June 30, 2016/ Maria Parker
This is week four of a twelve week series to help you train for and successfully complete a century ride. Check out the free 12 Week Couch to Century training plan here.
Bicycle: Of course any Cruzbike will do. I rode my first century on a Sofrider. Since then I’ve completed multiple centuries on a Quest, Silvio and of course Vendetta. The performance bikes will get you to the finish-line more quickly, but you might have more fun on a QX100 (of course that depends on what you consider fun).
A few other things you’ll need:
- Water bottles: We use Camelbak water bottles because we like their spouts. Any water bottle will do, but you’ll need at least a couple of them. For summer training, an insulated water bottle is really nice, it keeps your drink cooler for a time. You’ll need a place to carry your water bottles on your bike. Cruzbike sells water bottle cages, but you can get them almost anywhere.
- Storage pack: You need something to carry your wallet, cell phone and tire changing tools and spare tube. The Sling Pack frame bag we sell works really well for this. It works with all of our bikes, and can easily hold all of these items as well as a small, packable raincoat or hat or gloves.
- If you need more storage for carrying clothing, commuting gear, groceries or a picnic, the Cruzbike Scarab Bag works well with the S and V models. You might want a rack and panniers for more storage on the Qs.
- Tire changing tools: I hate changing tires, and avoid it whenever possible, but occasionally I have had to do it and carry tools and a spare tube for that purpose. You may want to practice this before spending significant time out on the road. Even if you never use your tire changing gear, it comes in handy to lend to other cyclists who have forgotten theirs.
- 2 or 3 tire irons or levers (they’re all made out of plastic)
- A spare tube to fit the size tire you are using
- CO2 cartridges and an inflator that screws onto the cartridges.
- Helmet: Any quality helmet will do, but is a must. Even slow riding requires one. A friend had a slow-speed accident in our neighborhood on her bike that put her in the hospital. Always wear a helmet.
- Sunglasses: Seems obvious, but I often forget mine if I am starting my rides early in the morning.
- Cash: I always bring a little cash along with me on rides for convenience store stops.
- Shoes: comfortable sneakers are fine but be sure to keep your laces short. The lace loops can easily be caught up on the chainring in the front. To go faster, transition to clipless pedals – but that’s another subject.
- Clothing: I wear a Cruzbike or 3000 Miles to a Cure cycling jersey. Both of these jerseys have pockets on the side so I’m not leaning on a back pocket you find in traditional bike jerseys. The advantage of a bike jersey is that it zips up and down in the front for temperature control and has pockets for carrying small things. I also wear spandex shorts or tights that may or may not match my jersey. Good fitting socks are very important as you start riding longer.
- Gloves: Gloves protect your hands from blisters and sunburn and give you a better grip on the handlebars. On a recumbent, cycling gloves are not as important because you don’t need the padding on the palm necessary to relieve some of the discomfort that a traditional cyclist must endure in putting their weight on their hands. I wear Outdoor Research Spectrum Sun Gloves. They are cool and comfortable and fit and feel wonderful.
- Mirror: This is as important as the helmet. You must have at least one mirror on the left side of your handlebars (or on your glasses). This is for seeing what is behind you, especially before making a left turn. I like two mirrors. We sell them on our website, so does everyone else. Find one or two that work for you.
Next up in this series: The importance of rest days
Congratulations on taking on your first Century ride! Maria Parker, world record-holding cyclist and Cruzbike CEO, put together this 12 week training guide and blog series to help you successfully complete your first century ride. Share your progress with the Cruzbike Community @CRUZBIKE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll cheer you on through your first 100 mile ride.