Never make excuses
There’s something to be said for the guy
who makes it to the top of the hill last and
says, “I stink.” However, making too many
excuses only annoys your fellow riders and
draws attention to how much faster they
actually are. Even when you’re suffering,
mention the positives, like how your shifting
is working great or the energy drink you
picked is delicious. Nobody likes a complainer, but everyone likes a slow guy who
has a positive attitude. ❏
Pack enough food for your ride
If you’re going to be out for a long time,
plan to bring enough food to prevent the
dreaded “bonk.” You can bring along a few
homemade cookies, an orange, or a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich. Nothing tastes
better than “real” food on a long ride.
Ball bearing in the handlebar
You can sabotage a fellow rider if you
have access to his or her bike pre-ride.
Simply take a ball bearing, cover it in
grease and insert it in their handlebar. The
grease will keep it from rattling right away,
but it will inevitably come loose and make
an awful racket that will force the rider to
stop and inspect.
Tighten the buckles on your shoes
before a big climb
This little intimidation tactic can make
your riding friends shake in their cleats.
Tightening the buckles on your shoes
Drop the water weight
It’s never a good idea to pack too little
water, but know your hydration limits.
After all, that gallon of water on your
back weighs a whole lot more than the
grams you saved by going with those
fancy carbon fiber parts. Most riders
should plan to have roughly one water
bottle ( 24 ounces) of fluid per hour of
riding. More than that is overkill.
Eat a good breakfast
We’ve had the best luck starting our ride
days with oatmeal with peanut butter and
honey on top. Starting the ride with a full
tank makes a big difference.
Stop eating half a large pepperoni
pizza the night before
Seriously, don’t do it. Just stop it.
25 Speed Secrets
Dress to feel faster
Brightly colored jerseys
are faster, but black and
gray ones blend in. If you’re
feeling rough, don’t go for
the peacock look, because
it will draw way too much
attention to the back of the
makes you look like you know what you’re
doing and are ready for the challenge.
Pick the lightweight bike if you have
Rides, even if they’re not races, are
usually won on the climbs and not the
descents. Picking a lightweight bike rather
than a big and burly long-travel machine
will give you a serious advantage on
the uphills and will save energy for the
descents. Very few riders have ever “won”
a long trail ride on a downhill bike, and
that’s because the lighter and shorter-travel
machines are simply more efficient.