In early March the evenings finally stretch, and most people go and cut the grass. Others, however, having totally reneged on their new year resolutions will turn their thoughts to a bit of exercise.
From the comfort of the car seat one can spot the local cycling champ effortlessly gliding along at 35kph into the teeth of a gale. “That must be great fun” and “sure if that ould eegit can do it anybody can.”, and on both counts you are right !
The annual Ring of Kerry Cycle is not a race or even a mild competition. It is however 112 mls ( 179km sounds longer ! ) and a serious challenge for anybody considering getting in shape for the summer. It is easily acheivable by a non cyclist starting in spring and “getting out for a few miles” Complete beginners should consider the following points.
- Any type of cycling will get you started. A spin to work two or three days a week if it is dry, is excellent.
- Any bike will do to get started. Rob the one that is never used in the shed, borrow your mates and forget to return it or use the girlfriends – you can allways say you are on your way to the shops.
- You dont have to kill yourself pushing hard. A handy spin say 15 km on rolling countryside spinning low gears is fine
- Treat yourself to a pair of cycling shorts. Allways worn against the skin (no undies) beneath a tracksuit legs is fine. It is too cold at present to go barelegged. A decent dryflow vest is a very comfortable investment. Keeps you dry even if you stop for whatever.
- Aim for a destination, have a cup of tea/ break and return. The object is to enjoy the trip \ exercise. Cycling does not have to be a punishing regime!
- Wear a helmet, watch for dogs/potholes/nasty little drivers and showoffs pedalling off into the sunset. It is March, come the summer you will wreak revenge!
- Don’t go out at night in the dark. Next year when you are experienced you can get lit up like a Christmas tree and strike off.The long evenings will be in soon.
- At this stage 30 mile spins should be your maximum. The object is to just get out and enjoy the bike. Next month you will have to up the training a bit…
- Be seen by every doubter/cynic/relative/workmate that “ never saw you on a bike before” They can all be tapped for sponsorship in a few months!!
- Look out for the April notes regarding a training plan…