Training, Gear & Safety
Before you begin training, we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
We hope you’ll join our training rides. (More information to be announced, so check back with us periodically.) Kentucky is hilly, so no matter the distance you choose – 25, 50 or 62 miles – the ride will be more challenging than most of similar distances. Training will help you prepare for Bike the Bluegrass. You’ll also meet some veteran cyclists who will be glad to support you … or just to meet you.
You’re invited to participate in the American Lung
Association’s Bike the Bluegrass training rides – whether you’re signed up
or not! Just contact the host ahead of time, and be sure to bring your helmet.
Information pending. Check back.
Equipment and Attire
What kind of bike should I have to ride for Bike the Bluegrass?
We recommend a road, mountain or hybrid bike because of the gear selections and ease of operation over variable distances. Know that heavier bikes pose an extra challenge. This is especially true the greater the distance you intend to ride. Please be sure your bicycle is in good repair prior to the ride. If your bike is in need of a tune-up, please have this done to help ensure your safety and minimize breakdowns on the ride.
What do I need to wear for training and for the event?
Dress for the weather, which varies greatly in the fall in Kentucky. It's wise to check the forecast before you leave home the morning of the ride. You may even choose to pack clothing options. Padded cycling shorts or tights can help insure a more comfortable ride, and a long or short sleeved cycling jersey is suggested. Reflective attire also helps with visibility and safety.
This depends on your level of experience and comfort with bicycle pedal options. If you’re new to cycling, you may want to stay with a platform pedal so you can set your foot down easier, maintain control and get used to riding your bicycle. For more experienced cyclists, clip-in style pedals and shoes offer a huge advantage over standard platform pedals: They allow you to maximize your pedal stroke because you are pulling up as well pushing down on the pedals. This combined motion transfers more power and efficiency to the bike’s rear wheel.
We require all participants to wear USCPSC safety standard approved helmets. Gloves are recommended.
Riding Safety and Protocol
To get the most out of the ride, please adhere to these safe cycling practices and be alert at all times.
- Ride at a safe speed based on your experience and ability
- Be especially alert when near cyclists who don’t ride well or safely
- Wear a helmet and gloves
- Obey the same laws motorists must follow:
- Stop at stop lights and signs
- Yield when appropriate
- Signal turns
- Ride with – not against – traffic
- Take a solid position in traffic, staying to the right (three feet from the edge of pavement) so traffic can predict your moves
- Ride single file in heavy traffic, allowing cars to pass
- Two abreast is legal on lightly traveled streets, but move to single file when a car approaches from the rear and spread the word up the line
- Never wear any kind of headphones
- Never use cell phones while cycling
- Avoid pace lines and drafting unless you and the other riders know exactly what to do and are prepared for it
- Avoid too tight a grouping of less experienced cyclists
- Pass on observations about road conditions, traffic, etc
- Watch for car doors opening into your path
- Use your maps and written directions when in doubt
- When you pull off the road, pull way off so no one in your group is in the road
- Pass only where it is safe and after you’ve communicated your intentions
Riding With Energy Conservation in Mind
- Practice setting and holding a reasonable pace. For beginners, a 7 to 10 MPH average pace (including breaks, lunch, etc.) is pretty common. A steady faster clip is 10 to 14 MPH; an advanced pace is 15 to 17 MPH; an animal pace is 18 to 23 MPH. Set a pace that's comfortable for all members of your group. Remember, if you are hurting, you're working too hard -- shift down, slow down, or stop and rest.
- Try to keep from getting caught in rapid starts at the beginning of rides with new people. You may find that after a few minutes you have expended much more energy than you intended.
- Don't ride in "high gears" that you strain against. Learn to shift so you get pretty good at holding your RPM's at 75-90 a minute. That is, your feet complete 75 to 90 turns every minute. To do this, shift down as you start going up an incline. You will be able to ride hours longer and feel less burned out if you get used to shifting and maintaining a proper "cadence."
- Remember to keep your energy levels up by drinking lots of water and munching on some food along the way. Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty, and rest before you're tired. Know where to expect rest stops on your route and be sure not to miss any.
- Ask the leaders on the ride to coach you on the best techniques to use. They will be happy to pass on a lot of valuable information.