Welcome to the beginning of Cycle Oregon 2011! This year’s ride is going to be a treat. Now, more than a few people have mentioned that the course looks easy. Let me tell you that there are many words the intrepid Cycle Oregon staffers who have actually already ridden the route have used to describe it. These include “bucolic,” “stunning” and “epic.” Noticeably absent is “easy.” Make no mistake; this year’s course will deliver a swift kick to your hindquarters if you aren’t ready for it. Days 2 and 3 may not look huge, but they will test you. If you want to get the most out of the experience, training is essential. The time to get started is now.
The first critical step is developing a solid plan of attack for your training season. The goal is to hit your peak fitness during the event itself. You’ll recognize the moment it happens. All of a sudden and without warning, you are a better and stronger rider. Pure magic.
If you’re new to Cycle Oregon – or new to cycling in general – your biggest question at the moment might simply be “Can I do this?” The answer is simple: Yes, you can.
There are many resources to help you get started. There’s a special section on the Cycle Oregon website, and a wealth of information on the Cycle Oregon blog. And, of course, there is the community itself, which is easily accessed from the Facebook page and the forums. Bicycling Magazine is also a tremendous resource for information and inspiration. There’s a lot of excellent information on their website, but nothing beats the magazine itself. There are lots of great books by Ed Burke and Ed Pavelka such as The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling that I highly recommended.
In fact, the blog already features a series of training recommendations you can use to form the basic outline of your plan from March through August.
You can wait until March if you want, but those who are in the know are already working on building their base fitness.