RideLondon Training Day with some our 2017 cyclists – by Dominic Moniz
We have over 150 cyclists from all over the UK taking part in RideLondon to help fight diabetes this year. We’ve got first time riders, experienced riders, people with Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 and some who don’t have diabetes but would like to support a friend or family member.
It’s a huge team with a real mix of people and, whether they are taking part in the 100 mile or 46 mile race, it’s a big challenge that they’re taking on. As a keen cyclist myself (and the events manager at Diabetes UK for RideLondon) I know how much good preparation can improve the experience of any cycling endeavour – so I decided to run a training day.
Fortunately our new home at Wells Lawrence House in Whitechapel in East London has a fantastic space for days like these. And the terrible incident at London Bridge the night before did little to deter our riders from attending. A good turnout combined with high spirits meant the brakes were off for a great start to the day.
Bikes were dropped off to our mechanic for the day, Andrew, who serviced them outside as the sessions got underway. The first of these was delivered by Graham Freer, Diabetes UK’s resident cycle guru (think Lance Armstrong without the ego, or the lies) as he took the team through the practicalities of cycling long distances including training, what to wear, what equipment to take, signals and safety.
The overriding take-home messages for our cyclists were:
– have the right clothing (and you can keep it cheap eg gloves for £3)
– get used to riding safely with other people around you
– the simple science to race-day strategy: be steady and consistent with your pace. Be the sensible tortoise, not the reckless hare.
With the group continuing to share experiences, tips and advice we moved on to our Diabetes and Exercise session delivered by Kat Kirchner from Diabetes UK’s clinical team. With detail applying to both Type 1 and Type 2 cyclists as well as those without diabetes, Kat provided the important information to ensure our riders can approach the day with the confidence to manage their performance and health.
With lunch fuelling a thirst for more knowledge, Kat was back with a great session on Nutrition. She busted myths and delivered the facts to leave us re-thinking about whether putting beer in our water bottles is actually a good idea. It isn’t.
A dose of fundraising advice and some things to think about in the lead up to the event brought us to the end of an interesting, social and enjoyable day. Bikes were collected and before we said our goodbyes we had time for a quick modelling of some of the team in their newly designed cycle jerseys (see picture above) – and don’t they wear them well?!
Steve Lee is one of the cyclists who took part in the training day. Find out how his training is going. Read Steve’s blog.