You have been training. You have put in the miles and time in the saddle. You have been eating well and staying hydrated. You feel you are ready for your first century ride . . . but here is a list of what NOT to do:
- Don’t hammer to the front of the paceline only to slow down to 12 mph once you actually get to the wind.
- Don’t scream out SLOWING every time someone in front of you free wheels for a second.
- Don’t litter! You are NOT in the Tour. Eat your bar and put your paper in your jersey.
- Leave your mountain bike visor OFF of your helmet, or better yet . . . get a rode bike helmet.
- Don’t wear a Tour de France yellow jersey or any current team kit. You have not earned the right, and you look ridiculous when you’re about to pass out 40 miles into the ride.
- Don’t pinch a nostril shut and blow the other one out when in the paceline. Swing out. Keep your pace. Blow down. Move back in.
- Keep the stories of your group rides at 35 mph to yourself. They are probably not true, and we know all it.
- Don’t attempt to hold a conversation with the rider who is pulling; that is more for the back of line. He’s working.
- IF you must put aero bars on your road bike or riding a time trial (for whatever reason), stay out of aero. The only exception is when you are pulling or solo.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions (assuming the question is to someone who appears to know what he is doing). Everyone started somewhere. Most cyclists are more than willing to help.
Believe it or not, I thoroughly enjoy seeing new cyclists coming into the sport. Many of us who have done it for a while shudder at the thought crashing because of someone being ridiculous. Read, ask questions, observe, and you’ll have an awesome first century. Happy cycling!