David Rowe says he was taking the leap from recreational cyclist to ultra long-distance cyclist when he rode the arduous Torture 10,000 century in Oregon a few years ago.
He wasn't surprised by the length or elevation gain — more than 13,000 feet. What surprised him was seeing so many sag wagons filled with the bikes of participants who had thrown in the towel.
“It was clear that they didn't think about what they were getting into.”
So David set out to write the recently published eBook“The Ride of Your Life.” It covers an aspect of cycling that doesn't get the attention it deserves — mental preparation.
David is a roadie who gets to pursue his avocation in the scenic Pacific Northwest. Professionally he's worked in magazine publishing and the online health and wellness industries. These backgrounds enabled him to write an engaging and informative book that can help recreational cyclists ready to step up to another level of riding.
Two ways to become eligible for a free copy of the eBook “The Ride of Your Life.” Ask David Rowe a question for Feb. 12 Q&A or write an inspirational story about a ride. Read more here.
We've probably all seen and read many self-help books and articles on nutrition, muscle-building, cardio-vascular fitness and cross-training as it pertains to cycling. But I don't recall any that offer a guide to preparing yourself mentally to take on the challenge of longer rides.
By reading it, I learned that realizing core values and setting goals are the first steps in successfully tackling any long distance cycling challenges, such as double centuries, brevets or even overnight bicycle touring.
Mental preparation entails a lot more than closing your eyes the night before a big ride and picturing yourself successfully arriving at the destination.
David shows that it starts as you visualize your goals for the cycling season and decide whether you're willing to make the sacrifices to your body (foregoing those morning doughnuts), relationships (missing weekend outings with the family) and job (not being the first in the office because you took a morning ride) that are necessary for success.
His methods can enable someone to clarify their core values and prevent the goal of logging lots of miles on the bicycle from colliding with job and family.
“The key to achieving your goals on the bike and keeping the rest of your life in balance is to know what it is that you value and how those values align with each other.”
The eBook actually offers worksheets to help identify, clarify and prioritize cycling goals. David said it's as important to set out your goals as it is to check the weather before heading out on a morning ride.
Each chapter closes with interviews with long-distance bicycling enthusiasts such as Jill Homer, who writes the Up in Alaska blog, and Kent Peterson, known for his bicycling advocacy, going car-free for 10 years, and competing in the Great Divide mountain bike race.
If you'd like to read more, the book's publisher, RoadBikeRider.com, is making available a free, 34-page online preview edition of “The Ride of Your Life.”
Upcoming Q&A on Feb. 12
David will be making a “virtual book tour” stop at BikingBis.com to answer questions about his book and his experiences bicycling in the Pacific Northwest. If you have any questions you'd like answered, simply email be directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this blog post. Those posing questions will be eligible for a free eBook.
Share your story
Also, David is looking for stories from readers who overcame physical, mental, or equipment challenges to finish a challenging ride. BikingBis readers can win a free copy of the Ride of Your Life, simply by telling their story.
David and his son, Evan, also blog at ReadytoRide.