Canadian Cyclist


May 25/11 15:55 pm - Preparation Tips for Charity Ride Participation

Posted by Editoress on 05/25/11

Charity Rides Provide The Perfect Motivator For New And Returning Cyclists To Get Into Gear


Charity ride season has started and is motivating thousands of cyclists from beginner to expert to get moving. With the right preparation and training, participants can pedal their way to the finish line for their cause of choice.

“Cycling is easy to start and even easier to get hooked on,” said Lou Orzech, who first started riding when he signed up for the Zareinu Moveathon Ride for Kids with Special Needs in 2007. “I worked my way up from the 50 km, to the 100 km and then the 162.5 km over three years and now I’m riding at least four times a week.” Orzech will be riding again for the same cause on June 26 along the picturesque yet challenging Niagara Escarpment terrain.

The following are some tips for riders, new and returning, looking to tackle the charity ride season:

• A good rider starts with a good bike. Racing bikes are designed to be light and fast, with light-weight frames, narrow wheels and big gears. They are designed for riding on roads at high speed. Mountain bikes have bulky frames, thick tires and are designed to take a beating on tough terrain. They have smaller gears to easily pedal up hills. Their bulkiness and small gears, however, make them slower.  There are models and budgets to suit most lifestyles and budgets that will be suitable for the over 30 GTA charity rides.

• Create a training program that works for you.

     • Creating a program: A schedule is the best way to keep motivated and track progress. Include proper amounts of interval training on the right days. Pay attention to frequency, intensity and duration of training rides.

     • Pace yourself: Remember that the right pacing is the key to finding longevity and avoiding injury. Pushing too hard too fast can put an early end to riding season.

     • Practice rides: If training for a one-day ride, the longest practice ride should be 10 to 14 days before the event to make sure there is time to recoup. Plan a short ride, or a rest day, following the higher mileage training rides. These rides should be at least a quarter of the length of the long ride and done at a leisurely pace.

• Join group rides to get you going. Ask friends, colleagues or avid riders for cycling group recommendations. Chances are there is already a group preparing for your charity ride and this is a great way to connect with others with similar interests! Other ways to find groups is on the web, on Twitter and if that comes up short, spin classes are an excellent way to meet fellow riders and stay on target.

The Zareinu Moveathon Ride for Kids with Special Needs takes place on Sunday, June 26 starting at Bishop Reding Secondary School complete with breakfast, showers, rest stops, a custom Louis Garneau cycling jersey, celebratory BBQ and post-ride massages. Training rides are available through the Moveathon for all registered riders. The Ride raises critical funds for state-of-the art treatment for kids with special needs at the Zareinu Educational Centre in Toronto. For more event information on training rides, maps and registration visit or call 416-661-1800 ext. 228.


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