Pre Ride CNC 2007
What did I do to prepare for the ride?
West Jefferson, Ash County High School
The pre ride is where you are
getting it all together for the week long bike ride. Below I have listed some
items to be considered, a list of suggested packing items and a list of safety concerns.
This year the ride was from West Jefferson, N. C. to Currituck, N. C.
September 29, 2007 - 3:20 P.M. -
left Morganton by pickup for Ash County High School in West Jefferson.
It's a one hour and 30 minute drive to the destination in Ash County. A beautiful ride as we rode through
the mountains of Burke, Watauga and Ash Counties. We are lucky and blessed to live in this part
of North Carolina and the United States.
I set-up my tent with all my belongings that I had brought with me for the 460 plus miles seven day journey.
We had a meeting at 7:00 P.M. for
all the full week drivers. It was mainly an introduction of the rules,
regulations, markings, etc. The meeting was pretty simple, but we did receive a T-shirt from the
American Cancer Society and a promotional bag from Currituck County.
The CNC 2007 team let us know
that there were over 1,000 riders with an average age of 53. The oldest,
I think was in their eighty's and the youngest was two and was pulled by her father in a trailer behind his bike.
Meeting was over, it was across the the road to get a Subway for dinner and settling in for a good night's sleep.
Excited about the ride and ready
to start out in the morning bright and early. Nothing could have prepared
me for the conditions and temperature we would have the next morning. So here we go!
Dewey Fox, Age 65 Rider
Preparing for Bicycle Trip
First of all, you should make a
list of all the items you plan to take with you. You may want
to start this list weeks or even months before your trip. A suggested packing list is below.
Each day as you think about the list, you will probably think of items that you will want to take
with you. We all have different needs and lifestyles so each of us will have a different list,
especially of personal items.
Another item of interest and of
importance is safety. Be sure, your life may depend on it.
Most of the safety tips are common sense while riding a bicycle. Some bicycle safety tips
are listed below.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare, since
you never know what the weather may be, especially if
you are going on a trip for a week or more. Also you will be in different areas of the state
or country. Think to yourself the "what if." What if it rains, what if it is hot, what if it turns cold,
what if the wind blows. There are a lot of ifs', so prepare.
Plastic Bags; I can't
stress enough the use of putting all your items in plastic bags. These bags
will keep your items clean and DRY. You may also want to take extra plastic bags with
you. If you have items that get wet, they will need to be put in plastic so they won't get mixed with
the dry clothes or items that are not wet. If you ever experience this one time you will understand.
Plastic bags come in all sizes, up to large enough for a bushel basket in size. The zip locks are nice.
Tents; don't buy just any
tent. You will need one that will keep you dry if it rains hard or the
dew is heavy. You may want to try it out before taking it on an overnighter. If you and all your
belongings are in the tent and it rains cats and dogs as we say down here in North Carolina,
and the tent leaks, you will be miserable and will not enjoy your trip.
Pillows; due to room, you may want to purchase a small camping pillow. This is a comfort issue.
Sleeping Bags; take the
bag with you that is warm enough for the winter cold and cool enough for
the summer heat. Due to limited space, you may be able to carry only one.
Ground Cover for Tent; the
ground cover under you tent is important. It will keep the tent floor dry
and moisture will not come up through the floor. Be sure to choose one that is waterproof. It should
be a little smaller than the floor of your tent. If it is larger than floor, then when it rains the water will
roll under your tent on top of the ground cover and not underneath it.
Suggested Packing List
US Cycling Approved Helmet
Bicycle - Multi-Speed, wide gear range
Flashlight - extra batteries and bulb
or extra Flashlight same make and brand, interchangeable
Two Water Bottles in bike holders
Cycling Padded Shorts
Cycling gloves finger and full fingered for warm hands
Frame Mounted Tire Pump
Spare Tube and/or Repair Kit
Skull Cap for heat head
Tent and ground cloth if camping
Sleeping Pad or Air Mattress
Pad and Pen for Writing Notes
First Aid Kit
Medication as needed
Rain Gear - Cycling and Regular
Pee Bottle - Yes it works good, cold nights.
Shoes and Socks- off road
Camera and film
Personal Items, your personal list
Bicycling Safety Tips
Bicyclists must abide by the
rules of the road, which includes obeying all traffic
signals/signs and riding with traffic.
Ride single file when riding in
traffic as a courtesy to vehicles behind you. It is
easier to pass cyclist in a single file line. Make certain to ride in a straight line and
to be as predictable as possible to other road users.
If a motorist acts
intentionally aggressive toward you, do NOT respond in the same manner.
This will only worsen the situation. If possible, simply keep riding, make a note of the
license plate number and report the vehicle to the local police when it's safe to do so.
Try to cross railroad tracks
with your wheels as near to perpendicular to the track
as possible. Keep an eye out for grates and cracks in the road surface that could catch
your wheel and cause a fall.
Be especially careful on wet
road surfaces. Painted lines and manhole covers are
slippery when wet.
Make sure your bike is in good
working order. If it has been sitting in your garage for more
than a few months, have it inspected at a bike shop.
Make sure your bike is properly
fitted to you, with correct saddle height and handlebar reach.
Consult your local bike shop if you are not sure how to fit your bike.
Make sure your tires and tubes
are not cracked or worn and are properly inflated. The
recommended tire pressure is usually stamped or printed on the sidewall. Most flats
tires are caused by under inflation.
Learn basic bike mechanics so
that you won't get stranded on a ride. Learn to change your
tire and make minor repairs.
Make sure you have all the
tools and supplies you may need on the road, including a spare tube,
tire patches and tire levers, a pump or CO2 inflator, plenty of water, sunscreen, a cell phone, snacks
for longer rides to keep your energy level up, and cash or credit card in case of emergencies.
Know your route.
In case you are left behind (or dropped) on a group ride, make sure you know
where you are and how to get home. Many rides provide route maps upon request.
Make sure that you
are riding with a group that has a fitness level similar to yours. If you're
you could get dropped in unfamiliar surroundings and left to do all the work yourself. If you are too
fast, you may get frustrated with your group because they can't maintain your pace.
Know your limits.
A tired cyclist is a dangerous cyclist. If you are tired, you could make bad
that could result in an accident. Pull over. Take a rest. Ride with a group who rides at your speed.
Make sure you stay
well-hydrated, especially in hot weather. Generally, you should drink five
of fluid every 15 minutes or about a bottle an hour. Most bikes have two cages or water bottle holders.
If you are planning to ride longer that two hours, make sure that there are places to refill your
bottles along the route.
will add to the enjoyment of the ride. Cycling shorts, jerseys and shoes will
long rides much more comfortable.
Always wear a
helmet. It is also important to wear gloves and sunglasses when necessary.
Never pass another
cyclist on the right. When changing positions, you can alert the cyclist that
passing by announcing, on the left as you approach.
intersections that require vehicles to yield or stop, announce that you are
down or stopping with hand signals and verbal cues.
Ride in a straight
line and maintain your speed. Riding in a group or pace line means riding close
others to get the benefit of drafting. Try to keep up with the riders in front to avoid large gaps from
opening between riders. Until you have mastered these two skills, you probably should not be
riding in groups.
If your are having
trouble keeping up with a group or if you get caught at an intersection, be
announce loudly to other riders that your are behind. Many times groups do not realize when someone
has fallen behind. It is your responsibility to alert others.
Don't focus solely
on the wheel in the front of you. Be aware of what's going on two or three
ahead and up the road. Try to anticipate the need to stop or slow down. Never overlap the wheel
in front of you - it can lead to needless crashes.
Always use hand
signals to alert others of your intentions:
Þ Left turn - left arm straight out.
Þ Stop or Slow Down - left arm out and bent down at the elbow with your palm to the rear.
Þ Right turn - left arm out and bent up at the elbow with your palm facing forward or
or put your right arm straight out.
Announce a change
in direction or any obstacles or hazards in the road such as gravel, holes,
grates, etc. You can announce hazards verbally, by pointing to them, or by doing both. How you
announce hazards depends on your riding ability, the situation and the ability of those riding
with the group.
When it is
necessary to stop due to some type of mechanical problem, etc., be sure to
off the road so that you are not blocking traffic. Typically, others from the group will stop to assist you.
Pay attention when
riding in groups. Although most people ride in groups for camaraderie and
company, too much talking can cause cyclists to lose their concentration. Sometimes road hazards
are announced simply by pointing. If you are not paying attention, you could miss a signal or other
important details that could cause an accident.
If you are not
certain what to do in any situation, don't be afraid to ask someone. Most
people are ready
and willing to help. It's better to ask than to make a mistake that could endanger yourself and others.
* taken from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Foundation, "Pedal Power - Your Guide to Cycling Safety."
Pre-Pre Ride, Pre Ride, Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Post Words
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