October 31, 2012

Preparation for Long Distance Cycling

With thoughts of entering next year's London-Edinburgh-London Audax ride  I came across these words of wisdom on http://biketouringnews.com as advice for would be distance riders.  Unfortunately I can find no credit to the original author, but whoever it was has my sincere thanks for humour that is so close to the truth and also my apologies for editing the piece for the UK market!

Step 1: Get a spaghetti strainer and several small sponges. Soak the sponges in salt-water and paste them to the inside of the spaghetti strainer. Place the strainer on your head. Find a busy road. Stand by the side of the road and do deep knee-bends for 18 hours. This will acclimatise you to a day’s ride.

Step 2: Take some 200-grit sandpaper and rub your rear-end and the insides of your legs for about 20 minutes. Rinse with salt-water. Repeat. Then, sit on a cricket ball for 8 hours. Do this daily for at least 8 days.

Step 3: Each day, take two £20 notes and tear them into small pieces. Place the pieces on a dinner-plate, douse them with lighter fluid and burn them. Inhale the smoke (simulating car-fumes). Rub the ashes on your face. Then go to the local hotel and ask them for a room.

Step 4: Take a 1 pint plastic bottle. Fill it from the toilet sink of a local petrol-station (where the mechanics wash their hands). Let the bottle sit in the sun for 2 or 3 hours until it’s good and tepid. Seal the bottle up (kind of) and drag it through a ditch. Walk to a busy road, place your spaghetti-strainer on your head and drink the foul water from the bottle while doing deep knee-bends along the side of the road.

Step 5: Get a pair of Dutch wooden clogs. Coat the bottoms with WD-40. Go to the local supermarket (preferably one with tile floors). Put the oil-coated, wooden shoes on your feet and go shopping.

Step 6: Think of a song from the 1980′s that you really hated. Buy the CD and play 20 seconds of that song over and over and over for about 6 hours. Do more deep knee-bends

Step 7: Hill training: Do your deep knee-bends for about 4 hours with the salt-soaked spaghetti strainer on your head, while you drink the warm foul water and listen to the 80′s song over and over (I would recommend “ I'm a cowboy/On a STEEL horse I ride!” by Bon Jovi). At the end of 4 hours, climb onto the bonnet of a friend’s car and have him drive like a lunatic down the twistiest road in the area while you hang on for dear life.

Step 8: Humiliation training: Wash your car and wipe it down with a chamois-cloth. Make sure you get a healthy amount of residual soap and road-grit embedded in the chamois. Put the chamois on your body like a
loin-cloth, then wrap your thighs and middle-section with cellophane. Make sure it’s really snug. Paint yourself from the waist down with black latex paint. Cut an onion in half and rub it into your arm-pits. Put on a brightly coloured shirt and your Dutch oil-coated wooden shoes and go shopping at a crowded shopping centre.

Step 9: Foul weather training: Take everything that’s important to you, pack it in a Nylon corodura bag and place it in the shower. Get in the shower with it. Run the water from hot to cold. Get out and without drying off, go to the local convenience store. Leave the wet, important stuff on the pavement. Go inside and buy £10 worth of Gatorade and Flap Jacks.

Step 10: As Archimedes hypothesised: “Use a simple lever to move the Earth from one place to another”. After doing that, go around your house and lift heavy things that you never imagined a person could lift. Surprise yourself. Do 1,000 sit-ups. Then 10,000. Eat lunch. Repeat. Argue with every girlfriend/boyfriend you've ever known and be RIGHT. Solve all the problems of politics, faith and economics. At the end of the day, get into a huge tub filled with hot soapy water and relax, because tomorrow is another BIG DAY ON THE BIKE!

Step 11: Headwinds training: Buy a huge map of the entire country. Spread it in front of you. Have a friend hold a hair-dryer in your face. Stick your feet in treacle and try to pull your knees to your chest while your friend tries to shove you into a ditch or into traffic with his free hand. Every 20 minutes or so, look at the huge map and marvel at the fact that you have gone nowhere after so much hard work and suffering. Fold the map in front of a window-fan set to “High”.

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