Get ready to ride
One of the great things about Providence Bridge Pedal is that it’s not a competition. It’s not about who is the fittest or fastest, or who makes it across the finish line first. It is all about enjoying the ride and the Health and Wellness Expo.
Since bikers and hikers own the road for this one day, even newbies can ride along pretty safely and have a great time. Still, if you haven’t done it before – or if you have, and you came away a little stiff and saddle sore – some preparation could make this year’s ride, and the day after, much more comfortable for you.
See what condition your condition is in
If you’re already in pretty good condition, keep it up with a healthy balance of aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching. If you haven’t been exercising much, having an event like Providence Bridge Pedal on your calendar is a great motivator to start. You’ll enjoy the ride a lot more if you start getting into shape for it now.
Cardiovascular exercise – such as cycling, walking, jogging and using an elliptical trainer – will help build your heart strength and lung capacity for the ride. Strength training will increase your muscle strength and endurance. Stretching exercises will improve your flexibility and reduce your chance of injury.
Start working on all three of these types of exercises, beginning with a light routine and building gradually. If you have not been exercising at all, or if you have a health condition, talk to your doctor about how to start safely. As you get closer to the event date, shift the mix of your aerobic activity to include more time on a bike. For some excellent advice in all of these areas, read Ask an Expert: Training for bicycling events.
Don’t forget the basics
Whether you are a recreational cyclist or a racer, the following advice applies to every rider:
- Make sure your bike is safe to ride. If you’re not positive, have a bike mechanic check it out.
- Wear a helmet.
- At Providence Bridge Pedal, thousands of other cyclists will share the road with you. Maintain a straight line, use hand signals correctly, and don’t make any sudden stops.
- Drink a lot of water, and be sure to eat more while you’re training and during the ride. It’s easy to get dehydrated or to underestimate how much you need to eat to maintain your energy.
Want to get more technical?
Providence Sports Care Center offers bike fit analysis, video analysis and Computrainer analysis to improve riding performance even further.
By Emily Ohlin, P.T., lead therapist, Providence Sports Care Center at JELD-WEN Field.
Providence Sportscare Center can be reached at 503-962-1900.