How to prepare for a cycling marathon


The day before the ride: Spend your day preparing your cycle and your body

Bicycle Prep: Make sure your bicycle is in good working order, here’s how – The ABC Quick Check, the most popular procedure for checking your cycle.

“A” is for air:

  • Inflate tires to the rated pressure as indicated on the sidewall of the tire.
  • Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace tire if worn.

“B” is for brakes:

  • Rotate wheels to check that nothing is rubbing. Pick the bike and rotate the wheel by hand, if there is any contact, the wheel will come to stop within 2-3 revolutions.
  • Inspect brake pads for wear; replace is there is less than 1/4″ of pad left.
  • Check adjustment of brake levers.  When applied, there should be least 1″ between each lever and the handlebar.

“C” is for cranks, chain, and cassette:

  • Chain should be clean, lubricated, and quiet — not chattering, squeaking, or squealing!
  • Use a lubricant that’s specifically designed for bicycles.
  • If your chain skips while riding, you might need a new chain, a new cassette, and/or an adjustment.
  • Make sure that your crank bolts are tight.

“Quick” is for quick releases:

  • Wheels need to be tight in the frame, with the hub’s quick-release lever fully engaged at 90° angle (if you have a quick release).
  • Your hub quick release should point back to insure that nothing catches on it.
  • Inspect brake quick releases to insure that they are engaged.

“Check” is for check it over:

  • Inspect the bike for loose or broken parts; tighten, replace or fix them.
  • Check to make sure that your helmet is snug and level on you head, with straps snugly adjusted.
  • Take a quick ride to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly.
  • Pay extra attention to your bike during the first few miles of the ride.


Prepare your Body

  1. Sleep Well – Good sleep is mandatory for any physical activity. Get at least 8 hours of snooze time.
  2. Hydrate – Make sure you are drinking enough water. An average adult should be drinking a minimum of 4-5 liters. Considering this is a special day, do drink more than that.
  3. Eat Well – Forget your diet! Eat healthy on this day. All three meals, and a snack too. Especially during dinner, don’t shy away from carbs. These will give you energy for the ride the next day.
  4. Stretch – yes, start stretching the day before the ride. Especially if you haven’t been getting much physical activity otherwise.
  5. Sleep – This is so important, we are going to say it twice.

On the day of the ride

Prepare your mind

You can either race against other competitors, or try to outdo your personal time – which ever you chose, remember each rider is different. Some burn energy upfront and some save for the final kick and some others are just consistent throughout the ride.

  1. You know your body best; decide how you are going to ration your energy for the ride.
  2. No matter what happens, stick to this decision – you can get into trouble if you decide to mix strategies in the middle.
  3. Energy – Yes, energy for your mind. You need this to keep you going through the full bike ride. Some people meditate, some people do breathing exercises, some even listen to heavy metal.

Prepare your Body

  1. Eat a Banana – Great for slow release of energy, and they have some advantages over low fat nutrition bars and gels. You can read more here –

Have some Coffee – The caffeine is more important than the taste, so you can avoid the namma Bengaluru filter coffee. Just a plain black coffee will do. It’s scientifically proven that caffeine does indeed help to improve performance on the bike, especially short-term, high-intensity efforts. Read more here –

  1. Warm up – Nothing vigorous – Brisk walking or simple jogging. Get the blood pumping.
  2. Stretch – especially the legs. It’s hard to give standard stretching routines, since different people will have different strengths in muscles. You can look this up on Google. Remember to stretch Calf, Soleus, Achilles tendon, Hamstrings, Hip, Lower Back, shoulders and lats.

Checklist of items to carry to the ride:

  1. Water – In a sipper, backpack, what ever you are comfortable with
  2. Helmet – Don’t ride without a helmet
  3. Basic First Aid –Keep these handy. Other first aid will be available at venue
  4. Riding glasses, Gloves – Not mandatory, but useful
  5. Clothing – Decently fitted shorts (to reduce wind resistance) and a well fitted jersey/t-shirt


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