Prepping for Pelotonia: Riding Guidelines for Your First Pelotonia Ride

Prepping for Pelotonia Riding Guidelines for Your First Pelotonia Ride

Participating in your first Pelotonia ride will be an inspiring, one-of-a-kind experience – one your mind and body must be prepared for. The following guidelines will help you prepare for your first Pelotonia ride to ensure that you’re ready to go the distance for cancer research; whether you're riding 25 miles, 100 miles, or even the full 200.

25-Mile and 35-Mile Pelotonia Routes

Type of Bike

The type of bike you ride is less important than how comfortable and safe it is. You are less likely to have mechanical issues for shorter distances, so getting your bike tuned up ahead of Pelotonia will go a long way.

Gear Needed

Gear that makes you safe and comfortable like a helmet, sunglasses, cycling shorts, gloves, comfortable shoes, and a sweat-wicking shirt will have a big impact on your riding experience.

Health & Safety Tips

  • Proper hydration and nutrition will be important for all distances, so bring enough water and snacks for however long you expect the ride to take. Drinking one bottle of water per hour, and eating one food item per hour is a good rule of thumb if you’re riding in hot temperatures.
  • If you are a more novice rider, riding in close proximity to other people may be a new experience, so learning group ride etiquette is absolutely necessary for safety. Practice riding in groups ahead of the event if possible.

45-Mile and 55-Mile Pelotonia Routes

Type of Bike

As the duration of a Pelotonia ride gets longer, you will be more concerned with your equipment’s performance. A road bike will be lighter weight and more efficient than a hybrid or comfort bike. It doesn’t need to be a pro level bike to have an enjoyable ride. Expect to be riding for 3-4 hours.

Gear Needed

  • Riding gloves really improve hand comfort on road bikes. Shoulder, back, hand, and neck discomfort is common if you are not prepared.
  • The longer the distance the more likely mechanical issues may pop up such as a flat tire. If you are not comfortable changing that yourself it would be good to be riding with someone who can or else you would have to wait for sag support. It’s always smart to have your own spare inner tubes so you don’t have to borrow. One should be sufficient. 
  • Pack a small tube patch kit in case you get more than one flat, and a CO2 or mini pump to inflate a tire if it goes flat. Mini pumps are easier to use for beginners in general.
  • The clothing you wear during your ride is more important as the distance gets longer, so cycling shorts are a must.
  • Try to also wear a cycling jersey as it will offer pockets in the back that can store food, tools, phones, wallets, or other smaller items which you will have with you.
  • Having a saddle bag is also a good way to carry all of your necessities securely.

Health & Safety Tips

  • Road bikes will put your body in a more aggressive position, so becoming accustomed to that ahead of time is necessary for you to have a comfortable ride. Again, having the bike fit you well will absolutely help with comfort. 
  • Be sure to stretch and prepare your body for a longer ride. 
  • Food and water will be more important on longer rides. Bring more than you think you will need and eat or drink before you get hungry or thirsty.
  • Pack bars, gels, and chews for easy digestion while riding.
  • Adding a sports drink mix to your water bottle will help with hydration, especially one with a lot of electrolytes and not just sugar.
  • Road etiquette and safely riding around traffic are paramount for long road rides.
  • Clipless cycling pedals/shoes are recommended for these distances. They improve efficiency and comfort significantly. They do require some skill and technique, so some practice ahead of the event is necessary.

Pelotonia Riders

Photo credit: Pelotonia 

100-Mile, 135-Mile and 155-Mile Pelotonia Routes

Type of Bike

A lighter weight bike and lightweight gear make riding up hills during Pelotonia easier, so investing in a higher-end bike can be worthwhile. A higher-end sport bike will also hold up to the training requirements necessary to complete this distance better.

Gear Needed

You’ll want to wear the same type of gear as you typically would for longer-distance rides: riding gloves, cycling shorts, a cycling jersey, and a saddle bag will help you comfortably get through your ride.

Health & Safety Tips

  • You definitely will need to train a good amount ahead of time to be able to comfortably complete this distance during Pelotonia. Otherwise, you will be sore and uncomfortable instead of enjoying yourself! Build up the distances that you can ride slowly over time and not all at once, or you may sustain an overuse injury.
  • Roadside maintenance is more important during this longer ride because you could be stranded for a while by yourself, so emphasize self-reliance for you and your group.
  • The longer you’re riding, the more chance the weather may change, so preparing for everything is smart. Rain and colder temperatures make riding more challenging.

180-Mile and 200-Mile Pelotonia Routes

For experienced cyclists only! All of the tips above hold true. In addition to a higher-end bike and the typical long-distance gear, water, and food, bring anything extra that you may need to sleep comfortably and recover for another day of riding. Stretching is also very important. You really need to focus on building your endurance and fitness ahead of the event to complete the longest Pelotonia routes safely.  

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