Tips for long summer rides

It’s that time of year again: Summer! Where the days are long and hot, and the rides are longer and harder. While you may be starting to feel invincible, there are some things that you should keep in mind as you sign up for that century ride in the mountains:

(1) Fit, fit, fit:

Once you start to pile on the miles fit will become increasingly important so make sure that your bike has been adjusted to your body. While a long reach to the handlebar will simply give you sore shoulders, a poorly adjusted seat can injure your IT band or meniscus and send you into a *long* recovery.

(2) Know your stretches.

As it turns out, your hamstrings are three groups of muscles and simply leaning forward does not target and stretch them all. While stretching your hamstrings turn your foot inward, straight up, and outward for 30 seconds at each position.

(3) Rollers and other torture devices:

After a long day in the saddle you may need to do more than just stretch sore muscles. A foam roller is well worth the money. This will be most helpful along the outsides of your legs from your knees to your hips (your IT band) but can be used on your quads and other muscle groups.

You may also want to get “the stick” (which is a plastic roller) for bigger muscles like your hamstrings)

(4) Cross training, while not as fun as cycling, helps.

  • Running helps work other muscles in addition to your legs. It also helps to maintain bone density as you get older.
  • While you’re out for a run, throw in some lunges at the end when you’re warmed up. These help build strength and stability and are convenient if you’re not a fan of the gym
  • Weight training helps to build strength which, in turn, helps with oxygen consumption as well as maintaining good posture

(5) “Eat before you’re hungry and drink before you’re thirsty”.

You’ve heard it many times before but it’s important to avoid bonking, especially if you do long races. If you have a bike computer you might set a mental timer and make sure that every 20 minutes you are taking a sip, pacing yourself to roughly 1 bottle per hour and one gel pack per hour. Keeping the tank topped off means keeping your legs turning.

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Aaron Deutsch

About Aaron Deutsch

Aaron has always felt a passion for, if not a gravitational pull from, racing. Since being lured from the basketball court onto the track in 1993 he set 7 track & field records and medaled six times at the state level of competition.

He moved to the mountain bike in the late 1990s and won the Penn Cycle Buck Hill race series in 2000 in the sport class. He also placed 4th in the Subaru Cup XC race that year.

After moving to New York Aaron took up road racing and rode unattached for the first year and medaled in 2 races including a 1st place finish in the Kissena Race Series in 2007. In 2008 the Brooklyn Arches Cycling Club was formed and the results were immediate and consistent including winning the Cadence Cup Race Series in Brooklyn. He currently races with the Major Taylor Iron Riders Development Team

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