Bangkok Bank CycleFest presents: Ride like a Pro with Jens Voigt
Only a few sports can claim to be accessible to everyone. With more than two billion people around the world using bicycles in their everyday life, cycling can count itself as a universal activity that anyone can take part in.
On November 11-12, Bangkok Bank and IMG will be celebrating the joy of the ride in Pattaya along with thousands of cyclists of all ages and abilities in the Bangkok Bank CycleFest 2017. A lifestyle cycling festival that aims to be a ‘Ride for All’, for children and families all the way to experienced elite riders, the CycleFest offers a complete riding experience amidst the beautiful scenery of Siam Country Club.
Whether you’re a novice on the saddle or a seasoned cyclist, it always pays to prepare before a ride. If you need pointers on how to get yourself ready, then there won’t be many who can give you better advice than Jens Voigt – former professional cyclist, two-time stage winner at the renowned Tour de France, and an ambassador for the Bangkok Bank CycleFest 2017!
Gearing up for the distance
While many casual riders are already used to a quick spin on two wheels every week or even every day, long-distance rides may still prove to be a different kind of challenge.
Jens says: “First of all, make sure you have the right bike – one that fits your body and riding position. If you need help with this, a local bike shop or someone from the local cycling team should definitely point you in the right direction. For longer rides, you would also need the right clothes for the road – from cycling shoes to pants that offer good support.
“Of course, you will need a helmet – you only have one head, so you better protect it! A pair of glasses will help keep flies and dirt from getting into your eyes. Check your bike to see if there is enough pressure in the tyres and that all the screws are on tight so nothing falls off while you’re on the bike. Carry a spare tube and a portable pump for it in case of emergency. If you’re riding in hot weather, bring a bottle of water and some food as well.”
No train, no gain
All the gear in the world won’t help you if your body isn’t prepared for the distance you’re going for. Having survived an 8.5-hour, 220-kilometer ride in a freezing California winter, Jens definitely knows what it takes to overcome a challenging ride.
Jens says: “If you’re new to long-distance cycling, start off with a one-hour ride and see how your body reacts. If you find it easy, try doubling the distance the next day. If you struggle, then keep at it for a while until your body gets used to it. Remember to take it easy. Always check how your body feels and take it from there. If you’re very new to cycling, I would recommend a month or two of training before you take on a ride that is 45 to 65 kilometers long.”
Strength in the mind’s eye
Every ride has its ups and downs – sometimes literally if you’re tackling a particularly hilly or mountainous route. After hours of riding, exhaustion is bound to set in and the idea of giving up can grow more attractive by the minute. What do you do?
Jens says: “When the ride gets really hard, there are a few options. Sometimes I look around me and see the other riders. I tell myself that they are only humans, and they cannot be faster or last much longer than I do, and that I can afford to slow down for a minute because they will have to slow down for a minute too. Just focus on the tough part of the route and get it over with.
“Alternatively, you can break the hard part up into smaller portions. Set yourself small milestones and tell yourself something like, “Let’s see if I can keep the pace until I get to this house of the right.” Once you reach the house, you try again but aim for the tree up ahead on the left. Keep going that way and before you know it, the hard part is already over!”
With these tips from a pro rider and the right preparation in the weeks and months to come, you will find it easy and fun to complete the 15.5-kilometer route at Siam Country Club in the Bangkok Bank CycleFest 2017. Choose the distance that is right for you and have a great day out! Want to know how many laps can you do? Just looking for a fun ride on a safe route with wonderful scenery? Come sign up at https://bangkokbankcyclefest.com/ and see you in November!