feedback loop where the more you train, the more control you’ll have over your breathing while pedaling.

Adequate training will improve your experiences both on and off the bicycle during the ride. There is no shortage of ice cream stops, breweries, wineries, and bakeries along all of our routes and you don’t want to miss out on the local fare because you’re too exhausted. In addition to the exceptional riding on Climate Ride, the Nightly Speaker Series and networking opportunities each night are often the highlights for riders. You will want to have enough energy after a long day of riding to connect with other riders and enjoy life in camp.

This blog series will keep you on track in your ride preparation. We will provide solutions to training setbacks such as seats, soreness, and snow while encouraging fun ways to accumulate some training miles. Check back soon for new posts!

Patrick Colleran is Climate Ride’s Logistics and Rider Coordinator. In addition to Climate Ride, he is currently and perpetually training for his next big bike tour, mountain bike season, a double century and his local cyclocross series.

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