By Sarah Bloodworth
Remember racing along the pavement, pedaling your feet as fast as they would go and feeling the wind against your face? Kids aren’t the only ones who can find that kind of thrill riding a bicycle. Road cycling takes preparation, dedication and, in the Texas heat, a lot of perspiration.
First, set goals that inspire you. Maybe you want to ride in one of the big bike rallies you've heard about. Start by increasing your average speed or boosting the length of your ride by one mile every day or every week. If there are hills, quit going around them and push yourself to the top. Moving from molehills to mountains can be difficult; joining a bike club or group ride is a great way to stay motivated.
Cycling with a group not only introduces you to new routes and new friends, it’s also safer than riding alone. Camaraderie can push you through the toughest parts of training.
Organized cycling events can be intimidating — especially with names like Midnight Massacre, Wheels on Fire 100 and Hotter’N Hell 100 — but they’re a perfect way to put your skills to the test. Most cycling events have websites and social media pages, with maps indicating distance and terrain to help you set realistic expectations. With the proper preparation, you can feel the thrill of riding your bike again.
Helmet - Helmet hair is worth avoiding a life-threatening scare.
Bike Shorts - Bike Shorts are flexible and padded, important on longer treks.
Identification - Carry an ID in case of an accident.
Insulated Water Bottle - Warm water is better than none, but cold water is great on a hot ride.
Pump - Pack a frame pump or flat kit; flat tires happen.
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