As a first time rider, I wanted to make sure I attended the Pre-Tour Clinic to get low-down on the up hills. As I sat between an excited group of folks, talks of past Ride The Rockies filled the air — one man had the feeling we were going to get snowed on this year and others were excited about staying two nights in Copper. As a newbie to Ride The Rockies, I was anxiously waiting for the presentation to start. I had my notepad out, ready to take notes.
Ron started the night discussing gear and the importance of chamois cream. For women, he brought up Hoo-Ha Ride Glide to protect one’s beloved hoo-ha. I can’t begin to tell you how important chamois cream is. I have made the mistake of going sans cream before and even wearing underwear inside my cycling shorts. Both result in chafing, saddle sores, and a sad undercarriage. Women particularly have to pay attention to how they are situated on the saddle as it can result in a sad cycling week of Ride The Rockies.
Here are some steps to prevent common cycling issues that women could potentially experience during our week-long jaunt through the mountains:
- Make sure your saddle fits you and your body shape. Do this long before the ride so you can get used to any adjustments a bike mechanic makes for you.
- Also, make sure your bike fits you. If you’re too stretched out or too scrunched up, this will put a burden on your sit bones, your under carriage, and pretty much throughout your whole body. Again, make sure you’re used to any adjustments long before Ride The Rockies.
- The place where you never want to skimp is cycling shorts. With the $20 gift card Wheat Ridge Cyclery handed out the night of the clinic, you can get a nice discount on some quality shorts. You want ones with enough padding that’ll get you through these longer rides (namely Tuesday, which we were told is going to be a toughie) and you want a seamless stitch. The last thing you need is a weird flap or extra material rubbing against the inside of your legs as you peddle up a pass.
- Chamois Cream. Chamois Cream. Chamois Cream. It’s imperative to not only make sure your chain’s lubed, but also your undercarriage. Personally, I spread it on thick: on my shorts and skin. Ain’t no surface is left untouched. This seriously helps with chafing and you’ll thank me later when you finish up on a long ride and you’re raring to go the next morning because your skin is happy.
- Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I’ve also made the mistake of partying in my cycling shorts. Once you’re off the bike for the day, get out of your shorts as soon as you can (and avoid wearing unwashed ones). Imagine all the sweat and bacteria that have been pre-gaming in there during your ride. Do you really want them to join your after-party? The leftovers in your post-ride shorts are the friends who drink too much and leave a mess afterward.
Nutrition, presented by Jessica, was interesting. I loved hearing her rave about eggs and coffee. I’m all about the scrambled eggs and a fresh cup of coffee to start off my day. I have also incorporated more fats into my diet. I’ve learned this keeps me satiated longer on my endurance rides. I will be concocting my super starch drink every day throughout Ride The Rockies, which includes: MCT oil, Generation UCAN Superstarch, and BioSteel. Add the servings into a water bottle and boom, I have my nutrition for the day until I’m off the bike.
Chandler gave a great detailed description and what to expect. He was talking about what snacks and amenities they had at the rest stops. I was curious if I would need to bring my own feminine hygiene products and spoke with Liz Brown. She assured me that along with animal crackers, if I need a product, it’ll be there! It’s great to know how supported the women are during Ride The Rockies.
Renee told us about the events taking place at each host city and Chandler told us about the seminar speakers. I learned that Lance Armstrong will be speaking at one of the seminars, which is quite astounding to have someone like Lance join us during the tour. The Ride The Rockies’ prologue allows for participants to ride with professional athletes. I was excited to learn Canadian Olympian, Lyne Bessette, will be one of the pro riders representing female cyclists during this exciting event. If I wasn’t already doing the tour, I think this would be a great opportunity to cycle with some of the athletes a lot of us aspire to become.
Ride The Rockies is a ride for everyone from all over the world. People, both men and women, make great sacrifices to participate in this tour through our beautiful state and I’m honored to be a part of something that brings all of us cycling enthusiasts together.