RHB Shimano Lekas Highway Ride 2018 – Race Eve by Gus Rider
FIGURES DON’T LIE – The official Lekas Highway Ride 2018 record states that there’ll be a total of 4,496 cyclists across all Categories on race day – 120km, 78km, 17km & 12km. The biggest group is the 78km Category with about 2,700 riders, and women riders makeup 10% of the total with just over 300. The 120km Category has about 1,400 total riders with only 7% or 100 are women cyclists.
LADIES FIRST – Why are there much fewer female cyclists in general? Could it be because during childhood, more boys spent time outdoors, riding their bicycles, while girls stayed at home playing with their dolls? Or do women in general find cycling too laborious and not as fun as boys do? For sure, many women don’t like to spend much time under the hot sun unless they were sunbathing on the beach. Perhaps, some women find cycling on the roads too dangerous. Whatever the reasons, I give due respect to those minority women riders who are courageous and fit enough to take-part in these long rides, and hope to see more women participation in cycling.
LUCKY NO.3 – This will be my 3rd time riding the full 120km distance. My target average cycling speed is 25kph which means that I ought to reach the Finish Line (FL) by 1:00am. However, if I factor in time for brief water stops and fatigue, I will more realistically reach FL about 2:00am, way after the official programme has ended.
SLOW & STEADY – There’ll be many riders out there who will be attempting their first 120km distance, while other novice cyclists may be nervous about joining this prestigious race for the first time. Therefore, I have compiled below my Top 10 Tips For Endurance Cyclists for those who want to beat the cut-off time of 6.5 hours without too much pain & strain, ok?
Top 10 Tips For Endurance Cyclists
- Listen To Your Body
- Be Knowledgeable
- Be Very Prepared
- Ride Smart
- Stay Focused
- Keep Alert
- Enjoy The Journey
- Be Helpful
- Thank Your Host
- ⬅️Post Race Recovery
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY : You must take heed of your body’s signals & vital signs, and not ignore them. If you’re feeling unwell or unsure of your fitness condition before the race, consult your doctor in advance. If during the race, you feel breathless, sick, dizzy or your muscles are cramp, stop cycling and only proceed if you can recover. If these symptoms persist, seek immediate medical assistance.
2. BE KNOWLEDGEABLE : Study the race guidebook and familiarise yourself with the timetable of race day activities. At the very least, you should know :- (a) Where are the parking zones; (b) What time you should arrive at race venue, ( c) what time is flag off; ( d) Where is the information counter; and (e) What time are the cut-off times.
3. BE VERY PREPARED : You must stay fully hydrated and energised before, during and after the race. This means that you must keep drinking water periodically, starting from race eve, and always make sure you refill your bottle at the water stations.
Similarly, carbo-load two hours or more before flag-off, and carry enough energy bars/gel to refuel during the long ride.
Furthermore, you must carry along a tyre repair kit and a handheld pump in case of a punctured tube.
4. RIDE SMART : Don’t ride too fast in the beginning, and try to maintain a steady pace from start to finish. Don’t go below 25 kph, but if you do, make sure you make up for it later during a flatter or downhill portion. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes at the water stations – drink, refill and get out fast.
5. STAY FOCUSED : It’s easy to let your mind wander off into space, and lose focus in these long rides when there’s nothing much to see at night. You can stay focused by listening to upbeat music, or try to chase the cyclist in front of you. Always think of positive thoughts to stay motivated.
6. KEEP ALERT : Take a power nap in the afternoon, so you won’t be tired and sleepy during the later part of the night ride. You could eat some herbal mints or eat eat energy gel with caffeine to stay awake.
7. ENJOY THE JOURNEY : Don’t always keep tracking your mileage, and worrying about meeting the cut-off times because these thoughts can demotivate you. Focus, instead on your cycling technique and how to ride most efficiently. At the same time, enjoy the smooth and car-free highway.
8. BE HELPFUL : If you see other riders in distress, ask them, “Do you need any help?”. As part of the cycling community, we must support each other as much as possible because we can go further as a team and sticking together.
9. THANK YOUR HOST : After finishing your ride, don’t forget to thank your host and volunteers who have worked hard to give all the Participants an unforgettable experience. If you have time, give your useful feedback to the organising committee, so they’ll know what they did or didn’t do right for future improvements.
10. POST RACE RECOVERY : After such an arduous ride, your body needs to recover, so make sure you keep drinking water and electrolytes plus eat nutritious meals with high protein content. On the next day, go for a short and easy recovery ride or a physio massage to eliminate the lactic acid byproduct build up in your body…and soon the body aches & soreness will disappear!
To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.
About The Author
Gus Ghani is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach, and Magazine Columnist. He has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia Magazine, and Cycling Malaysia Magazine. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.
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