One day I want to take on a big challenge, but I am a chicken and I hate making commitments. I don’t like pushing myself and prefer comfort zone. But this year, I am saying “NO MORE” to being a couch potato – I am committing to a road bike ride.
Teresa Robbins, the Director of the Venus de Miles (road ride for women) is my (and your) guide to making the ride as smooth as possible, and today I would like to talk about last minute preparations.
Before You Leave for Your Bike Ride
- Ensure your bike is in proper condition for your route of choice.
- Just like our cars, teeth and bodies, our bikes need to be properly tuned up and we encourage you to invest in a tune up at your friendly local mechanic! Gather together these items so they are ready to go
The morning of the Bike Ride
- Padded bike shorts
- Non-cotton clothing
- Appropriate riding apparel: Venus is a rain or shine event!
- A change of clothes to gear check in the morning so you won’t have extra chamois time
- Helmet, Bike Shoes, Bike Gloves
- Water bottles or a CamelBak
- Important Medical Information
- Cash or checks
- Attach your Rider Bib to your top/jersey with safety pins provided. You will not be able to ride if you do not have your bib.
- Just for fun: Costumes are encouraged on Venus de Miles! Show us your Venus Spirit!
What should I keep in mind during bike ride?
- Pick a meeting place to meet up with your girlfriends before and after the ride such as the medic tent or by the stage
- Relax – this isn’t a race. Enjoy yourself, and eat that extra mini carrot muffin – you’ve earned it
- Hydrate – drink before you are thirsty, and eat before you are hungry – a minimum of a gel every 45 minutes, or something similar
- If you are used to training with your own products, bring them the day of the event. While we’ll have plenty of food, Clif SHOTS, Clif Gels, LUNA Minis, and Skratch Labs electrolyte, you don’t want any surprises on event day
- While we want you to enjoy the experience, don’t stay too long at the rest stops so that your legs freeze up and you feel like you are starting at ground zero on your ride again
- Feeling uncomfortable on the ride? Kiss some babies. In January I pulled a rookie move and raced a half marathon with a girlfriend with minimal training and I was in a lot of pain (both mental and physical). So, I started ‘kissing babies’ – talking to strangers, commenting on their gear and making small talk. Let me tell you – it helps.
- Work on your outfit – wear something you are really excited about and lay it all out the evening before the ride. Give yourself plenty of time the morning of the ride to eat, get to the event, park, and enjoy a cup of coffee.
- Get your best night of sleep TWO nights before the ride and get really hydrated the week of the ride
- Sweat a lot? Besides electrolyte drink you may want to consider salt pills. Hammer makes a great pill option and I train and race with them when it’s really hot.
- Skip the headphones and enjoy the experience, not to mention a safer ride.
I am ready to ride! Well, almost… Here is what I think
It was during the Greenhouse Scholars Summer Symposium in 2007, after volunteering as a moderator, that Teresa knew she wanted to do something more for the students of Greenhouse Scholars. An avid cyclist, Teresa also knew she wanted to create something to encourage women to get outside on their bikes and support a meaningful cause – Venus de Miles was born. Since its inception, Colorado’s first all-women’s road ride, which is orchestrated by and benefits Greenhouse Scholars, has raised $380,981 for the organization, and expanded to Illinois in 2012. Formerly the Senior Accountant for Greenhouse Scholars’ affiliate Greenhouse Partners, Teresa recently made the switch to the Greenhouse Scholars team to become the full-time Director of Venus de Miles. And when she’s not dreaming up the next quirky idea for Venus, she’s enjoying what inspires her most, spending time with her husbanding, Mo, and their sons, Myles and Nico.