With the long summer days and warmer cycling season coming to an end, some fantastic local Gran Fondos have been organised for this Autumn. For those of you who are riding the 160 km Gran Fondos at the Noosa USM or the Battle on the Border in Kingscliffe, here’s a few tips to riding your best Fondo ever.
Study The Course
Both the Noosa USM and the Battle on the Border will be a scenic and challenging route through the local hinterland. Be sure to have a good look at the course and its elevations before you start the ride. Mentally preparing yourself for a 160km challenge will help on those hefty climbs.
King of the Mountain
The organizers of the Noosa USM have created a King of the Mountain climb up the backside of Cootharaba. This will be the first climb of the day after 26.5 km’s of riding. Prizes will be awarded for the fastest times and will be timed via electronic radar. Battle on the Border is holding a timed personal challenge. Returning riders have the chance to set new personal records as they try and beat their time from last year while riders taking on the mountain for the first time are able to lay a platform for next year. The timed personal challenge offers the chance for cyclists to ride on quiet roads in the Tweed Valley while taking in some of the spectacular views of Mt Warning all while battling the clock and challenging themselves.
Pick Your Group
If you’re gunning for speed, slipping into a group will help you save energy. In the first 10 kilometres, find a small group of riders who seem to be of similar fitness and strength. In time your group will grow which will allow you to keep a high pace on the flats. Make sure you are confident sticking close to someone else’s wheel and utilise this time to conserve your energy for the climbs.
Thousands of riders are expected to compete in this years Fondos. Riders will be released in waves of 100, a few minutes apart. If you’re keen to mash the pedals and smash the course at record pace, then get a position closer to the front. Rolling out with the right crowd is crucial if you take the competition seriously. Starting farther back may protect you from the chaos.
Feed The Machine
A huge aerobic engine won’t do much good if your tank is empty. Be sure to eat a little a lot. Downing at least one 500ml bottle per hour is a good rule of thumb. You should also be comfortable taking on board up to 60g of carbohydrate per hour. Use the aid stations if necessary and be sure to carry appropriate snacks for the road.
Get Fondo Fit
As with all events, you only get out of it, what you put into it. Be sure to do the training prior to the event. Don’t turn up without training and expect to hammer the climbs like Alberto Contador. Be sure to execute a specific training plan before the event and turn up prepared. It will make all the difference.
Haydn Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org