SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) — The 50th edition of RAGBRAI is still more than 2 months away, but folks are already training for the ride.
“You want your bike tuned up and make sure it’s ready to roll. You know in the spring to put miles on it. And you need about between a thousand and 1,700 miles if you want a comfortable fun experience on RAGBRAI,” Siouxland Cyclists President Ron Begnoche said.
The Siouxland Cyclists President started preparing for the 50th anniversary of RAGBRAI back in March. He knows firsthand how important it is to be physically prepared to cross Iowa on a bike.
“I have a young son that one year, he only rode like 500 miles and he was a hurting unit for the week, but he didn’t make it all, but he paid the price,” Begnoche said.
A professional physical trainer with 2B Imperium says both your physical activity and diet will help you complete this years RAGBRAI route.
“Riding a bike everyday, fantastic. However the endurance with our legs and our mind is going to be very important. So weightlifting and preparing those legs and doing higher reps. Anywhere from 15 to 30 reps with a little lighter weights so we’re in that endurance area. With nutrition, it’s what do we eat and when do we eat it, which sounds silly, but it’s vital. And making sure that we have plenty of water in our system and electrolytes especially when it comes down to race time. Carbohydrates to make sure that we are getting adequate energy in our muscle cells,” Professional Physical Trainer Cody Rininger said.
Maintaining a healthy physical condition can help you avoid injuries commonly associated with long bike rides.
“The chances of cramping, pulling, tearing muscles is much higher if you’re not used to that and it’s kind of like when you watch races and everybody comes out flying right away and then everything is gone within the first five minutes. You’re done in the first five miles and you still have 65 to 70 more left,” Rininger said.
But Begnoche adds that riders need to start preparing for the nearly 17,000 feet of climb.
“In the early spring, you can ride the flat lands of the Missouri River Valley which is good to get the miles in. And as you get closer to RAGBRAI you need to hit the hills because you guys know that Iowa’s full of them,” Begnoche said.
And riders have to keep in mind RAGBRAI is in the middle of summer.
“You’re going to be hot and sweaty, so hydration is big and important but you want that experience to be fun and not to be painful,” Begnoche said.