As the biggest cycling event of the season draws near, it’s time to start looking at preparations for your time in and out of the saddle. We, the team behind this years ”New Nordic” will help you cycle through a checklist as we get prepared together. Through a series of homework assignments you’ll be top tuned towards being able to enjoy your cycling for libraries as much as possible. No, you don’t need to be super-fit to attend the tour, but investing in you fitness level before the tour, will help you get the most out of the experience. Not much use having the most engaging and exciting programme if we all fall asleep as soon as we get of our bikes. Smart and Hard!
Cycling for Libraries is not a racing event, we do a steady clip in order to (hopefully) be in time for all our library, cultural and other engagements. This means that we’re not racing through the countryside but still have to keep a nice and steady pace. We always try to do this together so riding safely in a bunch and for longer durations of time. These are the two major focal points for this first homework. We’ll be doing this by running through a number of tasks and tours.
First of is being safe in a group, we’ll visit this topic for later but we’ll start of with some basic bike awareness. Hopefully many of you are already out enjoying the more forgiving temperatures on your bikes. Which of course means you have already gone through the following things:
• Checking your wheels – making sure you have the right pressure, check no rocks or pieces of glass are stuck in the threads. Good drill to do when we arrive at destinations, as it’s much better to be aware of the problems when we have time to fix it and not when 99 others are waiting for you…
• Brakes – do you have them? And are the working properly. We might start out in dry conditions- -we’ll of course end in dry aswell… but you never know.
• Can you change a tire? We usually dont patch on the road, instead we opt to change the tubes, do you know how? If not it’s time to learn a new skill. Don’t worry we help each other on the road so don’t despair. If you have more questions about bikes just ask in the mailing list or fans of cycling for libraries, we’re sure you’ll get the answer you seek.
• Internal or external gears? Become familiar with both especially if your planning on hiring. Know how they work, don’t pedal while changing on internal. Pedal whilst changing on external.
All ready to ride! As mentioned earlier Cycling for Libraries is not a spandex event, you’re welcome to wear it for comfort but don’t expect a great effect of the aerodynamical properties of your clothing. We don’t go super fast we go super safe. Which in turn also means you’ll be spending some time in the saddle, more than you’re used to, which is great because it provides you the opportunities to discuss funding for cultural events, decimal classification system or patron driven acquisition, with the cyclist next to you. It does mean that fitness and endurance is a factor so:
• Core Fitness -Free up you schedule or fill it in with 3 rides a week of 20-30 km. Try to start short and build up as you get stronger and quicker. 30km is a good mark as we’ll be covering distances of that between breaks. Your task is to repeat this for the next couple of weeks.
• Try to make biking a more integrated part of your daily routines, the most important is to get consistent and then build up slowly.
• Speed! Try to push your top-speed. Map out a distance and try to beat your best. No we don’t go super fast during the tour but eventually you’ll have to close a gap or catch up after a mechanical. Also pushing yourself and becoming familiar with faster riding is great for building fitness.
We’ll be back with more tips and pointers as well as gruelling homework assignments as we edge close to this years cycling for libraries international. Remember you’re not alone even when training for this. If you encounter problems or curious about details use the mailing list or fans of cycling for libraries Facebookgroup. Our experience is that other participants are happy to help and share.