Preparation for the Jennings Rivers Ride
Your bike should be the correct size for you, and roadworthy. If your bike has not been used for a while, give it a good check over. Examine the tyres, gears, brakes etc. or get a bike mechanic to do it for you. Tyre pressures are indicated on the tyre wall. Make sure the set-up is suitable. Saddle height is important. A slight knee bend at the bottom of the rotation will allow good purchase and will be comfortable for your knees and lower back. Carry a tool kit, pump and spare inner tube. You should also have a small cycle bag for a waterproof and some food and you need a cycle bottle for regular hydration.
A properly fitted crash helmet is essential. Cycling shorts will give added comfort, cycling gloves will keep your hands warm and take a little pressure off your shoulders and, if the weather is sunny, sunglasses will reduce glare and protect your eyes from insects. You don’t have to spend a fortune to be safe and comfortable.
Only half the ride is uphill! Some of the hills are steep, so you need to be cautious downhill, especially if the road is wet. Choose the correct gearing to make the uphills as comfortable as possible and remember it’s not a race. Enjoy the company and the views as you travel. However, you will enjoy it more if you are well prepared physically.
• Choose the challenge that best suits your physical ability.
• Have a check-up with your GP if you are not used to this form of activity. Explain what you are proposing to do.
• Become familiar with your bike. Ride to work, school, shopping; go for pleasure trips. Let it become your friend and be comfortable together.
• Cross train – do some exercise other than cycling, maybe walking, running, stretching, strengthening.
• Achieve and maintain your ‘fighting weight’. Losing or gaining a few pounds can make a difference to how you perform.
• Enjoy the training and the challenge!