By: Josh, a Stapleton Resident, Cyclist and Denver Century Ride Participant
The Denver Century ride is quickly approaching. No matter how many miles you are planning on riding (there are lots of options) – here are a few Dos and Don’ts that will ensure maximum fun.
DO service your bike
Go beyond wiping off the cobwebs. Schedule a check-up at your local bike shop to make sure everything is working properly. Take a moment to gather the right tools for your seat bag so you can fix small issues that may arise during the ride.
DON’T wing it
Hopefully you’ve ventured out on a few longer weekend rides. Whatever mileage you are aiming for, this probably shouldn’t be the first time at the distance you are attempting. For me, just getting my rear in the saddle is important before a big ride. This could mean riding to work a few days a week, riding down to the farmers market or cruising the Sand Creek Trail in the evenings. The big takeaways here are conditioning your backside to be in the saddle for a while and conditioning enough that you aren’t huffing and puffing the whole way.
DO give cues
The fastest way to ruin your ride is crashing. It’s really easy to give verbal cues or hand signals at the beginning of the ride, but it’s in the middle and end of the ride where accidents happen because of unpredictable moves or passes. With so many fun-loving people on the Denver Century Ride (with varying bike skills) – giving verbal cues and hand signals lets others know your intentions, and helps minimize bike-on-bike contact.
DO talk to strangers
This is the equivalent of stopping to smell the roses. A good friend of mine once said that he makes friends today the same way he did when he was 8 years old – by riding bikes. You’ll be amazed at the people you meet. Here’s a tip – be unique, give people a reason to strike up conversation. The girl who rides a penny-farthing or the guy that wears a tutu will be talking to people all day. It could even be as simple as putting a bike license plate on your bike with your name on it. How do you start a conversation? “Hi” is a good place to start.
DON’T try and break any records
The Denver Century Ride isn’t a race. There isn’t a trophy waiting for you at the end. (Although the after-party is usually pretty rad.) Assume there’s always someone faster than you waiting to pass. And when things get congested, coasting for a few moments to wait for things to clear is OKAY. There will be plenty of opportunities to satisfy your need for speed.
DO say thank you
The collective Denver Century Ride crew is out there to make sure your day is the best it can be. Give a wave, a “thank you” or a high-five to the officers working the intersections, volunteers at the food/aid stations, and the countless event coordinators and food vendors.
Get out there and enjoy the ride.